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LEJOGIN7

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Land's End to John O’Groats in seven days. Easy when you say it quickly over a few beers in the pub! Doing it in 7 days meant covering between 196km and 238km daily; being in the saddle for up to 9 and a half hours every day and climbing nearly 17,000 metres. Straddling our bikes for the iconic Lands’ end photo we really didn’t understand how exhausting the coming 7 days would be. It would all be worth it if we raised £10,000 for Aspergillosis and the Balerno High School Tanzania Project
Day 1 from Lands’ end to Crediton (196km: 3,200 metres or 40% of Mount Everest!). All day It seemed there were no flat roads in the south west of England – just climb after climb followed by blind descents. But the excitement of getting started sustained us on day 1 while we each harboured our own worries about the journey. 
Day 2 to Ross on Wye (213km: 2,533m). A considerably less hilly day – though it didn’t feel that way. Was it the climb through Cheddar Gorge or the stunning scenery that took …

Nerves before LEJOG

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DONATE HERE TO BHS TANZANIA PROJECTBike ready. Fig rolls, malt loaves, gels and protein bars ready. Hydration sorted. More than 4,500 km training completed already this year. So why am I so nervous?
On Sunday July 7thAndy Hoggarth, John Grindley and I will head off on our LEJOG challenge. This wasn’t really supposed to happen. But a beer fuelled pub conversation is about to become very real. 7 days. 1500km cycling. And enough climbing to do Mount Everest 1.75 times. 


No day will be less than 190km. To put that in context until April this year I have never cycled more than 185km and that was once in May 2018. Now I will cycle distances ranging from 190km to 250km for 7 consecutive days. 
I don’t remember being this nervous when I set out on my 2,100km cycle on the Wild Atlantic Way over 15 days in Ireland. Is it because the daily distances are much longer? Maybe. Is it because there is so much climbing? Maybe. Is it because of doubts about being able to keep up with Andy and John? Probab…

Help Duncan Watson and his S5 and S6 friends build a house in Tanzania

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DONATE HERE TO BHS TANZANIA PROJECT Ten of us are travelling to Tanzania next summer, and all of us are really looking forward to it. We are eager to experience a new culture, to see new sights, to meet new people. But we are also eager to help those who need it most.






When we go over for two weeks next summer, we will spend most of our time there helping to build a house for a very poor family, who may be living on less than £1 per day. We will mix cement, move bricks, and dig foundations. We will also spend some time with local Tanzanian families, learning about their culture and way of life. 



However, halfway through the project, we will also have an unmissable opportunity to go on safari in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, where we will (hopefully) see lions, giraffes, and other wild animals that we usually only see in zoos. 

To do all this, we desperately need your support. Most of the money we raise will be used to buy building materials and pay local workers. Please donate using…

BARTON V PANTON – THE RACE TO BE AN IRONMAN

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While Andy, John and I are putting the final touches to our preparations to our LEJOG challenge, Warren Barton and Jim Panton are locked in a battle to become an “Ironman” on June 30thin Frankfurt. Both have been cycling, running and swimming virtually every waking moment for what seems like years. (Hint don’t ask either of them about the event or you will be subjected to a monolog on triathlon training for what may seem like hours…you have been warned). 
Everything has been planned down to the last detail but both continue to allege that are not competing to beat the other. Just 5 minutes with them reveals a different reality. Even the psychological battle has been joined on WhatsApp with Warren musing about his propensity to add distance to his swim and Jim wondering aloud if Warren might “blow up” after going out too hard on the bike!
Jim is expected to win the swim - a snip at 3.8km (…

Heaven sent

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DONATE HERE TO BHS TANZANIA PROJECTDONATE HERE TO ASPERGILLOSIS With just 3 weeks left to the start of our LEJOG challenge I decided to spend a weekend in Ireland - home. The idea of 4 seasons in one weekend was never more apt. Beautiful blue skies on Saturday delivered beaches better than the mediterranean but with a fraction of the people. Surfing, not cycling, is the sport of preference around these places but with a long Sunday cycle I was not tempted.



Since we decided it would be a weekend just for Denise and I that meant I could do what ever I wanted on father’s day! What else but a Sunday morning cycle in some of Ireland’s most beautiful and rugged scenery. When I asked Declan at Westport Bike Hire what the weather would be like on Sunday his answer didn’t fill me much hope. Sun, wind and monsoon rain as a description probably wouldn’t have helped his hire pitch!



If it had been blowing a gale with torrential rain nothing would have stopped me cycling on Father’s day. Louisburgh…

John Grindley thinks training is like fighting with a gorilla...

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LeJoG Route
Lands’ End to John O’Groats is 603 miles as the crow flies. In a car it could be done in as “little” as 814 miles - but that involves motorways and other roads that cyclists aren’t allowed on. In truth, even if this route was possible, it would be a soulless way to cycle from one end of Britain to the other. Far better to cycle with style and travel on quiet roads taking in the more scenic parts of the UK. However there comes a point where style has to collide with the practical realities of life (in much the same way that my hairstyle in the 90’s had to go for the sake of gaining meaningful employment) and so we were forced to take account of constraints such as holiday from work and the fact that some scenic places were well off route. Wikipedia says most cyclists do it in 10 to 14 days and the traditional (not stylish enough) route is 874 miles – we had about 5 days off work to play with so adding in the weekends at either end gave us 9 d…

A test of body and mind

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Preparing for our 1,500km 18,000 climbing challenge from Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) is no easy feat. Finding weekends that work for Andy, David and John is hard enough. Overlay that with getting already stretched holidays from work and negotiating even more time away from domestic responsibilities makes the cycling seem easy!
We decided to attempt a long weekend in May cycling a Scottish equivalent of LEJOG from Stranraer to John O’Groats. The idea of our “STJOG” was to simulate our last three days of the main event. Holidays, weather and other general commitments put paid to our best laid plans. So we reduced the trial to 2 days covering as much distance and climbing as possible. Even that was a challenge. 
Day 1 started about 6.30 am for breakfast and in John’s case walking Leo the dog. We were on the road by 7.50. Andy couldn’t join us in the Dumfries and Galloway so he started in Balerno and rode …