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John O?Groats to Land?s End Charity Cycle Ride (May 25th 2006)
(and yes we are nervous!!!)
Chris Abbott John Fremlin Chris Royce Anthony Strong

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This section will contain daily accounts of our journey, and hopefully some photos! As we travel we plan to keep a diary of the days events including the highs and lows. No doubt including some ammusing colamities along the way!

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(Day 13)   The final stretch! Posted by: Chris Royce

With only 30 miles to land's end it wasn't unreasonable to assume we'd make it there in approx 3hrs. We covered 15 miles in little over an hr, it's looking good! However what we forgot to account for was john getting yet another puncture! This took over an hr to change due to complications with a slime tube. To our amusement a woman cycling passed, boasted how she never got punctures as she had a slime tyre. Ironically this was the root of john's problem! Eventually we hit lands end! Yay!

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(Day 12)   Nice easy ride and a beach bbq. Posted by: Chris Royce

Well today was our second last day. As we were travelling through the hills of cornwall we decided to travel small distances each day. However to our surprise the terrain has highly over estimated. The hills were nothing compared to that of scotland. We zoomed through arriving in perranporth by six. After finding an instant bbq,a butchers and an off licence, we headed for the beach. A good chilled evening ready for our final day tomorrow. Total distance 46 miles.

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(Day 11)   A cure, and some navigational madness! Posted by: Chris Royce

After a massive breakfast we headed into town (crediton) in search of a bike shop. Visited shop named "the bike shed" who cured my bike rot! Apparently the cause was some dangerously loose spokes! Later that day whilst i was tuning my gears, abbott's unattended bike randomly exploded with a puncture!no idea what caused it! We had debate re route. Whether a road or b road. B road was choosen. However when we arrived at
Bostcastle we found that 3 miles climbing was avoided with a road. Annoying!

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(Day 10)   Quite possibly our worst start yet! Posted by: Chris Royce

John and i stayed at a separate travel inn. We left early and arranged to meet the other two at a nearby halfords in a hope to cure my bike rot (a dodgy creaking sound). Halfords weren't much help so we just waited for the other. It wasn't until about 1030 when they arrived, slackers :p. Due to the late start and tricky navigation we only completed 10 miles before lunch,1330! Leaving 80. Fortunately the ride was very flat so we picked up the pace and made it despite our terrible morning start.

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(Day 9)   Our longest day ever! Posted by: Chris Royce

Well today was as expected a beast of a ride. A total of 110 miles and 7.30 riding time. The lovely lady at the b&b washed our clothes for us which was awesome. We decided to give our bikes a service today and used a tonne of oil greasing them up. At the end of the evening john and i scored a steak and a beer (around 2200). I think the pint went straight to john's head, it wasn't long before he was a little worse for wear. Was a generally long and tiring day, still got 90 tomorrow though!


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(Day 8)   The mission to shrewsbury! Posted by: Chris Royce

Well first off sorry for the delay regarding updates. We've been seriously tired but now we're on the final straight with only a bit to go. Well day 8. I decided i fancied absolutely missioning it to shrewsbury. I left the others around 1600 and pretty much raced the 30 miles. As for the others they got caught up behind a road accident involving a rolling range rover. We also paid 7.50 for a english breakfast at the travel inn which was a joke! 94miles 14.5mph ave and all is good.582miles
Done.

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(Day 10)   Missing text messages Posted by: Chris Royce

It would appear that my phone is being quite rubbish and failing to send and receive texts randomly. So if you sent something and i didn't reply it's prob because i didn't receive it, or that my reply wasn't sent correctly. Anything urgent please ring. Ant is also experiencing the same problem. Cheers all!

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(Day 10)   Missing text messages Posted by: Chris Royce

It would appear that my phone is being quite rubbish and failing to send and receive texts randomly. So if you sent something and i didn't reply it's prob because i didn't receive it, or that my reply wasn't sent correctly. Anything urgent please ring. Ant is also experiencing the same problem. Cheers all!

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(Day 7)   A photo finish! Posted by: Chris Royce

Well we had five wheel changes today, three punctures, five inner tube changes and two tyre changes. We lost a good 3hrs today just messing around sorting probs. It got to 1700 when we realised we had 50 miles to go and were running out of light. We absolutely missioned it and made it in for 2200 just as light faded. Close. Lot's of random things will update when i find an internet cafe. Also happy b-day to abbot today!
Till tomorrow. :)


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(Day 6)   Our best day yet! Posted by: Chris Royce

England woo! We finally arrived in england around 1700 after making record time. Averaging around 15 mph for the whole 90 miles. John and i finally got round to watching x-men 3. Awesome film by the way. It took us a staggering 2.45lhrs to leave the hostal. We also wasted 1 hr on punctures too. Still good time though some how. Until the next update. Chris.

