Tim Dennis, Asphalt Planner at MQP in Whitwick started off a 1,030 mile bike ride from Lands End to John O’Groats today (11/07/02) along with fellow cyclist Harvey Levann. They are planning to complete the trip in just 9 days in order to raise £4,500, which will be split between Leicestershire hospice LOROS, and Memphys who offer support to handicapped children.
*****Day One Update******
Tim’s first day has seen sunburn rather than blisters! Riding through Penzance and Newquay they made good time to arrive at their overnight stop at Padstow. Little did they know, however, that the weather would be so good to them in the South and Tim has encountered some mild sunburn on this leg of the journey. Armed with suntan lotion Tim and Harvey are now preparing themselves for the 120 mile cycle up to Taunton on Friday.
Heading up the Cornish coast today Tim and Harvey have found the going rather hilly. After Bude the lads head inland through the undulating roads to Holdsworthy & Great Torrington and then onto South Molton. After 7ish hours and 90 miles they hit a 3 mile climb up to Exmoor and the Brendon Hills before descending to Bishops Lydeard. Total distance for the day has been 117 miles and 8 hours in the saddle – Ouch!
Today started off with rain for the first hour (20 miles) between the overnight stop and Bridgewater. Luckily after the previous days steep terrain the lads were able to miss out the Quantock Hills on this stretch. However, the next leg to Radstock (54 miles) crossed the Mendips so the aches and pains of the day before have returned very quickly. Although Harvey wasn’t particularly keen on completing the last 20 miles Tim’s persuasive nature and a quick water stop convinced him otherwise. No blisters yet!
An “easy” 66 miles today up the A5 through Gloucester, Warwickshire and Leicester. A stop off at Coalville overnight meant that the lads could stock up on food and prepare for the next 2 thirds of their journey.
A very tough day for Tim and Harvey on this leg of the journey. In all, 145 miles covered in 9 hours. The route taking them through Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire up to Chesterfield. Tim’s navigational record was marred slightly by a small 8 mile detour, although they were soon back on schedule after asking for directions from some friendly locals! However, Tim and Harvey would like to thank the landlord and chef at the Bulls Head in Staveley, not only for providing a meal for the two, even after their late arrival, but also for a donation to the two charities.
Heading up through North Yorkshire today, Tim and Harvey found it was just themselves and the sheep occupying the roads for most of the trip! A very quiet day for them both but scattered with stunning views from the tops of rollercoaster hills. Travelling up through Knaresborough and Darlington the lads caught up with the caravan just south of the Scottish border (in time for dinner this time). Distance today – 111 miles (without getting lost!)
Tim and Harvey are coasting along now and are just 2 days away from completion. Today started in England but it wasn’t long before the two reached the Scottish border. They took the opportunity to stop for a water break and listen to the 2 Scots pipers who stand either side of the border crossing. Pressing on the lads traveled up to Jedburgh and through the Highlands. Unfortunately the scenery was passing by too quickly for them to appreciate it much (or so they say!).
A boring start along the A9 meant 108 miles to Inverness on the same road all the way. However, yet again the scenery made it all worth while with mountains and valleys breaking up the monotony. An average speed of 20 mph meant the lads made good progress in the first 100 miles. High winds over the Firth of Beauly meant the pair lost momentum and from then on in to Dingwall it was a struggle to the end.
Start of the hardest day the lads have ever seen! Tim and Harvey woke up to pouring rain which didn’t ease at all throughout the whole day. Starting out early at 8.30 the lads were eager to complete the journey in good time. However, the bad weather and some difficult mountains added 2 hours to the last leg of the trip. Poor finishing conditions to what had been a very good (but difficult) weeks cycling. 4.25pm and a call from Tim sounding extremely tired but relieved and happy signified the end of a very brave and rewarding week for the two.
At final count the lads have raised over £5,500 for their two charities (LOROS & MEMPHYS) and have achieved something which most of us would never dream of doing.
Congratulations and well done to Tim and Harvey from all at MQP!!!
11 July 2002