Sunday, 29 March 2009


More off-bike preparation on Sunday with a trip to the Outdoor Show at the NEC, £8 for parking - scandalous. Anyway, lots of boy's toys, came away with a second battery for my Freeloader solar charger.
Also spent a while with the 'very nice' Satmap GPS team, they replaced my duff battery pack (see Thursday's blog) and we worked through a lot of the glitches in their web-based planning package. A very worthwhile hour.
Dropped off some sponsor forms in Orpington and Kineton. Left bike helmet at my folk's house - bother. .

Friday, 27 March 2009

Lunch by the 'rustic' river Wandle, Carshaloton Ponds, Bridleway Surrey/Kent border, Keston Fishponds and horses on Wimbledon Common.

Jordan's YH is certainly rustic, very 1930's wooden hut, but perfectly functional.
55 miles today 80% off road which included growing through London. Grand Union Canal for 20 miles all the way to the Thames. The bike barriers aren't wide enough for panniers so it is a bit precarious to lift it over without the bike toppling in.
Safely across the Thames at Kew and down the towpath to the end of the Boat Race at Mortlake, negotiated some real roads to get to Richmond Park and felt chuffed I passed 2 city cyclists.. No Wombles or Wimbledon Common but plenty of rain - didn't last long.
The River Wandle meanders through the rural idylls that are Mordern and Carshalton Ponds. Good place for lunch on a bench. More proper roads in Purley and a proper hill - London is SO flat.
Plenty of Bridleways to get to Keston - one puncture and got to my folks for tea and a bath. . .

GPSed Track "beaconfield orpington"

View my new track "beaconfield orpington" started in United Kingdom, England, Slough.

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

A mere 75 miles today down through the Cotswolds and Chilterns to the Youth Hostel just outside Beaconsfield. It is certainly rustic with a small and sociable set of regular guests (where else can you get a bed for £14?) and Nicola the Warden making me welcome. This-room sleeps 6, but its just me and my bike.

Disaster on the GPS front the lead on the Li-polmer battery broke on the bumps on the Oxford canal towpath and my spare batteries were flat. Added to that my MP3 speaker rubber cover split so I was music-less for a couple of hours. Fortunately at my lunchstop in Thame with Kate I raided Steve toolbox and under sink cupboard for a circuit tester, soldering iron and old rubber glove. Little David helped me after I brided him with choc. Hob-nobs.

Some bizzare sculptures on old railway line towards Princes Risborough. Fully tested waterproofs in the squally showers.
All in all a good day.

GPSed Track "kineton beaconsfied"

View my new track "kineton beaconsfied" started in United Kingdom, England, Leamington.

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Packed panniers for Thursday's trip to Kent, surprised how easily everything went in. Only three of us onthe pub cycle tonight, 26 miles ending at Whatcote, very pleasant.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Fundraising steps up a gear

It's far too windy to go cycling today so I've emailed around my 'begging' email to ex colleagues at Arqiva, Balfour Beatty etc.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Blimey you can even follow me as I cycle in real time - VERY SCARY......

View my new track "Track #3" started in United Kingdom, England, Coventry.

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Trip to Leamington, 31 miles and a beautiful day by the canal. Popped into Mountain Equipment to buy more essentials, waterproofs this time. Managed 10% off buy completing internet survey on trusty phone whilst standing at the till... Every little helps. This is lunch on the Grand Union Canal. Hopefully my GPS tracker is now also blogging where I am ...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Wednesday night

29 Miles to Lower Boddington, good trip
£100 donated so far, that's good news. Starting to send out invites to local friends and neighbours for a Good Friday event. Decided that digging veg patch counted as exercise so spent an hour on that today, saving myself for Wednesday night ride to the pub, more later....

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Fund raising goes LIVE.....

The first wave of carefully crafted begging emails disappeared into the ether, so I 'll await the torrent of support that these will generate. I even managed to get some very smart route maps on the Blog (see links) thanks to Google Maps and some more help from Jonathan (him of the panniers - see below)......

