The initial idea for the trip came when Sue (the wife), Aidan (the son) and I visited Lands End whilst on holiday. The commercialism of it seemed a shame, and though interested by the end to end exhibit, I thought not for me. Then I thought why not but go to the real southern point The Lizard, and north Dunnet Head. Then the west, Ardnamurchan Point, gave the title. I had to look up the east, Lowestoft Ness on the edge of an industrial estate.
It may even have been older than that. Ten years ago when my bike was pinched at work my replacement was a Dawes, a proper tourer. It would have to be used in anger and its name became the subtitle of the trip, Horizontour. Once Sue and Aidan said it was ok I began to plan how to get the time off. This became a little easier when Mandy (ISG contact) said “you could do it for us”?! People seemed to accept doing it for charity rather than just for a laugh. ISG appealed to me as not being a well known cause . Where’s the point meant spreading awareness. The other governing factor was the creakiness of my knees, exacerbated by being knocked off my bike a couple of years ago.
Once there was the go ahead from home (Merseyside), and work, it was just a question of fleshing out a vague route. About twenty years ago I had done a couple of 1,000 mile tours whilst a student nurse (couple of weeks at a time and relatively cheap). I reckoned I could do it (midlife crisis I hear you cry). When I toured before I stayed in hostels so they would be the basis for the route. I set off on May 2nd overloaded, overambitious and overweight. In twenty eight days I was only rained on properly on four days. The last day being the most prolonged, 75 miles of damp from Langdale to our house, saying it’s time to give up. Thus I felt the weather was on my side, even the headwinds when going east didn’t daunt.
I got home over a stone lighter and a great deal fitter. No punctures in 1770 miles, the only problem to replace a pedal. People asked if I’d been scared off by myself, no! Wasn’t I brave going with no backup! Not really, maybe a little optomistic? Did I enjoy it, yes! The views especially in Scotland were spectacular. I could easily work for their tourist board. Only once did I really think of giving in. Overall it was good to know you can go on an adventure, see some sights, meet some characters (whilst avoiding being eaten by an ogress), spread the word and raise a little money. Collecting it in is no fun, Justgiving is such a good idea! Though someone did point out it was less than a pound a mile, therefore less than the minimum wage – I should sue!
The only trouble is people now ask –
The ISG was delighted to accept a cheque from Dave Roberts for the grand sum of £1,350