What's it all about?

At the end of September 2012 I completed a cycle from Portsmouth 2 Penzance a total of 273 miles! raising money for Children In Need is the Plan. This was also be a personal challenge for me as I haven't been cycling in over 25 years and that was only for fun nothing serious. On top of that have a prolapsed disc, was 46 years old and at the start of 2012 a bit over weight, well lot over weight really, since then I've lost nearly 3 stone! So I opted to do the big one, John O'Groats 2 Lands End on May 6th 2013. The End 2 End or P2P (point to point, as it's sometimes called ) around 1000 miles! This time I had company, Colin, a friend from work, who has said he is as mad as I am and would like to come! This blog contains that story....This event is in memory of the sad passing of my mum on 17th of April this year having lost her fight with terminal Bowel Cancer.

I guess you'd call it the sequel, I have decided it would be just rude not to go back the other way!!! so May 2015, with a new friend, Pete and with Alan driving a support vehicle ( luxury) we plan the classic Lands End to John O'Groats, also known as LEJOG
. Mad ? yes I think we must be.

Me, Colin, Pete and Dave ( Team Jogle4bc )

Me, Colin, Pete and Dave ( Team Jogle4bc )

Groundhog day...or day 3

As my eyes try to focus on the clock, which, once again, still has a 6 on it, I move my legs, which complain they're still asleep. Another day begins. I roll onto my back only for it to complain as well! As I get ready for the off, the sky is grey and cooler, still could be worst and be raining. As I clip my foot onto the bike my bottom speaks up, "if you think I'm sitting on that again....." Reluctantly I give in and make a few adjustments to keep it happy. All the time my legs are chipping in with "yeah you tell him", my head drops .....its Gunna be a long day.
Part 1
As I head off through a maze of estate roads, trying to weave a way back to the main road, I pootle along at a slow pace.
The name reminds me of The Flumps (sorry small children, Google it ) and I find myself singing the theme tune, da da, da da, da da dah, da da dah.......... OUT LOUD...... Still by the time I realise, my spirits are lifted and I'm half way up a long dragging hill...not so bad after all.
God was clearly having a funny five minutes when he built Devon and I suspect also Cornwall as I soon loose the wweeee downhill factor fearing what the up the other side will be like. As I go through Tiverton I have a long up hill stretch on a dual carriageway, thankfully not as bad as the A303 and with a lovely view of the Great Western Canal. Then out of town onto some quieter roads. As I turn left (up hill again) I notice a road sign, out of the corner of my eye 'Long Drag Hill'......... Oh no It wasn't the other one!......
You know in the old movies when they do that thing where they zoom the lens in and out, it was one of those moments. I could just see the top and it was steep enough it was going to hurt, as my legs kindly pointed out. I pootle on........da da, da da etc etc. Sometime later, as the road bares to the right and I'm nearing the top, my worst nightmare is realised, there's more! Only steeper and at least as far again. Singing now pointless as my legs are screaming at me much louder than I can sing!. The sign painted on the road merely taunts me, it reads...... SLOW......
Part 2
I reach the top. Which I eventually manage and I might add without getting off or stopping. But here I do stop and get off, to admire the view!
Once the view is taken, along with some deep breathing and liquid ..Moving on ...... Oooh pheasant, that must be bonus points in the I-Spy book of road kill, still know hedgehog. By now I really am in the middle of nowhere and looking for a lunch stop..... I come across a great big pub on a cross roads after miles of nothing. At last
Part 3
30 miles left to go, refreshed I set off again. I marvel to myself that I've got this far really because I'm being guided by following a little black dot along a thin line on the bike computer. You see you pre program a route on your computer at home using a proper map and load it to the cycle computer. Then if you take a wrong turn your black dot moves off the line and it bleeps at you saying, off course. You have no junctions or road names shown or anything!  At last hedgehog.... Yeah ( sorry ) book completed. I then past a pub called the Earl of Portsmouth! 3 miles later I pass by the Lymington arms...... Hang on am I still in Hampshire! Then a few more miles up another hill the computer bleeps at me, off course.......
I didn't recall a turning? I go back 50ft or so to see, well a track. The sign says footpath, it hardly is even that. Nothing I could manage on the bike, not even if it was a mountain bike! I get my hand written notes out. I quickly realise this isn't much help as it follows the route I can't now take. I get out my phone, to see where I am on Google maps..... No signal..... I know I'm only about 15miles away (because of how far I've travel) nothing for it i'll have to go straight on and look for road signs as some clever idiot didn't bring a map!
3 miles later I see an A road and a sign to Holsworthy 11 miles yeeaahhh. Lovely smooth road, can't imagine why I didn't come this way. Speed and spirits pick up again. Keeping an eye on the road signs further on another confirming 11 miles. Sometime later,11miles to Holsworthy......nooooooo. Am I just going to circle it, why is it not getting closer? At least I've confirmed I'm not still in Hampshire.
Closing in a sign 5 miles. As I turn the corner another zooming lens moment. I now recall why I hadn't picked this route! It's at this point my legs, arms, bottom and back form a union and vote the brain out of being in charge with a 'vote of no confidence'! I stop and drink the rest of my drink take an energy gel from tomorrows  supply and head on up. That was the longest day of my life but I've got here and although it may not read like it, I have a great big smile on my face. X
sorry for any typos

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