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(Day 5)   Day 5 Proper Update Posted by: Chris Royce

Well today was one of the best weather days we've had so far, starting off generally sunny, and very little wind. The terrain was also pretty much all downhill for about 30 odd miles which was great!

Unfortunatly due to the idea riding conditions some of us decided to take it easy whilst others decided to race ahead and exploit the good conditions. Abbott and I decided to take the first of the two options and take it easy, making today an almopst recovery day. However there was a problem with this, Abbott had the map and although we were heading to Glasgow we wanted to avoid the dual carrage ways and follow a lovely cycle path. Unfortunatly for John And Anthony they forgot about this and took the dual carrage way. Which although quicker meant that they arrived into Glasgow about 2hrs before us!

This then spawned about 1hr of trying to find each other, considering Glasgow is quite big and the fact that neither of us knew exactly where we were. We found each other eventually and headed off to our destination "New Lanark".

During which Abbott seamed to have obtained a skill of attracting random locals who want to tell them all about their random wonders and thoughts. Ironally Abbott has near to no interest in this, due to the fact that often during these long chats he gets involved in we are tired, lost, and hungry!

Anthony also managed to successfully use his Air Horn on his bike for it's first practical use ever! Although it was on a rather young child, he was clearly in the wrong and nearly took all four of us out! He was taking a rather dangerous downhill route (non-offical) which passed directly across our cycle path on which we were averaging a healthy 20mph. Should be have passed only a moment sooner, all of us would easily have been taken down.

This that's it so far, This is the first time we've actually had internet since day 1. Turns out that a hostal offering Internet, doesn't actually mean it is always working, infact more often that not, it isn't.

Cheers people.

Chris.

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(Day 5)   Too tired for update! Posted by: Chris Royce

Weather was great. Lots happened will post more details tomorrow. Arrived well late, the problem was that we were looking for a hostal that we didn't know the name of, nor where it was and not even a phone number. Strangly we found it. But we're all shattered.

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(Day 4)   A very nice ride overall! Posted by: Chris Royce

Well today was our longest ride yet. Total of 92 miles in about 7 hrs of cycling. The massive hill/mountain didn't see it? Either we went another way or it was totally overrated. We actually had some nice weather too! No net or signal yesterday so late update. But we're all doing ok! More to post soon.


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(Day 3)   Two punctures and a very steep hill. Posted by: Chris Royce

Well today was a little easier than yesterday. A lot more flat and at least we had some sun in the morning. Ant got a puncture, early. Then managed to puncture another tube straight after. But we got going shortly after. We encountered a 15% down hill for 3/4 mile. Scary! Although john being the adreniline junkie that he is, raced down, leaving cars in his dust! Nutter! Tomorrow brings our biggest hill of our ride? 2miles gaining 1000ft. That's steep! Cya.

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(Day 2)   Well someone stacked it! Posted by: Chris Royce

Unfortunately that person was me! Only a minor, but still worty of some abuse from the others! Well today was our first proper day and it was quite intense. Not so much the distance but the weather was terrible! We had our first massive hill on which john got a puncture. Luckily his quick handy work had him back on the road within 10 minutes. Unfortunately this beast off a hill was quickly out done but the real hill which was huge! made the previous like a bump in the road! Take it easy people!

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(Day 1)   Well our first day (be it an easy one) Posted by: Chris Royce

Well today we rode from Thurso -> John O'Groats -> Wick. It was only a 40 mile ride so we hardly expected it to be a challenge. We arrived at John O'Groats around 12:00 after a rather late start (we had to build our bikes afterall), and did the usual tourist stuff (photos, etc).

The beginning of the actual ride wasn't actually as dramatic as you'd think. We all lined up at the start line, and road about 5meters before deciding that John O'Groats would be an idea place for a spot of lunch! A well deserved break we thought!

We invested in some rather unusual square sausags with chips, which were some how considered a traditional scottish dish, although preapared in a snack van on some dodgy looking grill. They did the trick though, although Chris Abbott branded them as a poor mans burger!

John succesfully managed to gain three points! A point is awarded when for un-necessary stopping, ie chain falling off, person falling off, etc! All three of John's points in this case were for his chain coming off, (we believe to be an opperator error rather than a mechanical one!)

We also have decided the map is dead weight, we travelled 40 miles today, which apparently spanned across 15 pages. Despite this, the first page still remained on the front of Abbott's map case. To be honest, we're just going to stick with heading south, chuck the rest of the map, and just buy a compass!

