Bike Ride Day 3 - 23rd July 2010
It wasn’t until half way through the night that my heart rate returned to normal after the exertions of the hills yesterday, so I didn’t sleep very well and I guess I was a bit anxious about how my body would cope with another ride today – especially when the B&B owner (who’s a cyclist) told me that the route I’d chosen today continued to be very hilly and difficult!
BUT...........it’s been a MUCH better day, and all I can say is that the hills of Devon and Somerset are not a patch on the hills of Cornwall! Yes, it was still hilly, but nothing even approaching the Himalayas of yesterday. And once I was up on the top of the moors the cycling even began to approach something vaguely resembling FLAT. Fantastic.
So I’ve managed today without too much trouble, and arrived in Bawdrip (at our friends’ house) at 2.45pm, much earlier than I had planned (Gill didn’t get there until half an hour later!)
The route has been through some of the loveliest countryside in Devon and Somerset, and the weather has been great – lots of sunshine but not too hot, and although the wind continued to be unpredictable it was pretty light so didn’t make too much difference even when it was in my face.
Actually met up with a couple of other cyclists today – I have passed absolutely nobody else in either direction cycling the route I took the first 2 days, which probably tells me something!
I’m struggling to eat as much as I’m meant to be eating – there are only so many calories you can pour into your body each day! So Gill now tells me that I’m starting to waste away.
But I’ve survived 3 days of the 12. I know that these were the ‘short’ days, when I was meant to be acclimatising my body to the ride, and tomorrow the mileage hikes up to 100, which is still more than I’ve ever cycled in one day. So, another new experience to look forward to...........
Sorry no pictures today – by the time I realised there was a lovely view I'd passed it!
Bike Ride Day 2 - 22nd July 2010
Day Two not so positive! Tremendously hard day cycling along the north Cornish coast, almost constantly hilly and today with a wind that felt as if it was in my face every inch of the way.
Day dawned with rain in Mawgan Porth, set off up the horrible hill that leads out of MP and that set the tone for the day. The scenery continued beautiful and breathtaking but the hills got steeper and longer. Anything from 1 in 7 to 1 in 3 - if you want something to compare it with, the famous Porlock Hill is only 1 in 4. Add to that the wind against you, and after a while it became almost demoralising to see what the cycling terrain was for most of the day.
Along the way of course the views were amazing. Padstow is a lovely little town and I enjoyed taking the ferry from the harbour across to Rock. I met up with Gill for a coffee in Boscastle - and it's hard to imagine a more picture postcard English seaside village anywhere in the country. I had a reflective moment sitting on a rock at Crackington Haven, scene of some of our family holidays when I was growing up (and with strong memories of both my Dad and my sister Judy). And lunch by the river in Bude in the sunshine (which came out intermittently throughout the day) was another welcome respite from the hills.
But apart from that it was just relentless, and although today was only a mere 66 miles I feel like I've cycled twice that distance. My legs are like jelly and I'm apprehensive about how I will find tomorrow. But who knows what a good night's sleep will do? We've stopped overnight in Great Torrington, which has some pretty startling views of its own - very different from the coastline but equally beautiful.
Bike Ride Day 1 - 21st July 2010
Signing in from a sunny Mawgan Porth on the beautiful north Cornwall coast. After so long thinking about and preparing for this trip it was great to get going at last.
Yesterday Gill and I drove down to Lands End and got there about 5pm. It's a fantastic place, if you ignore what the humans have done to it! Lovely evening mooching around the beautiful Sennen Cove and enjoying a bit of sunshine after a very wet journey.
Day One dawned sunny and bright, with a forecast for sunshine, showers, and most importantly a South West wind. Cyclists will understand the importance of this! Had a huge breakfast and suitably fortified with enough calories to feed an army we set off for Lands End just in time to catch the famous 'signpost' being fixed into the ground. Had photos taken underneath it and then began the End to End (a few photos attached) at 9.30am.
