P1000974Day 35 - Part 2

Lucy & Matthew joined me on the last leg of my challenge starting at the The Lizard. The sun was shining but the wind was very gusty from the West as can be seen by Kay’s hair.

Day 35 - Part 1

I must apologise for not posting this earlier but as you can imagine Day 35 was somewhat hectic (celebrations) after completing my challenge and the following day I had a long drive home from Lands End followed by further celebrations in the Fox & Hounds with my friends from Llancarfan and surrounding area.

So just to put the final piece of the jigsaw in place, here we go.

The picture is a panorama of the Lizard that I took on Sunday morning before setting off the last day of my challenge, from the most Southerly point of the UK mainland and heading for Lands End. Quite a short day I thought as it was only 37 (ish) miles, but, no such thing in Devon and Cornwall!

Day 34 - Part 4

On my arrival at the Lizard, Jo my eldest daughter contacted me as she was in Helston with John, Hannah, Adam and Tessa at a play barn for Hannah’s 7th birthday. Rossie their dog was left on guard duty in the car.

Happy Birthday Hannah xxxxxxx

Russ and me met up with them and we all went for a meal in the Coast Bistro at the Lizard.

Day 34 - Part 3

With the wind almost blowing me over, I still managed to pose in front of the Lizard Lighthouse at the Southerly point of mainland UK.

I’m even sort of smiling despite being wet and cold, but it was my last point of the compass for my challenge, just the second part of the last extreme to go, Land’s End and the conclusion of my epic adventure.

I will mention this tonight because I may be a physical, mental and emotional wreck tomorrow….

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of encouragement over the last 34 day to help keep me going and to all who have generously made donations on my JustGiving page and exceeding my target (and it’s still open if anyone else wishes to donate).

I must also pass on my thanks to Serco plc and Gatso BV who kindly provided corporate sponsorship both financially and time off to undertake my challenge.

A special thank you must go to Road Safety Support Ltd who provided their Comms manager to handle the publicity, the back up vehicle and personnel without whom the ride would not have gone so smoothly.

The back up crews have been incredibly patient, kind and supportive not only when at a low ebb, but throughout the ride. We have got to know each other over the last 34 days and I now look upon them as good friends.

Thank you all.

Day 34 - Part 2

There seems to be a lot of these milestones dotted around in Cornwall, I think the mark in the bottom right hand corner is that of the War Office, I’m sure someone will put me right on this 🙂 The question I have, is why would the War Office install milestones?

Day 34 - Part 1

Looking out of my B&B window I could see the trees bending to and fro as the wind buffeted them. Turning round I saw the bed and it was inviting me to climb back in but I resisted the temptation, showered, dressed and went down for breakfast where Russ joined me.

After breakfast I reluctantly put on my cycling outfit, packed my belongings and made my way to the backup vehicle. After stowing the bags I went through the days route with Russ which I had changed to get me away from the dreaded A30. Bodmin to the Lizard via St Austell, Truro, along the A39 to Penryn and then onto minor roads via Gweek and then down to the Lizard.

Same story again today, hills, hills, showers, hills, showers, more hills but with the special added ingredient – wind, headwind in fact for a lot of the way 😦

The picture is looking back down the hill from Bodmin.

Day 33 - Part 2

Here I am, safely tucked up in bed in a B&B near Bodmin and tomorrow is the penultimate day of the challenge when I visit the Southerly extreme of the UK, The Lizard, some 50 miles away.

The weather isn’t looking too good and if the forecast is correct, I’m going to get wet and have to cycle into a brisk headwind.

Watch this space, I try and post tomorrow, if I’m in a fit condition that is.

Day 33 - Part 1

Day 33, just need to get through today and another 2 days to complete my challenge……

The route for today was from Okehampton to Bodmin, quite simple, just get on the A30 and follow your nose and that’s just what I did, or should I say did for the first 19 or so miles to Launceston.

When I got to Launceston, in order to reduce the future cost of the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) counseling from my experiences of cycling along the A30 dual carriageway (national speed limit) and after a very short discussion with Russ in the backup vehicle, we decided to reroute to Bodmin avoiding the A30.

I pulled up the map on my laptop and found a route that would avoid the A30 by going along the B3254 via Liskeard and then onto the A38 to Bodmin. It added about 7 miles on the journey but it was going to be less stressful and a lot safer 🙂

Safer? Yes.

Less stressful, well on the A30 the gradients are reasonable, on the B3254 well, not the case. Back to the yo-yo effect with a climb to a maximum elevation of…… 890ft!

Boy, do I know how to pick them. If you could have got a picture of the terror on my face when descending from 890 ft with my brakes fully applied…. I shudder at the thought.

However I managed to survive the ordeal and once passed Liskeard I got onto the single carriageway section of the A38 and managed to zip along quite smartly for most of the way, but I’m sure I created a long tail back as the traffic queued behind me when I cycled up the climb to Bodmin.

Day 32 - Part 2

Jon Farr (Peninsula Road Safety Partnership Manager) and me just before setting off on the final 12.5 miles to Okehampton Police station.

When this was taken, I was already soaked from the days drizzle so it didn’t really matter when the heaven’s opened not long afterwards. The shower at the B&B soon sorted that out.

Thanks Jon for riding with and giving my spirit a lift after a particularly arduous day on the wonderful hills of Devon.

Day 32 - Part 1

Let me start with my usual excuse for not posting last night, no internet and no 3G. It’s really great to live in a technologically forward nation, you have all the latest gadgets and equipment but there’s no network in so many places to let you use it. Of course Llancarfan is one of those places, I almost forgot after being away for so long.

On Day 32 my route took me from Taunton to Okehampton and the only way I can describe it is by comparing it to a Yo-yo and a drowned rat.

I thought the hills in Scotland were bad, but 27 days of cycling over the last 32 is starting to take its toll and the hills of Devon started to seem like mountains.

Chin up Brainy, only another 3 days to go.

It was remarked to me by the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership Manager when he joined me for the last 12.5 miles, that I had been Deveonised by the Devonshire topography.
As an example, I was in a country lane and a car went up the hill that was to be my next challenge and had to change down twice on the way up. Of course was no real obstacle to me, I just walked up it at an incredibly slow pace and sat down at the top for a good few minutes to get acclimatised to the thinner atmosphere up there 🙂