We did it! On May 19th 2015 my dad and I completed our 1064-mile cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats. In the process we have raised thousands of pounds for charity the Special Care Baby Unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness plus my dad’s charities, The Christie cancer research hospital in Manchester and the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.
LeJoG in photos:
LeJoG in numbers:
1.92 – the number of times we cycled up the height of Everest
55,682 – feet of ascent
1064 – miles cycled
58,309 – calories used on the ride
34.6 – my max speed in mph
17 – consecutive days cycling
62.6 – average daily mileage
89 – longest day in miles
Our route from Land’s End to John O’Groats followed mainly quiet roads, some cycle tracks and short stretches of main roads where it was unavoidable. It made for a good balance between keeping the route as direct as possible while enjoying the best cycling roads and trails. Most of the time we enjoyed very quiet lanes in the countryside and the experience was all the better for it.
If you’d like to see our route in detail, here are the GPX files (bear in mind that these are the actual route taken and therefore include the occasional wrong turning, missing campsites and subsequent detours and visits to people we know along the way!):
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17
Keep up to date with the ride and our fundraising on Twitter @BL6John and #BL6lejog
Why I’m raising money for SCBU
Our two daughters were both born prematurely, which came as a massive surprise – especially the first time. It was the middle of the night after we’d arrived back from the rather remote Isle of Coll when the waters broke. We rushed to hospital in a panic, unsure what it would all lead to. As soon as little Clara was born, she was checked over and taken straight to SCBU; it was hours before we were able to go up and see her. When we first went into the unit, it was a scary experience, with beeps and buzzers going off left, right and centre. We didn’t know what any of them meant and how our little girl was going to be.
The staff at SCBU were amazing, looking after her day and night from intensive care through to the day when we were finally allowed to take her home – a long and exhausting six weeks later.
When Jennifer arrived even earlier than her big sister, we were surprised but by now ready for anything. This time I was able to go up to see her just an hour after the birth – and the first thing the nurse, Alan, said to me as I walked in was: “Oh, you’re back are you? Couldn’t stay away?” It immediately made me feel comfortable and at home despite the emotional and exhausting night we’d just had. Jennifer also stayed in SCBU for six weeks where she also received excellent care from the staff, many of whom feel like part of the family after all that time.
I often bump into some of the staff in and around Inverness, and they are always interested to hear how the girls are doing. Both of them (now aged four and two) are doing well and are not suffering any ill effects from their prematurity (we know we are among the lucky ones) and now we want to help give something back to the unit and its dedicated team of staff. Riding Land’s End to John O’Groats will be tough but it’s nothing compared to what they deal with.
Please comment below or via Twitter to wish us luck or give us encouragement!