Bike Ride Day 12 - 1st August 2010
Arrived JOG at 3.30pm, now in Thurso chilling out before driving home tomorrow. Wrote my entry in the book at JOG next to someone who had written "End to End in 11 days - never again" and felt exactly the same sentiment!
Bike Ride Day 11 - 31st July 2010
No wireless again! Another long day and nearly a disaster towards the end when I arrived in Cromarty for the ferry to Nigg only to find the owners had sold it and the new one hadn’t arrived. Only way round was 60 mile detour and I’d already done 70 with a further 25 to go. Was saved by an unlikely Good Samaritan who ferried me across in his tiny boat bailing out water all the time. I could have hugged him!
Arrived tired and wet again – it’s rained every day bar one.
Tomorrow the forecast is bad again – driving rain and a head wind. I just want this to be over now – I have never done anything so physically and mentally challenging in my life.
Bike Ride Day 10 - 30th July 2010
Wasn't looking forward to today and felt very intimidated by the Cairngorms, but as often is the case the day turned out better than expected. Got up early and managed to get through my morning routine (to set up the bike, hydrate, eat a good breakfast, pack up stuff for the car, and stuff for my backpack - all of which takes AGES!) in order to be away for just after 7.30am. Good initial run to Cally Bridge, which is where you start to climb - for the next 60 miles. Met Jack at the Spitall of Glenshee and we shared the sandwiches he had brought, then he took his own bike off the rack and cycled 5-6 miles with me, which was great - ending up cycling the hill enormous up the Spitall, at which point he turned back and I carried on alone. Scenery was even more stunning than ever, with the run between Braemar and Balmoral some of the loveliest country I've ever seen.
Nodded respectfully at the Queen (the flag was flying at Balmoral) and then headed up towards Tomintoul for the most ENORMOUS hills after Cock Bridge. Just couldn't believe how steep and long they were! By the end of it my legs were complete jelly, but by that time it was only another 6 miles to Tomintoul and I gratefully sank into an amazing bath when I got to our B&B. This 100 miles was some of the toughest and yet most beautiful cycling I've ever experienced. Only 2 days to go now.
The end is in sight, and whatever the wind, weather and hills tomorrow I know that if I can just reach Dornoch then there will only be a single day left. I really appreciate all the messages of support from people - at the difficult times they are all that keeps you going.
Bike Ride Day 9 - 29th July 2010
Still no wireless again and only a limited mobile signal! Today started with another 1000 foot climb but the views were amazing. Cycled through Edinburgh and across Forth Bridge and then up to tonight’s stop Auchterarder. Very tired and tomorrow threatens to be hardest yet – 45 miles from here I hit the Cairngorms and I’ve got another 60 miles cycling in territory the guide describes as VERY STRENUOUS. Not looking forward to it. May be an even shorter message tomorrow!
Please support me in my End to End Challenge www.justgiving.com/rochestercathedraltrust
Thank you so much!
Bike Ride Day 8 - 28th July 2010
I’m using Jack's blackberry so will be slow and short! Really hard work these last few days, especially today. Climbed twice the height of Ben Nevis and cycled 100 miles today. Weather continues to be demoralising and probably came as close as possible to giving up earlier on today. Motto has had to be: that which does not destroy me strengthens me. Scenery of Lake District wonderful, and today I reached Scotland. Lots of hills and my route took me through isolated, desolate but beautiful country.
Kept going by wonderful text messages from friends. Legs tonight sore and stiff but I hope this may have been my lowest point and now I'm through it. We shall see! Last night we were in Grasmere where Jack met me. Tonight in Traquair. Sorry not a long write up but no wireless up here and this keypad is tiny!