Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Thank You!

13 days, 1480km, and 701420 wheel revolutions after setting off from John O’Groats, we arrived safely at Lands’ End, just in time for the sun to come out for this photo!​

We would like to thank you again for your support with this challenge, and thanks to your generous donation, we also reached our £3000 fund raising target!
With the gift aid added, the money raised comes to over £3600! This will help to provide over 100 physiotherapy sessions and other brilliant services and advice the Chilterns MS Centre offers to people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Day 13 - Bodmin to Lands End

We made it!
After a lovely evening at the Nichols/Cannaby residence and the reality of only 68 miles to go, our final morning preparations finished with with a  nespresso toast and celebratory selfie with Bea and Ruby the Dog.
With no severe weather warnings issued, it was t-shirts on and heads down as we cycled out of Bodmin and onto our scenic A30 avoidance route past St Michael's Mount and through Penzance to Lands End. 
St Michael's Mount
Fuelled by fruity malt loaf!
Newlyn Harbour
Fiona's best mouse impression!
Almost there!
Then after a rather indirect but pretty route along a winding cycle path, we had finally made it!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Day 12 - Crediton to Bodmin

Big Bertha and the Beast of Bodmin. 
Today was a good day for kite flying rain collectors, but a bad day for JOGLE cyclists. 
We tried our best to prolong the inevitable by eating honey and admiring the innovative breakfast honey spoon, however there is only so much honey one can consume, and our time had come to face the inevitable penultimate day!
True to fashion, the MET office got their prediction correct, and we set off straight into the howling wind and rain. 
In a bid to avoid the traffic on the notorious A30, we instead chose a more scenic route through the adjacent countryside. Unfortunately, we slightly underestimated the amount of hills we would have to tackle, and these combined with gale force winds and heavy rain made for a very challenging 6 hours of cycling.
We did pass some clever animal topiary, which of course deserved a novelty photo.
And we braced ourselves across the super windy Bodmin Moor. I wondered who would be trading dogs up there? 
Then I noticed the full stop!
Eventually we arrived at Bodmin and Fiona set about on her hunt for the beast. The sun was beaming but our legs were not. 
Tonight we are staying with our friends Emma and Chris. 
We didn't find the beast of Bodmin, but we did find a cute little Lakeland Border cross called Ruby. 
Last day tomorrow!!

Day 11 - Cheddar to Crediton

Sausages and the Donkey Whisperer
After a night in the cell, we were thankfully released just in time for a hearty breakfast.
Among other areas of stimulating conversation such as "what will the weather be today?" and "what's for lunch", breakfast chit chat has more recently been directed around the quality of the sausages. As we have endured our journey, one thing has been certain - wherever you are, the overall quality of a B&B is directly proportional to the quality of sausage served at breakfast, some of the best of which were served up today (as opposed to Thursday morning's that were like eating rubber fingers). Upon further research it appears the minimum meat content for a pork sausage is 42% (down to 30% if you remove the word pork from the labelling). We discussed our findings with the owner and she rather proudly revealed hers were the 93% ones made from Prince Charles' pigs. Needless to say, they were gorgeous. :-P
Anyway, packed and ready (or so I thought) there was time for a morning pose before we set off for a day in the saddle. 
Little did I know however, all that talk of sausage made me go a little do-lally and I cycled off with only one glove on! Thankfully it was only for about 1/2 mile, so we hastily returned to where I was reunited with my little friend. 
The sun was shining and it was a lovely morning cycling through the rolling hills of Somerset. 
Then we came across a herd of donkeys. 
One thing that always surprises me is how Fiona has an uncanny ability to charm/talk to animals, and it wasn't long before they were intently listening to her telling them about her day and asking them what they have been up to. Clearly my conversation was not good enough for her anymore!
Fast forward a few hours and we arrived in Crediiton. Hoorah. 
This evening we had arranged to meet up with our friends Jess and Jonny and their super cute little girl Ellie!
It was a lovely meal, and as always it was great to catch up with them.
So what will the weather be like tomorrow MET office?
Uh oh!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Day 10 - Hereford to Cheddar

Brain says GO Legs say NO!
After the usual 7:00 feast, our morning routine then involves manhandling our
stuff onto the back of our bikes. After a couple of near losses on the first few days, we have now perfected the art of strapping our main bag and dry sack onto our racks using what is referred to as the reverse straddle technique.  
The weather, like us today, started off rather grizzly! We were both exhausted and struggled to get our legs moving as we slowly made our way out of Heredfordshire and into Wales and towards Monmouth.  
Where we came across Monmouth School's rather interesting motto!
We love cycling through beautiful forest flanked roads, and there were miles of them as we neared Tintern Abbey. 
Then it was back across the Severn Road Bridge back into England. 

Through to the River Avon path
And a lot of painful miles later we came across a cycle path tunnel complete with flashing lights!

Fish and chips tonight!
Only 3 days to go!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Day 9 - Whitchirch to Hereford

No pain no gain
The relentless amount of exercise is starting to take its toll on our bodies. I am in a constant state of muscle ache and watching me go down stairs is proving quite an entertainment for Fiona! Sadly her left patella tendon was causing her some trouble today :(

After another look at the rather amusing card Norma sent us, we hobbled down the stairs to devour yet another three course breakfast.  
It was then onto the A49 which would be our home for most of the day cycling cheek to cheek with a disproportionate amount of lorries and tractors! A little daunting.
A view from the cockpit.

Thankfully, a detour to Church Stretton was a welcome break from the gauntlet and Evelyn and Alan whipped up a mean selection of ham sandwiches. 
After lunch it was back to the A49 despite it being rather busy, we did keep up a good average speed and were making good time and the route did take us off a couple of times to pass through some pretty villages and scenery. 
Almost there. 
It was a hot day today and our clothes were a bit stinky! Luckerly we packed a washing line. 
In the evening we met Livia and treated ourselves to a lovely meal in the strangely named pub - the spread eagle. 
Sorry Livia I know this photo looks like you head has been cut out and re-attached to your shoulder!!
Hopefully Fiona's knee will be better tomorrow. 








Day 8 - Preston to Whitchurch

Cars and Cows
For the best part of the morning we did our best to navigate through the rather busy streets of Preston and through the surrounding villages to Warrington where we had arranged to catch up with Aunty Thelma, Uncle Henry and Cousin Helen (and her 2 boys).
It was great to see them and after gorging ourselves on toasted sandwiches and buttered scones we dragged ourselves off the sofa for the second half of the day's route down towards Whitchurch. 
The air was certainly different to what we have become used to over the past week and as we crossed the river Mersey, the fresh smell of landfill contrasted beautifully with the industrially scenic backdrop. 
As we cycled towards Whitchurch we couldn't believe how many cows there were in the adjacent fields!
We were warmly greeted by Jack the Jack Russell!
All those cows inspired our choice of dinner - 10oz rib eye steaks. Yummy.