2010 John O’Groats to Lands End cycle
After completing the run a year before I got it in my mind about cycling the exact same route. I had never really done any long distance cycling before but I wasn’t going to let that faze me.
I mean, after all I can cycle a bike so to me it was a case of sitting on the saddle and peddling until you couldn’t peddle anymore then rest up and go again until you reached the finish line. Granted, a bit of training would have made the challenge far easier.
I was going to attempt it with my mate Alex Symonds as the both of us had signed up for ironman Bolton and we needed to get as much cycle training in as possible so this was a great way of getting some much needed miles in. Luckily for us Geraint Thomas’s agent sorted us with Dolan bike sponsorship so we had these state of the art posh road bikes to do this challenge in so it was game on.
Alex’s brother Dan Symonds agreed to be our support driver so the 3 of us jumped into our van which was given to us by the generous people at Trade Centre Wales and headed to John O’Groats to start our mission. One thing we didn’t do our research on was that many of the cyclist normally start from Lands End due to the wind direction hitting out country from west and north which meant whenever it was windy we’d have one hell of a headwind.
If you are a cyclist you’ll know that this is nothing but a nightmare. Day 2 heading towards Inversness we had such strong winds and we were bearly moving and I remember it well, I was close to tears it was that bad and unforgiving.
We managed to get that day ticked off but the following day was to be the worst day of all. Torrential rain and wind hitting us face first cycling through the mountains with huge lorries passing us plus it was freezing cold and we were in a right pickle, I’ll never forget it. We called it a day and jumped into the van with Dan and drove to the nearest hotel in Glasgow we could find.
We couldn’t stop shivering even after having a hot shower but we were dry and in a hotel room. The following day we drove back to where we finished the day before and carried on with our mission. We had a head wind for the 7 days that it took us to get to Lands End but what a great 7 days it was. I’m yet to go back and do it all again but this time fromLands End and with plenty of training under my belt.