I turned 30 a few months ago and decided it was high time to take on a ridiculous challenge for charity! Being a keen cyclist, the obvious solution was to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE) – I mean how difficult can it be? In retrospect I realise what an easy decision this was to make from the sedentary position of my comfy chair! Unfortunately I’m never one to turn down a challenge and so it all just sort of started happening, I got the bike, I started the training and here I am making the website!
Now, although I’m pretty quick on the weekly Shipham MTB mountain biking ride, this JOGLE is a whooole different kettle of fish aimed right at my weak spot: endurance riding. Tim will never forget me bonking when trying to complete the Mendip Enduro, and it was pretty clear at the point where I couldn’t even turn my legs that I was built for short sprints, not ridiculous distances! So, this could be interesting…
When I first mentioned I had decided to complete the challenge, my wonderful wife, Natasha, immediately offered to support in the car. I think at the time she imagined a whole group of us doing it, with TV and radio coverage and her handing out energy bars and drinks to a super fast peloton of riders. Not so. After most of the Shipham group wimped out, I ended up deciding it would be best to attempt this challenge solo. Natasha was still resolute that she would come along and meet me for lunch and in the evening, whilst undertaking her own tour from the comfort of her Audi.
Finding the right charity was the next step, and I searched for a good long while before coming across Somerset Sight. My grandfather was blind, and I’m very aware of how much of a lifeline charities like Somerset Sight are to people with sight loss. I went to visit the Lina who is the fundraising assistant at the charity and was seriously impressed with all the activities and support they organise. You can find more about Somerset Sight on ‘The Charity’ page or by going to their website.
Its really got to a stage now where this thing is definitely going to happen – the time is booked off, I’ve got the kit and I have been slowly making the scary transition to a roadie (sacrilegious for a mountain biker!). But no, I haven’t yet shaved my legs, and if that happens then I have given instructions to some of my mountain biking friends to take extreme measures…
Knowing that I’m raising money for Somerset Sight has become really important in keeping up my motivation to train for, and complete, this monster ride. Have a read about the charity to see all the good work they do, and I’m convinced you will be happy to part with some of your hard earned cash for this excellent cause! Donations are all via Virgin Money Giving. Give as much or as little as you can – everything will make a difference and it will be a huge boost to see the funds going up as I cycle down the country.
And I have now decided on the exact date: we will be driving up to John O’Groats on the 3rd September, to start the cycling on the 5th, and to finish on the 16th or 17th.