A Young OAP solo cycle to land’s End
Back in August 2020 I thought that a solo cycle to visit friends would be fun so I began planning a route which turned out to be a 470 mile circuitous route to land’s End via friends and family, some of whom i hadn’t seen in over 20 years. giving consideration to Covid restrictions and social distancing I rang 18 numbers and got 15 overnight stop overs.
Throughout lockdown I had been cycling up into the hills around Lancaster even day so felt fit and ready. My daily mileage would average about 45 miles, the shortest distance being 16 miles, the longest 57 miles.
So on September 3rd I drove with my car to Bunbury in Cheshire to stay with my elder brother and then set off the next day to Castle Pulvervatch near Shrewsbury. I attached to the rear of my bike a note ‘Land’s End for Alzheimer’s research’. Within an hour I had friendly toots, applause and waves. Over the next 12 days I was greeted warmly on the roadside and whilst eating my lunch on a church seat, park bench or by the sea people who gave me money. We had happy and sad reminiscences about family and friends affected by Alzheimer’s. I was given about £150 on the road and set up a Just giving page for donations. I was even handed a £5 note as I cycled up a steep hill by a lady leaning out of her car. That was a hairy moment!
I cycled solo via Stourbridge, Birmingham, Stratford, Worcester, Bristol, Clevedon, Taunton, Budleigh Salterton, Totnes, Lostwithiel and Penzance. passers by could not believe i was carrying my own luggage, had no support vehicle and was a 61 year old woman. On my last leg to land’s End I was accompanied by an old university friends I last saw 23 years ago! I was met by friends from Birmingham who happened to be on holiday in Padstow. It was so thrilling reaching Land’s End and even there was given a donation.
I have so many good memories. I was blessed with dry weather and no punctures, meals with fine friends, chats with kind strangers, misty mornings, donkeys, cows, birdsong, cakes and tea, trees, hills and winding lanes.
Many thanks to my supporters who fed and watered me and gave me donations, which now mount to over £2200. I’m ready to do it all again, perhaps west Wales to east England, again for a worthy cause.
Gillian Sheath would love your feedback, please leave your comments below:
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