John O Groats to Lands End

  Diemmess 20:43 28 Apr 2011

By push-bike.

The task seems to be done every day by someone and I've always wondered what motivates such a daft stint.

Now with a sense of pride I know a lot more than I did of what is involved. Two of my grandsons with three equally strapping friends are pedalling South (downhill). They started with a short run from the "top", to Wick on their first day. Since then, they have ridden about 100 miles each day and tonight reached Bristol.

They booked overnight stops at the beginning and had a route planned well in advance. All are working for a living these days, took a few days holiday, and financed themselves.

They are sponsored and hope to collect £1000+ for Severn Area Rescue Association and the Midland Air Ambulance.

Today some of their families met them in sunshine in the Wye Valley by Tintern Abbey for a brief watering stop. Okehampton tomorrow evening and Landsend on Saturday.

Quite by chance they arrived last Sunday evening in Glasgow after the Celtic/Rangers match. I asked one Grandson any bother? Some bods threw stones at them as they were crossing a road, and a drunk threw chips.

Apart from a sense of pride at what these young men are doing, the elder brother set up Google Latitude for me and I have been able to track them all the way or most of it. Things can go stationary if triangulation cant work (one or more souces too weak, and I saw at times they were in the middle of Loch Lomond and today were suddenly 30 miles east of track and on the M50!

So.... this weekend they will party with others who will collect them before coming home to work next week.

It makes me feel grand to have people I know pull off a physical challenge like this. They seem to have had kindly weather and so far only one puncture and a replacement wheel when a spoke broke, slowing progress until a new wheel could be obtained.

  peter99co 23:10 28 Apr 2011

They could grab the headlines during Royal celebrations. :0)

  Chegs ®™ 04:23 29 Apr 2011

My Dad used to regale me regularly of his teenage years spent on cycling holidays,and the distances he travelled per day meant I yearned to pluck up the courage to try a similar feat to your grandsons,but for pleasure.

I also once had to go collect a cyclist who'd run out of time on his carefully planned out journey with still another 40-50 miles of single track minor roads over some passes(little more than tarmac farm tracks over the fells)so had stopped in a pub for a meal to wait for the taxi arriving to take him & the cycle back to his car.On the way to his car,he explained that his carefully planned out route of 70 miles or so had been on a different scale map to the actual maps scale hense his wildly inaccurate measurement of the distance he'd planned to ride. :)

  pavvi 13:39 29 Apr 2011

Back in 1994 (when I was actually fairly fit!) my younger brother and I walked from John O'Groats to Land's End in 24 days, averageing 43 miles a day. It was a great experience and we raised about £4,000 for Mencap. We saw much great scenery and some wild differences of temperature. Around Aviemore, we started the day at 0630 with frost. By the afternoon it was 28 degrees. We had many acts of generosity along the way with a guy in Newtonmore in the Highlands stopping us from booking into a campsite and insisted that we spend the night at his b and b with no charge. He also put our collection buckets in his transport cafe and raised over £300 this way over two days. One thing that struck us was how long Scotland is. I remember asking in a pub quiz where the half way point of our walk would be, the answer being Shap, on the edge of the Lake District. It was a rewarding experience, and one that convinced my managers at Tesco that I was capable of being a manager. One day I would like to repeat it (when my diary allows!) and the walk I did for Haiti last year from Port Talbot to Royal Albert Hall (raising over £15k) gave me the appetite to do it again. Heaven knows I need the exercise!!

  birdface 17:39 29 Apr 2011

Young ones have no stamina nowadays they used to walk it in the 1960's.

  Diemmess 21:21 29 Apr 2011

The five reached Okehampton YHA tonight and all looks well for Lands End tomorrow (Saturday) A relatively easy run today fom Bristol today delayed by half an hour with the second puncture of the trip. Tomorrow may be tougher with Cornish ups and downs most of the way.

Curiously when tracking the five with Google Latitude, they seemed stuck out in the wilds almost bereft of roads at about 1600hrs.

At the same time his mother and friends had already gone further west to act as backup on the last day. All I could track was the relief party! Seems the bikers' mobile's battery was flat.

The support team had brought a laptop from home and chose roughly the same time to try tracking for themselves, found signal stength too little to be of use, but it was enough to hijack my tracking of a target that had a failing signal.

Should be able to post the arrival tomorrow evening.

  Diemmess 18:01 30 Apr 2011

**Journey's end.**

Left Okehampton this morning and reached Lands End at 1700. Delayed and diverted by an accident on the A30 near Redruth, but all five fit and delighted to have completed their journey.

I shall have to wait to chat until they come home on Monday but the weather has been very kind, almost too hot in the highlands and no serious rain at all along the way.

  Diemmess 10:04 03 May 2011

The five made a short stop on the way at Tintern Abbey.

link text

  beynac 10:18 03 May 2011


Congratulations to your grandsons and their friends!


My wife and I also walked from John O'Groats to Land's End in 1994. We did it in a much more leisurely manner, starting at the end of April and finishing at the end of June. What time of year did you do it?

  Yimbo 14:21 03 May 2011

Diemmess - - Sincere apologies for your Grandsons' experience in Glasgow! the "Weegies" are, thankfully, not all like those neds! Could have been worse though - if they'd gone via Edinburgh!!!

Anyway - congratulations to all for a very fine effort!

  colberly 08:47 04 May 2011

Diemess, many congratulations to your grandson & friends. Some friends of mine are doing this walk in the opposite direction at the moment with their Border Collie to raise funds for a BC rescue.

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