Must do some more cycling today...... bye

Monday, 16 March 2009

Monday bash in the sunshine

Warmest day of the year and 1:32 (6 minutes shaved off previous best) on my 23 mile 'training' circuit. Up Edghill, Shutford, Epwell, Compton Wyngates, Whatcote, Oxhill and home....

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Sunday morning.....

Met up with CORD on Friday and have finished setting up Justgiving web page ready for its launch next week. Also wrote this article for the Kineton village magazine…..

Don't Stop 'till Orkney – charity cycle ride

Little Kineton resident Richard Young is heading off on his cycle to pedal from Lands' End to John O'Groats in April. He plans to clock up over 1,200 miles on his journey raising money for two Leamington based charities. Richard is raising money for NOTDEC which supports the work at an orphanage in Uganda and CORD which works with people affected by violent conflict in developing countries.

"I decided to cycle solo and unsupported staying at Youth Hostels mainly because I don't want to slow anyone else down, and also because I want to explore some of Britain's other extremities. I'll try and get to the The Lizard (S), Ardnamurchan Point (W), Cape Wrath (NW), Dunnet Head (N), Duncansby Head (NE) and Cape Cornwall (Britain's other Cape) whilst I'm out there."

You can follow Richard's daily progress from now until he returns and you can also donate to these charities through his blog or through Jane Hill at St Peter's Church who has a sponsor form.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


30 miles into Warwick and Ruddles at 99p a pint at Lloyds No 1, good trip.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Avleston to Kineton (with a following wind)

As predicted the heavy rain was overnight and Tuesday was a good cycling day - dry, wind behind me. Headed off from the Moore's up the River Severn (cycleway 41), joining towpath for the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal until reacing Gloucester Docks. Skirted around Cheltenham (first day of the Festival) and slowly started climbing towards Winchcome and Broadway. Fish Hill out of Broadway is long and steep, fortunately there is a reasonable path up the old road and then next to the new one so at least I didn't have to vie with the lorries. From the top it was another swoop down and up to reach the top of Illmington Hill then the last 9 miles home through Halford. Total for the day was 75.7 miles and a climb (most of it Fish Hill) of 919 feet.

The Blustery Day

Headed off from Kineton and was surprised by the wind, it didn't stop all day and the 78 miles to Alveston (Bristol) was REALLY hard work. Passed the Four Counties Stone (Ox, Warks, Glous, and Wors) and had lunch sheltering in Northleach church. Even in the wind the Cotswolds were stunning and the drop down to Wooton-under-Edge almost made the 4500 of uphill worth it.
Josh came out to show me the last bit to his parent's house and Tim and Dan were on fine form. Had a great meal with Pete and Adele and slept well.
Both Adele and I moaned that the new BBC weather web site is so much worse than the old one, they have removed the symbols showing temperature and wind and replaced them with text- useless! We must be getting old..

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Thanks to Craig (bicycle repair man) my gears are now sorted and I've borrowed his Haynes book of cycle maintenance so I can spot the difference between a bottom bracket and a loose chainset.

Friday, 6 March 2009

37 miles today around Leamington Spa and Warwick, still tinkering with new gears but they seem to be getting better. Just in case i didn't know where I was...

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Bike serviced....

Collected Trek from John Atkins Cycles (L/Spa)and took it for a 30 mile shake down. New 'external' bottom bracket, cables, jockey wheels, pedals, chain and block all managed to get me home without any of the squeaking I'd got used to, so that was good news. Also came away with some more 'lightweight' goodies for the tools kit, a chain splitter, chain repair link, two spokes (with nipples) and a spoke spanner. My improvised personal hi-fi speaker works a treat, its mounted just behind the handle bars and it connects directly to my phone/MP3/radio gizmo in my crossbar bag. Surprising what you can make with an old light fitting, some batteries, and old speaker, some 'medical grade latex', a bit of plastic card and electrical tape. So I reckon the bike is pretty much ready for the trip - just me to get sorted now. Swift trip over to Gaydon Inn to join the Wedenesday night cyclists for a beer or two.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Bike in for servicing

Dropped trusty Trek bike off for a service, looks like it will need a fair amount of work on it to get it ready for next month. This means that I've not done any miles so far this week.... UM.....