Absolutely fantastic first stretch to St Ives along some amazing coastline, dotted with the remains of disused tin mines. Fairly hilly but nothing too bad, and made good progress to a rather over-run St Ives, then picked up the coast road through Hayle, Portreath, Porthtowan (horrible horrible hill out of Porthtowan), Goonvrea and St Agnes to Perranporth where I stopped for lunch. Then on to Newquay, Porth and finally to my first destination Trevvarian, just outside Mawgan Porth.
The route was always going to be hilly, but I don't think I'd realised just how undulating the road was. Basically, it goes like this: every time you come into a coastal town or village the road swoops down an incredibly steep hill to the sea; and then you have to cycle up a monstrous hill to get out! The first time I looked up the hill I was about to climb I thought 'you cannot be serious', but it was. By the end of the ride I knew the score - enjoy the downhills because the road is going to get its own back (the problem is that you can't fully enjoy the downhills because they're so steep you're riding with brakes full on for most of the time!). So, by the time I reached Mawgan Porth, with the rain starting to fall, even though this first day was a mere 60 miles I knew I'd been on a ride.
But it's been a good day. Such incredibly beautiful scenery. Found myself freewheeling down a particularly wonderful stretch of road singing out loud at one point! And by virtue of a fairly short journey today it meant that I arrived in Mawgan Porth early in the afternoon, so after a shower Gill and I headed off for the beach and had a lovely couple of hours strolling around this idyllic place enjoying the sunshine that had now arrived.
To sponsor Adrian on this ride please go to www.justgiving.com/rochestercathedraltrust
Land's End to John O'Groats Bike Ride Update - Route Plan
Adrian starts his End to End Challenge on Wednesday 21st July 2010.
Wed 21st Land's End to Mawgan Porth (gentle start but very hilly along the northern Cornwall coast)
Thu 22nd Mawgan Porth to Great Torrington (again, fairly short distances but people say to take these early days more slowly than you might want to)
Fri 23rd Great Torrington to Bawdrip (getting longer)
Sat 24th Bawdrip to Pandy (now the longer rides really begin)
Sun 25th Pandy to Whittington
Mon 26th Whittington to Burscough
Tue 27th Burscough to Grasmere
Wed 28th Grasmere to Traquair (over the border.......)
Thu 29th Traquair to Auchterarder
Fri 30th Auchterarder to Tomintoul (possibly the hardest day - very remote, very long climbing day)
Sat 31st Tomintoul to Dornoch
Sun 1st Dornoch to Thurso (stopping just short of John O'Groats so that I can guarantee arriving in the light the next day!)
Mon 2nd Thurso to John O'Groats (just a short hop - 20 miles - down the coast)
So, 12+ days, mileage should be about 1050 (we'll see how accurate the books are!). Weather forecast isn't brilliant but can't do anything about that and I'll just have to take what comes.
Start cycling on Wednesday. I have done over 1000 miles in training but still feel done in after I cycle for just 2 hours! I've also been eating like a horse - I'm told you burn between 5-7000 calories each day on a 100-mile ride, so I'm likely to get through about 75000 calories on this journey. Which is a lot of energy bars and a significant amount of pasta!
Land's End to John O'Groats Bike Ride
being undertaken by the Very Rev'd Adrian Newman, Dean of Rochester
When he takes to the roads on 20th July in 2010, The Very Rev’d Adrian Newman will become one of the first English Cathedral Deans to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Why is he doing it?
As part of his Sabbatical during the Summer of 2010, the Dean will cycle a 1,000 mile route from Lands End to John O Groat’s, raising money to support the Cathedral’s music tradition. We hope that 1,000 people will sponsor him a penny a mile for 1,000 miles – this will only cost you £10 but will enable Adrian to hit his target of £10,000 in total. Click here for sponsor sheet.
“Thank you for taking the time to support me as I tackle this 1,000 mile Bike Ride. It’s not going to be easy but I couldn’t have a greater incentive than knowing that every penny that I raise will make a major contribution towards keeping the musical tradition at Rochester Cathedral alive. It would be great to think that the people of Medway and Kent will be supporting me all the way”.
Very Rev’d Adrian Newman, Dean of Rochester
For further information please contact the
Development Office on 01634 810074