14 year old member Tom Andrews spent part of his holiday riding the iconic route from Lands End to John O’Groats and raising funds in memory of his friend Adam Green who passed away in 2012 aged 14, after a 3 year battle with cancer. He is raising money for ‘The Emily Ash Trust’, a small local charity who aim to improve the quality of life for young people suffering from cancer whilst providing support for their families. He has a ‘Just Giving’ web page and exceeded his aim of raising £1000. Please see the foot of the page if you would like to add to Tom’s total. You may be pleased to know that the club has also made a donation. Tom has written a report below, this appears on our Facebook with some photos.
“On the 27th July my Dad and I packed our panniers and travelled by train to Penzance. After a night in a youth hostel we cycled the 9 miles to Lands End for the compulsory photo,, then headed off on stage 1, 87 miles along the north Cornwall coast to Boscastle, via Padstow where we crossed the river by ferry. Day 2 was a very hilly day along the north coasts of Devon and Somerset where we tested our hill climbing ability in Lynmouth and Porlock, eventually ending up in Minehead. The next day we set off early for our longest stage of 134 miles which would take us to the Welsh border. By now the roads, fortunately, were much flatter apart from one incredibly steep hill climb which made Ditchling Beacon look easy!! (1:4 for a mile) The highlight of day 3 was crossing the Severn Bridge out of Bristol. We continued along the Welsh border up to Liverpool where we were to discover we were too late to catch the last ferry across the Mersey. Fortunately after 8pm we were aloud to cycle through the Queensway Tunnel to reach our Travelodge…Luxury!! Day 5…back into hilly terrain, accompanied by northern rain, which we had managed to avoid up until now!! After 97 miles we arrived in the Lake District with a lovely view of the sun setting over Lake Windermere. We woke up the following day to discover that the rain had taken its toll on the supposedly waterproof Garmin so we would now have to rely on our old-fashioned map reading skills!! The roads were stunning as we rode through the Lake District, especially riding over the Kirkstone Pass. Soon after lunch we were excited to reach Scotland. At first thought it seemed as though we were nearly there, but we were only just over half way, with another 450 miles to cycle. Day 7 was wet. We cycled 120 miles through southern Scotland and passed Glasgow. Coincidently this was the same day as the Commonwealth Games road rides but unfortunately we had no time to stop and spectate. For the first time since we started, the ride felt more like hard work than pleasure. Eventually we reached Loch Lommond and managed to keep going knowing that our Youth Hostel in Crainlarich was only a hill away. We were now entering the beautiful, but hilly, roads of the Scottish Highlands, and yet more rain!! We set off at our usual 8am after our usual giant bowl of porridge. Navigating was now easy…the A82 all the way to Inverness. We passed through Glencoe and met up with my Mum and sister who were staying near Fort William. They made us bacon roll,s which I had been dreaming about for days, and dried our soggy socks and gloves before we continued to Inverness passing Ben Nevis and Loch Ness. Day 9…only 2 shortish days to go. The last 2 days were very enjoyable with quiet roads and good opportunities to see the local wildlife. We finally arrived at John O’Groats on 6th August in the pouring rain, 1021 miles later.
It was an amazing experience and we had a lot of laughs along the way but above all we have managed to raise over £1400 for the Emily Ash Trust to date. A big Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this memorable journey. I’m now busy dreaming up next years challenge!!
I have attached some pictures of us along the way and if anyone still wishes to donate please visit the following ‘Just Giving’ page.”
Tom and Mark