Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Day 11 and 12

Arran to Glencoe 100 miles!
(We are double centurions now, yeaaahhhhhh)
A hundred miles of pure joy and many mixed emotions....
Fantastic cycling, long sweeping hills, plenty of turns, lochs, sunshine all day.
Got tired by end of it, but we had been going for 10 hours. nearly broken.
equal on hardeness scale as day two though cornwall.
In hindsight it was unrealistic to attempt this on this trip! would have been ok on lightweight race bikes with no bags!
landed at hostel and dumped bags in room and rode straight to pub, extra mile and half uphill, at the time we thought it was stupidest idea of our lives. after 2nd pint of guinness it turned out to be a really good idea, rolled back downhill to hostel.
most of the day was best cycling weve ever done, just final part was horrible.
Glencoe region is wonderful - this is why were here!

Day 12
Glencoe to Loch Ness - 58 miles.
Actually felt ok when we got up, even after yesterdays epic!
Met up with Ian and Clive (who we first met in lands end) and rode with them all day, right good craic!
Fastest 58 miles weve ever rode ever, average speed 14.6mph whilst moving!
We ended up in Fort Augustus and stop for about an hour and actually felt like we where tourists on holiday not pro riders on an expedition to the ends of the earth, we picked up some supplys for our sausage cassarole and didn't forget our beer and minuture bottles of whiskey then headed of for the hostel. Once in the hostel we decided to go for a swim in Loch Ness but quickly ran away after we put our toes in too cold where not tough enough yet.
3 DAYS TO GO will keep you posted. PS still want more charity donation money please and its not for our whisky fetish honest!!.

Monday, 27 June 2011

day 9 and on and on!!

Day nine, Carlisle to Galloway 74 mile.

Left the dive that Carlisle is and picked up a cycle route 7 out of the city heading for Gretna Green it was shut!!! so didn't get hitched to any big dutch birds that where following us along the day. Eventually ended up at a bunkhouse at Loch Ken where we got a nice evening meal of roast pork and seasonal veg Mmmmm, and while drinking beer outside we where repeatedly dive bombed by midges other than that a nice evening.

Day Ten, Galloway to Arran.

Well what can i say the first 20 miles up hill into the wind a proper sufferfest of pain with only oat bars and flapjacks for breakfast, we stopped at some little village of the dammed where we where told of  for leaning our bikes against the shop window. From then on it was down hill into the wind with the worst roads Scotland could throw at us so far, it got that bad we where actually pedaling down hill to keep up a reasonable speed. Got of ferry on Arran and it was liked we entered a new world it was idyllic riding until we came to a bend in the road and it proceeded upwards forever but like the pro riders we are we didn't shy away from this we just had some wine gums and got on with the job. Got  to youth hostel had a great shower well some of us did and then proceeded to the local tavern to taste their delights.

Day 4 and on

Sorry weve had no internet access! still enjoying ourselves

Bristol to Ledbury, 74ish miles. A38 out of Bristol, shenanigans road as Adi whos lives there likes to call it, nightmare.Cheers Adi for putting us up and plying us with good food / beer/ scotch.
Lots of rubbish road riding really.
Landed in a bunkhouse near Ledbury, quality place, we wheeled our bikes up a rear access ramp into the room! More like an apartment, bunkhouses shouldnt be this good, 'i feel like were cheating'. Bought food in for bunkhouse, could of fed 4 people, had mandatory beer and wine too, feast!

Ledbury to Bridges, 54miles,
started alright all way up to leominster then a49 to church stretton. Got hilly and steep. At one point it was barely rideable. Stayed over in yha which is an old school, very creepy. pub next door was shut, Disaster.
Told repeatedly by people we met along the way that we were on a rubbish route, should be riding on quieter roads, annoying! ignored em.

Bridges to Warrington, 50 odd miles. started with a massive down hill, new top speed of 45mph. really good morning, nice riding till we got into warrington. stayed in travel lodge, went to pub for tea and beers, happy days.

Warrington to Carnforth 69ishmiles
Got out of madhouse of warrington roads, fast route to home.Riding through our home village and local area was very weird, like a training ride- just finishing off. except we were half way on the trip! rode out of preston, worst drivers we found so far, had about 3 close calls, which is far too many! Good to see family at home, gave us a big lift. Thanks!
Rode up to lancaster, weve ridden up there too many times already, going through the motions. arrived at pete and sues van, had a swim in outdoor pool, fed and watered, cheers!

Carnforth to Carlisle 70miles ish
rode 15 miles into kendal, then started up Shap. 9 miles uphill. we found it alright really, had south west breeze behind us, 1400ft, quite enjoyed it. Then on to penrith and carlisle. stayed over in farm bunkhouse 7 miles outside carlisle, feast again!


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Hey all, this is Karen, Steve's wife and Dave's big sis - they've asked me to do an update for all of you who are following them. Today they've ridden up SHAP (yes, that bloomin big , long, devil mountain on the way to Carlisle). I spoke to them both as they summitted (!), Steve was very chilled and relaxed as normal...from Dave I got a massive WOOOOOHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO as he came over the top, closely followed by some swearing about a 77 year old man who apparently overtook him.
The last couple of days have been a bit wierd for them, they came through their home town of Bamber Bridge yesterday and stopped at our mum's for tomato soup and ham butties. Dave ate them like he was never going to eat food again. Steve, in the meantime, packed and repacked his bags with items I had been instructed to bring along.... " beige walking pants, beige T-Shirt". God knows what would have happened if I'd put a red T-shirt in there instead. They may never of continued. A Hollands pie man had apparently pulled in front of them on the way and Steve just about managed to stop swearing at him long enough to discover that the "stupid Bas$$rd" hadn't just cut him up but wanted to give them free steak and pepper pies.
Thursday prior found them in sunny Warrington, I received a call that they had nowhere to eat and that everywhere was closed... disaster and melodrama was upon them....anyway the story ended with them finding a pub that did burgers big enough for Steve-i-never-leave-anything-farnan to leave, well, lots of burger.
Yesterday they saw us, dumped a load of smelly clothes and headed off to Steve's dad's van in Carnforth (Pete & Sue you owe me for not sending smelly clothes up to you), apparently they had yummy braised steak, beer, wine and then pudding of stawberries - Pete got up at half six today to make sure they had actually left and not hidden in his shed....... the story continues, very proud of you both xxxxx

