Copy of Blog created by Wife
Writing in italics are verbatim copies of text messages sent
Sadly the blog for day one and the first half of day 2 have been lost forever. So we begin with…
Day Two, Fort Augustus to Kilmarnock (251 km), continued
12:11 Bridge of Orchy. Making good time – Go Roy!
13:21 Crainlarich. V tired. Long way to go…
15:56 Balloch. Very busy past Loch Lomond – very fast road, so went very fast but felt strain in knee. Everyone returning from their day out in the country.
16:45 Erskine Bridge across the Clyde in Glasgow – Sat nav determined to tell Roy he was going the wrong way, you know what they are like – worse than the wife! Dual carriage way very busy. Heaven’s opened – loads of rain and spray from the road. Pulled over and sheltered under a tree in someone’s garden. Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen on Day 4 in the built up area. Will be a very long day otherwise.
17:21 Moss Road – closed, but still went through…yes, cyclists are responsible road users…..
18:50 Kilmarnock (one and a half hours ahead of scheduled time). Recognised B&B on the ring road from the 3 windows at the top in the photo. Saved 1.5 miles (who’s counting?) Room is ensuite – which is all you could say about it!
Challenge today – cramming down the calories, just don’t want to eat, so has become a mechanical process.
Running total: 310 miles so far, and one third of the way through…..
Day Three, Kilmarnock to Kendal (241 km)
To go or not to go through the Kirkstone Pass????? We will know by the end of today……
04:15 Awake so decided to leave early…
05:26 Off to invade England
06:34 Feel crap. Crummoch
07:02 New Cumnock
10:10 Dumfries (or thick chips). Still feel a bit sick but it has taken this long to get into the ride and start to feel okay – 96 km in.
12:01 Gretna No propositions yet… (Thank god, mind you, a good looking chap in lycra…..I’m worried…..)
12:18 England! One country down, one to go! 620 km and counting…..
Okay – some summary stats: Roy has cycled through 7 map pages and the total sponsorship currently stands at £660. Go Roy!
For those of you who have queried the clash with the Tour de France…no, not bad planning, first week is usually quiet anyway – all happens in the mountains apparently – and I have set the recorder anyway. Also, Roy wanted to deflect the media attention away from his own exploits, you know what the paparazzi are like…. I don’t think Lance feels threatened….. Interestingly, none of the expert panel in Roy’s cycling magazine listed Lance in the top 5, so….controversial??? What do we say about that? Watch this space, I guess. No doubt, this will become compulsory viewing from Friday. Anyone want to hold a sweepstake on who wins….trip to the US maybe….
If anyone wants to text Roy to keep his spirits up – goodness knows he needs all the support he can get, especially to get through day 3 – his mobile number is ***** ******. Apparently, this is the equivalent for getting through the 13th mile in a marathon. Get through that, and you know you can make it…….(Does anyone know where I can hire any devils with tridents to run alongside….)
Next update tomorrow….
Day Three, Kilmarnock to Kendal (241 km), continued
The saga continues…
14:10 A6 nr high Heskit. Made decision to avoid the Kirkstone Pass – knee not up to it and don’t want to risk the whole journey. Still tweaking on 5-6% hills – Kirkstone Pass is 25%. Will have to save up that challenge up for another day and possibly climb it from all three approaches. Is this man mad? No, don’t answer that question…..
16:19 Shap. Bike chain is wearing and rubbing – stopped at bike store to change but too expensive £43. Roy paid £17 I think before he left. Thought things were cheaper up north…. Chain will make it but it is the damage it may be doing to the other parts….Hoping to get to Kendall before 5:00 and possibly change it there.
16:52 Top of Shap Fell. Same height as Kirkstone but much easier….
17:35 Kendall – End of day three and half way there! (Stuck with old chain…)
B&B – choice of two beds to sleep in, ensuite, kettle, TV and a radiator to dry clothes (my, what luxury, and in the height of summer). Turned radiator on but now feeling fairly warm and stuffy. Need to turn it off before go to sleep. Have been drying clothes in the window up to now.
