From Land’s End to John O’Groats
16 June 2010
Leading Fire Officer Jon Avery (Security Services) reports on his experience of cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats last month.
“It all started with a drunken idea in a pub – doesn’t it always? My friend Steve and I cycle together a lot and we decided it would be a good idea to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats. We also thought it would be an opportunity to raise some money for a prostate cancer charity, as I lost my father to the disease two years ago.
Seven months later, on 29 May, we set off from Land’s End in the pouring rain. Within hours I had broken a spoke, which then buckled my wheel, meaning that I had to buy a new wheel in Barnstaple. Luckily, the weather improved by the next day, which helped, as we had to navigate two major hill climbs in Devon that definitely tested our legs! Over the next seven-and-a-half days we pedalled on past towns and landmarks including Chepstow, Whitchurch, Sedbergh, Moffat, Loch Lomond, Fort Augustus and Dorach, and finally arrived in John O’ Groats. The hardest thing about the ride was being in the saddle for up to eight hours a day – not so much the physical side as the mental side – as there were some long, straight, boring roads in stretches like Preston to Lancaster, where it was difficult to stay motivated. However, there were also some magical moments. Exmoor and Glencoe in Scotland stand out for me as the scenery was fantastic, the sun was beating down and the climbs and descents were brilliant. All in all it was an amazing experience, and anyone thinking about doing it should stop thinking and get planning! So far we have raised £1,470.”
To support Jon visit: www.justgiving/lejogsteveandjohn