End to End - Lands End to John O'Groats Cycle Ride
**** Read how Simon, Scott and Patrick are doing click here for the latest news. ****
In April 2016 Roger George underwent elective open-heart surgery. To aid his recovery from such a major operation he was recommended by his doctor to start a Cardiac Rehabilitation course. He started with the Phase III with Frimley Park Hospital, but upon completing the 8-week course he moved on to The Phase IV run by RHL.
Local Charity, RHL, is the only provider of the phase IV rehab classes in the local area and currently provides 6 classes. Roger now attends two classes a week on Mondays and Wednesdays and he feels this is crucial to maintaining and recovering his health after such life changing health issue.
“I enjoy the exercises and believe I am fitter now than at any time since I was in my 50s. As well as becoming fitter I am also more flexible and generally able to comfortably enjoy a more active life. I meet other people, at these classes, that have also undergone cardiac surgery or other procedures and exchange stories and experiences.”
At 73 years old, Roger is now in a far better place regarding his health. Without the rehabilitation course which we run at RHL he says it would be easy to slip back into a sedentary lifestyle putting his health at risk.
His son Simon, along with two friends, Scott and Patrick, have decided to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for RHL. Each stage of the cycle ride, is on average 100 miles and will total a little over 1,000 miles (Tour de France is 2,200 miles) and during the ride they will climb over 60,720 feet in total! (Mount Everest is 29,029 feet)!
They will set off on 21st September stopping at; Redruth, Yate, Brenwood, Huddersfield, Kirkby Stephen, Moffett, Callander, Invergary, Lairg, and finally reaching John O’Groats in the evening on 1st October. We will be posting photos on Facebook each day to document their progress.
Any donation will be greatly appreciated as it helps us subsidise the classes and keep costs down ensuring that our classes are not only available to those that are most vulnerable and at risk but also making the largest improvement to the quality of people’s lives.
The key aspects of our classes are; they are set in community venues,
making them easily accessible and far away from the pressure that can
be found in gyms and mainstream sport centres. We encourage all our
classes to have a social element where teas and coffees are shared at
the end of the sessions. By creating an environment where participants,
who have been through similar experiences, can share their symptoms
and support one another as they improve their health the impact is far
greater. Our classes are not only about taking care of the participants
physical health but also their mental health. As they develop friendships
and support networks they can begin to take a more active role in their
local community which has a great benefit to all.
1st & 2nd October – THEY DID IT (Land’s End to John O’Groats & a trip to A&E!)
The last day turned out to be very eventful, with Simon feeling really ill but determined to get to Land’s End, he started cycling an hour before Patrick and Scott as he would have been unable to average 17 mph for 95 miles. At noon they were hit by a cold front, with very heavy and freezing rain. Simon was riding in these conditions for about an hour and was so cold and wet that he made an unscheduled stop at a pub and rang for help. Luckily there was a signal as there hadn’t been for about an hour. When Roger arrived he was shivering so violently that he was having problems drinking a cup of tea! Roger phoned Patrick and Scott who then joined us and ordered two bowls of hot soup each, plus sausage and mash for Patrick. Simon fell asleep at the pub and despite his dad telling him to abandon the ride only 35 miles from John O’Groats because he was so ill there was no stopping him. They changed into dry clothes and added extra layers, and with Patrick and Scott shielding him for the rest of the ride, they made it to John O’Groats!
Simon has subsequently admitted that he felt dreadful for a couple of days and on Sunday night he was within a ‘gnats ‘whisker’ of calling an ambulance as he had a temperature, was violently shivering and had passed out. Instead of keeping to the original plan of driving home, Simon flew back to Heathrow and was collected by his brother Tom and Mum Alaine who persuaded him to call 111, where a doctor told him to go to A&E at Frimley Park Hospital. He was put on a drip and after some blood tests was told that he had a viral GI virus and with some medication was then discharged.
We hope Simon feels better soon and, once again, a massive thank you to Simon, Patrick and Scott for their fantastic achievement in cycling over 1000 miles to raise money for RHL! A huge thank you to Roger as well, for his hard work driving the Support Car, looking after the guys and washing lots of very sweaty lycra at the laundrette! We wish Simon, Patrick and Scott a safe journey back to North Carolina!