Sounded really exhausted on the phone, obviously taking its toll, but fortunately, did have a good night’s sleep – nodded off shortly after our phone call around 9:00 leaving the light on and still holding the phone. Woke up realising that he must have fallen asleep type of thing. Alarm woke him this morning which makes a refreshing change. So, sleep is catching up with him.
Day Four, Kendal to Shrewsbury (206 km)
A shorter distance but through built up area of Lancaster, Preston et al on fast roads. Let’s hope the rain stays away.
05:46 Here we go. Legs v stiff
07:19 Dry at present (bucketing it down in Ivybridge…)
07:22 Lancaster. Only battles are the odd hill and the sat nav…
07:40 Phone call eating a pepperami. Breakfast consisted of a brunch bar, a brioche and protein drink – all part of the supplies that he posted to each B&B. Now only eating when hungry – cures the sickness/nausea but not good for getting down energy. Is now building a supply of protein and energy bars – quite heavy but at £1 each is loathe to throw them away. Suggested that he gives them away to other cyclists as a random act of kindness….Used the sat nav through Lancaster but will turn it off now. Will turn it on again in Preston. Glad to report that Roy sounded fairly chirpy at this stage.
08:30 Garstang. Had text from Anne and Rob. Bacon sandwich. (Wow, that’s clever, how did you do that?) ….Meanwhile, I was dropping off a ladybird and dinosaur to school in the rain.
08:47 Fed and watered. Back on the road. (Oh, I see what you mean now…you didn’t actually text him a sandwich….)
11:33 Gmlbourne (Spelling? Does anyone have any clues where he is? Oh, just checked the route – he means Golborne, I think….He does know where he’s going, right…no worries, he did pack a compass. Yeah, just head south Roy and then in a westerly direction….Meet you at Land’s End…)
So, progress continues. Will be two thirds of the way through by tonight, and the sponsorship is growing, now over £700. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get this up to £900 in total to equate to £1 per mile…….Do any of you have any friends……I’m out of options……
More tomorrow….thanks guys.
Day Four, Kendal to Shrewsbury (206 km), continued…
Oh boy, I must have jinxed Roy, or even I have powers I do not know I have….Or maybe it’s Piers’ fault, he called about this time….
c13:00 Receive phone call – Roy is lost! Sat nav has let him down and heading out on A56 to Chester. Eventually, Roy overrides sat nav, gets out compass and cuts across country on B roads and…
14:03 On route, Tarpoley
15:28 Weeing. 20 miles to go. (Well, we did wonder how this was done…rumour has it he finds discreet farm tracks…Is weeing quite often – every 45 mins apparently – possibly because of the protein. Sue (the doctor in this group) can put us straight on this.
17:22 Shrewsbury (after a shower) Day four complete! Made good time – huge tail wind. Terrain not hard, surprisingly flat – long, straight Roman roads. Juggernauts really do blast you along – like a hand stretching out and dragging you.
Not feeling as tired as he thought, possibly because he is stopping a lot more than anticipated. Knee is fine – seems it was worse on day one. Does kick in after about 100 miles. Hasn’t had to take any pain killers en route but does take them overnight to curb any inflammation. Really appreciates the texts and phone calls….”How did they get my mobile number?” I wonder…(blushing)…
Very fussy landlady: “Oh, you’ve got a bike” “Yes, I did say that when I booked and I did ask if there was secure parking for the bike.” “Well, I thought you could just lock it to a post outside” “No”. (Not bloody likely – bike cost c£1,500! What’s she like?) Finally cajoled landlady into letting him store it in the laundry room overnight and gave Roy the key.
Right, before we move on, some facts on nutrition, I know you’re dying to know this stuff. Currently displayed on bed in front of him:
10 brunch bars
9 protein bars
7 energy bars
5 caffeine energy gels
4 energy gels
2 chocolate bars
(and a partridge in a pear tree)
Total: about 5,000 calories. This is the ‘pocket’ food that he’s got to eat just to keep moving. (Must have big pockets to fit a tree in. And I bet the partridge is a wriggler.) Roy should eat around 7,000 to 8,000 calories per day so the balance is made up from bacon rolls, pasties, crisps and other snacks on the road. Recovery drink provides 1,200 calories on completion of the day – ideally should be taken within 20 minutes of finishing that day’s cycle. Pot Noodle (evening meal) provides 500 calories.
