We are a just couple of middle aged chaps, old school friends in fact, very much the wrong side of 40 with time on our hands and who’ve dabbled in a bit of cycling down the years.
One day last autumn one of us (I forget which) said to the other: “How about cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats?”
And the other said: “Why not?”
One of us also said: “And why not for charity?”. So we did that as well. We are riding for Save the Children in the UK, and De Kangoeroe in Flanders. Both of these are excellent causes for children. So please dig deep and give generously – details elsewhere on this site.
Four months or so later we find ourselves with the training done and the kit all checked, one week from the start.
We have been training since January and have clocked up over a 1000km since then, through some very cold days in January and February and some much warmer ones in March, both on and off road, and over the last couple of months riding with full panniers to imitate the actual ride.
Peter has done most of his training in the Cotswolds around his home in Coombe.
Stephen lives in South London and has done most of his training in the North Downs, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
The last month or so we have been doing a series of day-long 70 plus mile (112km) back-to-back days each week – a couple of London to Brightons, a very hilly route from Crowborough back to London, and out and back from Peter’s home in Coombe to his brother’s in Wichenford on the Worcester/Herefordshire border, which we will pass through on the LEJOG route.
A few brief words on the bikes.
As we are riding unsupported with full panniers, and are also planning to do some off road sections, the lightweight Condor road bike is sitting this one out at home.
Instead we are taking along a couple of faithful old steeds.
In Peter’s case this is a 10 year old Cannondale H500 touring bike, a veteran of the Cape Argus, spec’ed 44-30-22 and 11-30 with 32mm tyres.
In my case this is my 5 year old commuting bike, a Marin Sausalito spec’ed 52-39-30 and 11-32 with 25mm tyres. Incidentally this is the same model of bike as used by the London Mayor, Boris Johnson. So that gives confidence it can carry the weight for the trip.
In addition, as a devotee of silly cycling Jersey’s, Stephen will be accompanied by Bart and Ernie from Sesame Street and by Mint Sauce, the famous mountain biking sheep.
Peter, who is more sartorially elegant in these matters, will be wearing more restrained kit.