Tomorrow is our first real day, with a predicted 70 miles, and some rather un-even terrain!

Todays stats:
Path: John 'O Groats -> Wick
Time: 1.30hrs
Milage: 17.5miles

See you tomorrow, (Photos soon!)

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(Day 0)   Well we're finally here!! Posted by: Chris Royce

Well what a mission it was today, 14hrs of travelling and plenty of comic events already. Considering we haven't even started cycling, god knows what to expect then! We've also decided that we have an additional agenda for tomorrow (Day 1), it turns out this is the release date of X-Men 3, and unfortunately can't be missed! None of us can be bothered with the hassle of returning home to hear everyone telling us about it before we've seen it. Luckly tomorrow is only a 40 mile day, so we should easily be able to fit it in.

So lets begin..

Well, as any frequent flyer carring a bike will know, you need to make sure that the bike is A) In a bike box, and B) Has the pedals removed. John decided he would ignore these rules and brand them pointless and an un-necessary waste of time. We arrive at the airport and end up smashing a tiny pedal spanner with the end of a D-Lock in a desperate attempt to free the pedals. With little success it would seam. Meanwhile john goes in search of a bike box, which he had been promised to be available at the airport and sufficient for bike transport. John returns with a flat packed cardboard box which cost the handsome sum of £18. Good money well spent I say, although the box, being a box provided little/no padding. We gave up with the pedals in the end and just shoved the whole thing in there and hoped for the best!!

While john was messing around with the bike box, Anthony and I loaded our bikes and returned our trollies (which we'd used for our bike bags). Upon returning my trolly I noticed a bag attached to a trolly (which had been parked) looking a lot like Anthonys. I took a chance and took it with me. Sure enough Anthony had decided he no longer wanted his clothes for the journey, and instead decided to abandom them in the middle of the airport! He was rather glad I'd spotted it to be honest.

John also successfully managed to get pulled aside at the x-ray machines, a rare honor! John had decided to pack a rather large spanner in his hand luggage which resulted in a full bag search where everything was tipped out over the desk!

Getting the train from Inverness to Thurso also presented it's own unique problem. It turned out that the train conductor rather disliked cyclists using the train. This sounded rather stupid as surely everyone doing the end-to-end ride must come through here! He kicked up a massive fuss initially refusing us to board with our bikes. Eventually he backed down to pressure from 4 angry guys with bikes refusing to move. Although everytime he walked up and down the carrage during the 4hr train journey he mutted under his breath how much "hassle" we were apparently causing.

Lasty Chris A had to iron his T-Shirt up here, but somehow managed to iron one of the templates upside down. Nice Work! After a lot of mocking from the rest of us, he laughed and said he'll make sure not to make the same mistake. 10mins later I hear a cry from the other room. Sure enough he'd managed to iron another 2 logos upside down. Don't worry there will be some nice photos of his work!

Anyway we're here now, so all is good, going to sleep shortly in preparation for tomorrow.

Had a nice internet cafe to write this on, so depending if i'm on my phone or not expect these comments to vary in length considerably.

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(Day -4)   This is the first wap update test. Posted by: Chris Royce

Well only a couple of days to go now. I only hope that we have done enough training and that everything runs smoothly. I think i have everything and i'm packed and ready to go. This was the first official wap test, in case we can't find an internet cafe. :)

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(Day -12)   A busy day for the postman! Posted by: Chris Royce

Well it's all finally arrived, about 8 packages in all!

There's certainly a lot of kit, and I still have more to order!




Cheers

Chris.

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(Day -13)   We Have A Poster Posted by: Chris Royce

Have uploaded a poster for the ride, feel free to check it out and print it.

We're doing our best to raise money, if you can help, that's even better!!

Download Poster

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(Day -14)   Ebay Madness Posted by: Chris Royce

Ok just been on a mad ebay spending spree for the bike ride, I really need to stop, found myself buying all kinds of rubbish.

CATEYE ASTRALE 8 RR WHEEL MOUNT CYCLE COMPUTER
DELTA POST PORTER RACK/CYCLE RACK/PANNIER RACK
PANNIER BAG TRIPLE & BACK PACK FREE CARRIER
750ML ALUMIMIUM DRINKING BOTTLE
Cycle/Cycling MTB Gloves Reinforced Padded Palm
2 X PLASTIC HOODED RAIN PONCHO
MINI BICYCLE PUMP CYCLE / BIKE PUMP
TRIANGLE BICYCLE BAG
BICYCLE MIRROR
16 IN 1 BICYCLE REPAIR TOOL

Oh and a bike bag. I wonder what tomorrow will bring!!!


Chris


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(Day -17)    Posted by: Chris Royce

Well 17 days to go!

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