Day Five, Shrewsbury to Taunton (245 km)
Not slept well and didn’t want to get up. Very noisy – B&B outside MacDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Guests also very noisy using the bathroom (not ensuite). Heard rap music in the night, in sleepy state, thought it was the alarm and started getting up. Then realised that he does not have a radio alarm. And if he did, it would be radio 2, not rap music. Checked clock – only 1:30 am – car pulled up outside blasting out music, so went back to bed.
05:47 Here we go…
06:51 Church Stretton
08:15 Dogs would love this place…Wooferton
09:25 Nr Hereford – Bacon bap by roadside
10: 25 Phone call – weeing in a wheat field with poppies…(we’ve already covered this….) and applying more sudacream (I’m not going to explain where, I’m sure you know) – now getting very sore. Struggled to find water for first part of journey this morning. Road bypasses towns and can add extra mileage to journey. Dearth of burger vans. Has now found one and topped up with water and food. Done about 90km, just come up stonking great hill and about to turn into A466 for Monmouth.
11:18 Monmouth ARAF! (that’s Welsh by the way…for stop) Responded with Allez! Allez! Allez! I know it’s not Welsh but, hey, it’s foreign! What else is a girl meant to say? Anyone know the Welsh for “Go”….
13:11 Severn Bridge
14:35 Clifton Battery low. Switching off (the phone that is…)
15:23 Nr Bristol Airport….tempting
15:30 Phone call – “I’m lost. I mean really lost and have no idea where I am. (This really is becoming a bit of a habit!) I want to be on A38. Now heading out on A370 to Weston Super Mare. Have turned back and now facing East” (It’s amazing how he thinks I can locate him from that, but find him I did…) It’s that blasted sat nav again…can anyone think of an appropriate name for it? Wallie springs to mind…..Okay, agree route with Roy on map. Turn left onto B3130 and then turn right when hit A38. Called 5 minutes later “Should I have gone immediately right after the semi circle?” “Yes” “Well, I’ve gone back on myself. Will have to do it again.” Clearly mental fatigue is now beginning to make an appearance. Thank goodness there is only 1 day to go. Can’t wait until tomorrow. Go Roy!
16:26 Airport! Extra 20km!
…and I leave you there on that cliff hanger. Will he make it? Can we wait? More tomorrow….
Day Five, Shrewsbury to Taunton (245 km)
I know you are all perched on the end of your seats wanting to know if he made it last night, so without any further ado, let’s continue…..
19:18 Here. It has been a long day today – 165 miles, average speed 14.5 miles per hour.
Roy’s nicknamed the Sat Nav, “Sat Naff”. Mind you, it did redeem itself through Taunton. Roy was too tired to follow his own detailed directions, so set the Sat Nav (sorry Sat naff…) up. Skirted him north of Taunton, then straight through the middle, down some country lanes and brought him out at the exact spot required. Yes, well done! (Although isn’t that what sat nav’s are meant to do? Bring you out at the exact spot required…..) I think this is a bit of a love/hate relationship, don’t you? We’re going to have watch this….
B&B – very comfortable. Very old and is, well, very old. Roy has a suite this time. One room with double bed, one room with lounge and television for general reclining, another room with toilet and basin, and then a separate room for shower. Sheep skin rug alongside the bed. Views of fields and sheep …..Clothes drying in the window….hmm, that distorts the image a bit. Roy’s pushed the boat out tonight and treated himself to an evening meal at the B&B – pasta bake (take that, Pot Noodle…). Hmm, good carbo loading. See, we’re getting the hang of this now…..Roy v. tired though.
Asked me to check the weather. Wind could be a problem today (no, not that sort of wind…) if it blows in from the west – which it could do being a north westerly – and it seems it will get stronger through the day – 8 mph at 07:00 growing to 15mph towards the end of the day with gusts up to 28mph, which has been the pattern over the last few days. But forecast is dry and sunny with some cloud. Been fairly lucky with the weather all told, and tended to avoid the rain. Has cycled through very wet patches and seen rain on the horizon but hasn’t ridden through very much, which is good.
