We’ve just heard from Guinness World Records – the application has been accepted – so dad’s bike ride will be a world record attempt! The current holder is Tony Rathbone (81 and 162 days when he completed). If all goes to plan dad will be 85 and 25 days.
I’ve just had an update from dad (see below). It seems that training is going really well – and he said that he wishes he were due to start next week… I’m not sure if that’s because he’s so looking forward to it or looking forward to it being over!
We’re also waiting to hear back from the Guinness Book of Records which is exciting! The record for oldest person to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats is currently held by someone who was 81 years and 162 days when he completed the ride in May 2014… so it’s looking positive for dad who should be 85 and about 21 days and although he may be a bit embarrassed by it, it will help with fundraising for the three great causes. Fundraising is going well. I’ll give an update from the three charities in the next blog and we can then also start calculating how much he’s raising per mile which will help his motivation…
A final note from me – if anyone wants to know where he will be when, just email dad and he will send you his full itinerary. If you happen to be close to where he is cycling on any day I’m sure he’d appreciate a chance to meet for a drink and a chat – a bit of company is always welcomed and breaks the loneliness of the long distance cyclist!
So, over to dad…
First a word about my new bike. Someone in my U3A cycle group strongly recommended a shop in Lowestoft, Dunk’s Cycles run by Duncan. He has designed a frame which he has made elsewhere. For me he was able to customise my new bike with just the requirements I had – The kinds of gears, breaks, etc. etc. The result is excellent and I am very pleased with it. Duncan has also kindly promoted my sponsorship with leaflets in his shop, so big thanks to Duncan!
Since the beginning of March I have cycled some 1642 miles in practice including some longish rides of over 60 miles. The longest so far was 85 miles.
Here’s the latest update from Dad – all going well!
Hi, In another week it will be just 3 months till, hopefully, I set out from Land’s End. Since the beginning of February I have cycled more than 1300 miles in training – well over the distance from End to End. In the course of this I have done two rides of 70 miles and one of 85 miles. I seek out hills but none the less Suffolk is not Devon or Scotland!
Having decided after all to book my accommodation ahead I have now planned my itinerary and managed to book at an average of only just over £50 a night, less than I had expected. I have saved up enough now to cover all my expected expenses, none of which of course will come out of the sponsorship.
My new bike which I have only used occasionally is proving itself very satisfactory and all in all I am greatly looking forward to August 18th. If anyone would like to have my itinerary just send me an email and I will send it by reply. Thank you for your interest and support. email@example.com
Spring seems to be in the air and hopefully the snow has finally gone! Dad is now increasing his training, seeking to cycle at least 100 miles a week. In March he did 414 miles. On one occasion this involved 30 miles into a head wind with light rain all the way and then a slightly shorter distance home with the wind behind him. It didn’t sound pleasant (understatement) but he’s decided that he will do rides whatever the weather (short of snow!) since on a long ride there will be days when things are really difficult, so it’s good practice. It reminds me of the saying which was oft quoted in my childhood – ‘it’s good character training’!
The three charities are now beginning to send out leaflets about the proposed ride. A just giving page has also been set up for the medecins san frontier sponsorship:
Meanwhile dad has saved up enough to cover all his accommodation and other expenses (because of course all the sponsor money will go to the charities and not to subsidise his expenses).
All three charities will give dad a list of those who are offering to sponsor him so that he will know who they are (although they will each be dealing with the administration of their appeals).
Dad says a big THANK YOU to all of you who are choosing to sponsor him.
Training is going well – the snow and ice made it difficult for a couple of weeks, but things are now back on track and Dad is aiming to do at least 100 miles per week. He’s also been on the hunt for new hills – and found one near Bungay much to his delight – it is hard to prepare for the hills of Devon and Cornwall when riding in Suffolk!
He is also the proud owner of a new bike! It has an aluminium frame, and particularly sturdy wheels and tyres – which should all help.
We will start being more active on fundraising and the blog after Easter. In the meantime, the three charities dad is raising money for are:
Friends of St Michael’s Church, Beccles. This is to help with the restoration of the very fine late medieval South Porch of the Church. Details from:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Ringsfield Hall Trust. For Solar Panels, and potentially other energy efficient cost-saving technologies. Ringsfield Hall Trust was started by Peter and his wife Sally in 1972 to provide a residential country centre for Church and School groups, especially for children from inner city areas. It has a special emphasis on environmental education. Details from:- email@example.com
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). This excellent charity provides doctors to work in places of war and conflict. Peter’s daughter is dealing with the administration of the appeal on behalf of the charity. Details from:- firstname.lastname@example.org
HOWEVER – PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY UNTIL THE RIDE IS COMPLETED – HE WANTS EVERY MILE TO COUNT!
A PLANNED GERIATRIC SPONSORED CYCLE
RIDE FROM LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS
Peter, a retired Vicar, plans to set out from Land’s End on his 85th birthday, August 18th 2018 in an attempt to cycle to John O’Groats in aid of three charities: Friends of St Michael’s Church (Beccles), Ringsfield Hall Trust and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
He did the ride when he was 75 and again when he was 80, each time in three weeks and between the two rides raised £38,000 for charity.
Please visit again for more news on how training is going, the likely route and information on sponsorship.