October – We Made It!!
After 10 days of gruelling cycling, plenty of rain and getting caught
up in a few thousand cyclists doing a different charity cycle, Simon,
Patrick and Scott reached John O’Groats, accompanied by Roger
driving the support car! A massive Thank You and Well Done from all
the Team at RHL – they’ve raised nearly £2000 so far!
It’s not too late to donate –To donate please follow
the link below https://www.charitychoice.co.uk/rhl/appeals/lands-end-to-john-ogroats-cycle-ride
Watch out - More details to follow!
September 30th – Anyone see Nessie?
Ivergarry to Lairg
The day started with a large breakfast to give the guys enough energy
for the ride ahead! We weren’t looking forward to the weather
today, with forecasts of frequent heavy showers and strong winds –
not the best conditions for riding on A roads!.
We were very relieved when bonny Scotland proved the weather guys wrong
and turned out to be great for cycling, with sunshine and brief showers
which were actually quite refreshing. Simon, Patrick and Scott devoured
a huge lunch but, being the Support Car Driver and not one of the cyclists
(and missing my Cardiac Rehab Classes this week), it’s been quite
tricky remembering not to match their calorie count!
The views were stunning and despite cycling by Loch Ness for a few
miles, no-one saw a Nessie - she was obviously at an RHL class or having
her Free NHS Health Check! Today the guys covered 89 miles and climbed
4,532 feet, with an average speed of 17 mph and a maximum speed of 43.8
mph. The guys are so close to the end of their fantastic ride –
1000 miles in 10 days is no mean feat!
September 29th – Rain, Rain and more Rain!
Today the ride was all on A roads so the guys were riding single file
It started off a bit overcast but then started to rain about an hour
before lunch. Not just a bit of rain, but absolutely bucket loads! They
arrived at the restaurant for lunch absolutely soaked but surprisingly
still on time!
you can’t beat a hot bowl of soup and a sandwich to get the energy
up whilst drying out before braving another torrential downpour that
lasted all afternoon. I think it’s safe to say that Simon, Patrick
and Scott were very relieved to see the hotel!
Please help them get back on their bikes again tomorrow as..…guess
what….more rain is forecast!
To donate please follow the link below
28th September – Anyone fancy 40 mph on a bike?
Moffat to Callander
Today the guys had a great ride with sunny weather, beautiful countryside and, more importantly, a good tail wind.
With the roads in good condition and light traffic, the guys were able to reach speeds of over 40 miles per hour – not bad when you consider how far they’ve already cycled!
The SAG Wagon Support Car reached 1000 miles today for the trip, starting in Camberley, down to Land’s End and up to Scotland, however it’ll be a few more days before Simon, Patrick and Scott get to match the 1000 miles on their bikes.
The guys climbed 5456 feet and burnt 4360 kcals today, ending with very muddy bikes which took quite a while to clean once they reached the hotel in Callander for a good night’s sleep.
27th September – Three Bonny Lads and a Handy Bike Shop!
Today’s ride was from Brough in Cumbria to Moffat in Scotland. After a full night’s sleep, the guys had a good breakfast and, after checking the bikes, headed to Carlisle.
Yesterday Scott realised that there was a rather worrying click from the bottom bracket on his bike – not what you need halfway through a 1000 mile cycle! His mobile phone came in rather handy as they googled bike shops and found a rather handy one in Carlisle. Simon, Patrick and Scott quickly planned a detour and luckily the staff were able to fix the problem while the guys had lunch.
In the afternoon the ride across the Scottish border was mostly flat and fast and, with a strong tail wind behind them, the guys made the most of it! After arriving in Moffat we finished the day with a fine dinner in the Narrowest Hotel in the UK!
26th September – Washing, More Washing and How Many Calories?!!
was always going to be a tough day for Simon, Patrick and Scott –
but even tougher for me as support driver, as I had the delightful job
of taking a huge bag of very sweaty washing to the laundry!
