I’ve been so busy recently I forgot to post an update about my Scotland end-to-end charity cycle! Spoiler alert: I did it. As soon as I got home I moved to the Land of Eng and I’ve been settling in since and never got round to writing a blog post.
To raise funds for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), and as a “goodbye for now” to Scotland as I move south of The Wall, I decided to cycle the length of Scotland over 3 days. I trained for it but probably not enough, which is the usual for endurance events. The journey would be just over 400 miles in 3 days. I wanted to do it solo (no other cyclists) and also unsupported (no support car to carry my food etc). I wanted it to be tough. On the 12th of September I got the train up to Thurso and cycled along to John O’Groats. It got dark quickly, became very misty, and a shortcut I thought was a paved road turned out to be off-road in a field (but I did it anyway, on my road bike). Eventually I got to my accommodation, got everything ready for the next day, and slept. It was a great little house hotel with the most wonderful hosts. I met an interesting couple of American ladies who stay there every year and they were kind enough to give me donations. Everyone was going to wake up during the night to see the northern lights but I knew I had my longest day of cycling ahead of me. I went to bed at about 11pm. Continue reading Scotland end-to-end in 2 days and 6 hours
On Saturday I’ll be starting the first of three days cycling the length of Scotland. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and will serve as a “goodbye for now” as I move to the Land of Eng later in the month. The primary reason I’m doing this is to raise funds for a great charity, the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). They provide great support for those in need and also tackle the stigma of mental health. One in four people in the UK have to deal with mental health problems.
Various Scottish poems have mentioned the journey from John o’Groats to Kirkmaiden, which is generally considered to be the end-to-end journey for mainland Scotland. Robert Burns wrote of the journey “frae Maidenkirk tae Johnnie Groats” in his poem On the Late Captain Grose’s Peregrinations Through Scotland. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote:
But maistly thee, the bluid o’ Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to John o’ Grots,
The king o’ drinks, as I conceive it,
Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!
The Maidenkirk they speak of is now Kirkmaiden. Although being in Scotland, it’s actually further south than Carlisle. Day 1: Leaving John o’Groats and cycling 160 miles through Inverness, along Loch Ness, and staying the night near Loch Oich. Day 2: Cycling through Fort William, through the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park, then on to Glasgow to stay the night. Day 3: Cycling as far south as I can get until I’m pretty close to Northern Ireland! I’ll post an update after the cycle with photos if possible.
If you would like to support SAMH you can donate on my Justgiving page for the ride. Thank you!
I’m posting this months in advance because it will help keep me motivated and it gives more time for donations.
To raise funds for the Scottish Association for Mental Health, I’m going to be cycling unsupported (no car carrying my stuff) the length of mainland Scotland over 3 days. I’ll have to cycle further and faster than I’ve ever done before, and I’ll need to cycle thousands of miles in preparation. The journey is from John o’Groats to Kirkmaiden, chosen because it is the traditional journey often used in Scottish poems. Kirkmaiden is further south than Carlisle but still in Scotland (it’s actually quite near Northern Ireland). I’ve never cycled 160 miles on consecutive days so this will definitely be a challenge. This is a solo challenge, not part of an organised event.
1 in 4 people suffer with their mental health, and there’s still a stigma making life harder for them. The SAMH provides support but also educates to shatter the stigma. Not everyone can afford to make donations every time they see a JustGiving page. But donations can be very small, and anonymous. If all my Facebook and Twitter friends donated even £1 then we’d destroy my current target. It would also mean so much to me. Thank you!
Please take a look at my JustGiving page!
I’m cycling the Tour de Forth 2013 sportive to raise money for Mercy Corps. They don’t associate with a religion or spend any of the money on proselytizing. They support people in the toughest places in the world, who are affected by natural disasters, poverty, or conflict. What I like about them is that the support they offer helps in the long term, rather than just while the TV cameras are around. They also employ locals for the work.
Even a £1 donation helps a lot, so please consider donating a tiny amount. As an absolute minimum I’m aiming for £1 per mile. Even small donations help provide families with clean water, food, and clothes.
Nice and easy, uneventful ride today. St Andrews to Tentsmuir forest, study there for a bit, then head home. Simples. Well, until I actually got out of town. Continue reading Tentsmuir forest