Optimistic about the final day, legs kicked in towards the end of today. (Well, what were they doing before that? I don’t know, you just can’t rely on some people…I thought he was meant to be a cyclist….Legs are kind of vital to that….aren’t they?….)
Day Six (drum roll required), Taunton to Lands End (234 km)
Roy is confident about today. If he maintains same speed as yesterday, he could arrive around 6:00 pm at Lands End (as opposed to the scheduled 8:00 pm). (Buggers up my planning, I tell you…how am I meant to know what time to leave?…) Roughly 15 miles less than Day 5. Have tried to arrange some last minute press coverage, after all this is some achievement, cycling 900 miles without a support car – only a wife at the end of the phone. Hey, I know I’m good but even I have my limitations….
06:00:01 Once more into the breach…..(hey, how’s that for precision timing, my friends, spot on 6 o’ clock, well done Roy….see, practice always makes perfect…..)
06:06 could have slept all day…..
06:36 Devon! (Welcome home, my man)
08:56 Crediton. Really hard today. Looking forward to A30.
10:10 Widdon Down. Phone call. Slowest day by far – eta at Land’s End 9:00 pm. Has met first 25% hill – biggest hill since leaving JOG – up to now, highest was 13%. With weight on the back was really gruelling. (That’s the Devon we know and love….just proves the nature of Devon, rolling hills and all that……) Receiving lots of texts – everyone saying “well done and all that”, but difficult to keep on top of them. Struggling down little lanes – need both hands going up, going downhill need to maintain speed and concentrate (Shouldn’t be trying to read your texts on the move anyway, Roy…Look, mum, no hands……)
Need to sign off now, about to go into a meeting. Will complete blog tomorrow with details on Roy’s victorious achievement.
Day Six (continue the drum roll), Taunton to Lands End (234 km)
Right, where were we my handsomes….
11:58 Kernow! Last county…country…shame it’s so bloody long and thin…..(In-joke here: the Cornish believe that the Tamar River is 5 miles too short and should have cut Cornwall off completely to become it’s own country…)
15:30 Support car leaves Ivybridge to meet Roy
c16:30 Telecon with Roy – at roundabout signposting Truro and Redruth. ETA: Penzance 18:00/18:30, Lands End 19:00/19:30
c17:00 Meet Roy on A30. Fantastic! Looks very smart in his black and gold Gard & Co. kit. (Which, incidentally, Roy loves…doesn’t know how he managed without a gillet before (what a girl!). Apparently, sensitive parts would have been a lot worse off if he had worn some of his existing shorts and padding…) Roy hands over bag from bike, strips off leg warmers and continues. Road very, very busy – dual carriage way: apparently typical of the majority of the journey. Hmmm, don’t overly dwell on this….Play leapfrog until Penzance (waiting in lay by’s) where support car pulls off for a wee and refreshment break (no, we are not resorting to farm tracks…). It is impressive the distance Roy can cover in the time and the hills he is taking in his stride…stupid comment I know, bearing in mind he has just cycled 875 miles already, but you know what I mean. The best I can manage is a 10 mile stretch up the Plym Valley – and that usually takes all day with much puffing required.
18:45 Regroup with Roy on A30 on last 4 mile stretch into Land’s End, trail him all the way. He is looking comfortable and doing well – and to me, the absolute pro.
c19:00 Arrive at Land’s End. Mission accomplished. What a moment!
Okay – let’s reflect…
Glen Coe on Day Two
Cycling into Glasgow on very fast single carriageway in the rain (day two). Cycling up 15% hill between Bickligh and Crediton (Devon, day six), after completing 25% hills on little gravelly lane (that’s Devon for you.)
45 miles per hour coming down the hill out of Bodmin. (That’s Cornwall for you…) Other high speeds, 42mph coming down Barridale (after Navidale) in Scotland on day one, 42 mph coming down Shap Fell, day three
Time in the saddle
70 to 80 hours
Why did you do it?
For the sense achievement.