The ride started this morning at 08.15 but was really slow for both
the guys cycling and the support car, with lots of traffic jams, road
works and missing sat nav instructions. What was meant to be a fairly
straight forward but hard morning turned into a bit of a nightmare,
with Simon, Patrick and Scott arriving at the lunch stop two hours later
than planned. Luckily the afternoon’s ride was enjoyable and mostly
downhill, which meant a really fast
cycle to the hotel, completely different to the morning.
The guys’ mileage for the day was 97.5 miles, climbing over 7400
feet and burning 4500 calories! As support driver I’m having to
keep an eye on my eating at meal times – with driving the support
car I don’t burn quite as many calories as the other guys!
25th September – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
(or hill at least)!!
Brewood Staffs to Holmfirth Yorkshire via Buxton
Today started out drizzling but soon improved with a number of climbs with the Oxe Head Pass being the highest. The guys then sped down into Chapple en la Frith just before lunch at a local inn.
After lunch was the most enjoyable leg of the ride so far, with plenty of sharp climbs, fast descents and spectacular scenery on the way to the Durker Roods Hotel, just down the road from where The Last of the Summer Wine was filmed!
In total it was 81 miles with a total climb of 6,800 feet but Simon, Patrick and Scott arrived at the hotel on time at 17.00. They cleaned the bikes and locked them in the Function Room ready to roll by 08.00 tomorrow.
Sunday 24th September – An Extra Simon & Too Many Cyclists on the Roads!!
Today our journey was from Yate near Bristol to Brewood with the weather being dry, overcast and chilly. We were joined for 50 miles by another Simon, an old cycling friend, which was great.
The weather soon improved with lots of climbs as we headed north in amongst the hills but eventually flattened out and we were able to get a move on. After a good lunch we set off expecting a fast, relatively easy ride to Brewood however, unknown to us we weren’t the only cycling fundraising event on the road! This meant that there were several thousand riders and lots of roads closed, causing confusion, significant rerouting and quite a lot of frustration!
We arrived at our hotel over an hour late but made up for it by going for a great curry and getting a donation to RHL by the owner!
23rd September – OK, We’ll Let You Off The Full English!
The day started with a full English breakfast and about half an hour planning the days ride and downloading the data to their Garmin sat nav systems.
The ride started at 09:20 - overcast but no rain and became quite hot and sunny by mid morning. The guys reported over lunch, at the Queen Victoria in Priddy Somerset, that it was a better day than Friday as the roads were much better - very little mud etc, but there were still a few really short but hard climbs. The guys arrived at the hotel in Yate near Bristol about 17.00. Gave the bikes a quick polish, showered and went to the bar for a well deserved pint and to discuss where they want to eat this evening. The journey was around 100 miles again.
22nd September – Welcome to England, Here Comes The Rain!!
Today was a tougher ride over 100 miles with some rain and strong winds on Bodmin Moor.
AM ride was from Redruth to South Moran with a lunch stop at the Kings Arms in Holsworthy in Devon at about 70 miles at about 13:30. PM the ride to South Morton was faster and the guys just made it to the Hotel before the rain started again
The guys flight arrived on time this morning at 06:25. Bikes unpacked and assembled with no probs.
Left for Lands End 10 and arrived at 14:30. Took a photo and they departed for Redruth and arrived at hotel for the night a 18:00.
No probs on ride weather sunny but got a bit chilly later, no rain the guys are in a good mood and apart for about a 45 min sleep on the drive down they don't seem to be suffering from jet lag.
AND OFF THEY GO !!!
From us all .......
A massive good luck to Simon, Patrick & Scott who start their fantastic Land’s End to John O’Groats Cycle Ride today – in aid of RHL! Cycling 1000 miles in 10 days – that’s definitely Healthy Living! You can read their daily updates on this page on the RHL website or on Facebook.
Thank you also to Roger, Simon’s Dad who attends our Cardiac Rehab classes for driving the support vehicle, let’s hope they don’t need it too much! You can make a donation by using the link bove – please help us raise as much money as possible!
To donate please follow the link below