Monday, 20 June 2011

LEJOG day 3

Today was a good day, long but good. we got rained on. flat in places, much less hilly than devon and cornwall. 76 miles! hardest biking weekend weve ever done, fantastic in places, horrendous in others.

Made good progress during the morn, then rain and the Mendip hills slowed us down, our legs are creaking a bit more today. To date we have done 230 miles. Off to Gloucestershire tommorrow then onto Ledbury for our over night stop, it's a short day only 54 miles so where havin a lie in.

happy days!

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Glorious sunshine, cornish and devon hills should be a recipe for great hol, not on a bike though! Up and down em for 10 hours which is a new personal best, for 74 miles.... average speed embarassingly low!

Some parts were amazing with great views, others were an absolute nightmare!
lost count of the hills, theres no flat bits round here, up or down thats it.
We hit a patch of road into liskeard doing 40mph for ages downhill, unbelievable.

Highway of death = A30, if you fall off on here you will die! these where the comforting words Dave said to me as we set of on our final 15 mile, the road lives up to the name we give it i have never seen so many dead animals on one road before. Anyway we cracked on and got into Exeter in one piece all though a little shaken.


LEJOG day 1

Hi people, limited tinterweb access down here!

It rained as soon as we set off, torrential style!
Good ride, plenty of hills.

My phone got wet and broke. My chain bust at the bottom of a hill, good job we had a spare link!
Lands End to Golant which is near Fowey.

Met loads of riders who are doing similar ride to us.


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Time to go! Yeeaaaahhhhhh!!!

Well then here we go, Time to pack up and ... er leave!

We have reached over a £1000 with the sponsorship so far which is unbelievable! We never expected that so thankyou all very much, theres still plenty of time for more

The bikes are prepped, the panniers are packed, the laden bikes weigh about the same as an average 7.5 year old child which is fairly entertaining. This involves standing on me mums scales lifting the bike, then weighing myself without the bike. 4 Stone?

We have trained with bags on the bike anyway, since we got the bikes last year, just not this full! Were taking the minimum gear, no shaving kit - expedition beards! You probably dont want to know how many pairs of keks were not taking either....

Steve knocked up some signs for the back of the bikes, cheers to Halfords for that, theyre actually motorbike number plates. They look really smart, should give us a bit of goodwill from drivers hopefully, and a bit of craic too

We start off in Cornwall, the first three days are going to be amongst the hardest of the whole trip , Day2 being the daddy, because of all the hills. I read another blog of a rider who had just done it this week - 'There are no words to describe how tough the hills were today' @2old2cycle. So thats something to look forward to! The weather for down there on friday is heavy rain ha ha ha

I havent ridden this week, (well apart from friday 30, sat 44, sun 15miles) and am getting a bit twitchy, its called tapering apparently, have an easy week before the big ride so you are fresh and raring to go. I dont like it!

Actually I lost my nerve monday night and nearly set off on the trip, peddling like a good un off to Penzance, which wouldnt have been a good thing seeing as we have a train booked to get down there on friday!

We will try to update this blog during the ride (its not a holiday!), maybe even daily, but it will depend on internet access, will, and whether we decide the pub is a better option!


Also were plotting the next expedition, probably gonna be in 2013! ha ha ha - location TBC...... get involved!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Mmmm new bar tape.

Well said Dave i feel excatully the same just want to get on the road again, well just put some new bar tape on it looks the dog's.

Cool eh!, well let's get ready to rumble.

One week to go! Can you believe it? :)

Thankyou for your kind Donations! Much Appreciated. We want more!

We just want to get going now!
We get the train down to Penzance on Friday 17th, its a 7 hr journey, with 3 changes.

Steve serviced the bikes, trued the wheels on his jig at work, put on new chains, changed cables and put 2 new tyres on my bike as i wore down the rear one on the turbo trainer. He did other stuff too but I wasnt watching, but I was distracted by beer at that point :)

We have made last minute route mod's too, avoiding A30 through Cornwall. This is thanks to some LEJOG riders that came to the bike shop Steve works in. They told him its pretty much a motorway, so were going the scenic route now. Scenic meaning bloody hilly and long still!
The routes are sync'd to our GPS units, the main navigational tool, but weve also got paper copies of day routes, which can be binned after use, or eaten.

We are getting to the stage of packing and just go, the gear were taking is basically:
Biking clothes, Off bike clothes, Bike Mech Stuff, Medical Stuff.

I asked the Eccles Cake Company if they would like to sponsor us, got no reply so far, still keeping fingers crossed for last minute reprieve though.

Ive just asked the Lancashire Evening Post if they wanna put us in the paper, will see what comes of that.

After planning this adventure for a year, its a bit weird that were actually setting off next week!
Its come round pretty quick, this last month has gone really fast. By thursday eve next week I am sure we will be scared/very excited.
People we arent going to see between now and then are wishing us good luck, which is nice!


We cant f###### wait! - Its all about the Ride!
(I wouldnt drive it!)