Day 5 - Thursday 16th May 2024

Might be a limited blog this evening as 1) I’m exhausted and 2) my phone is refusing to charge with its battery on last legs thanks to the torrential downpours all afternoon. Could have done without that!

The day started brilliantly. We woke early so left Worcester at the ridiculous hour of 6.30am. Quite a crisp morning but blue sky and the sun was out. Excellent cycle path (route 46 I think) which then joined the canal up to Kidderminster. Had a cracking bacon and hash brown bap in Tesco while waiting for Marco to join us off his train.

He had fresh legs and was very chirpy company. We made good time and were pretty chuffed to cycle through the ‘Staffordshire’ sign just south of Kinver. We had drops of rain but warnings of worse coming through from people at home. We were waved on by Ben and his trusty 101 in Lilleshall - couldn’t miss the coddiwompling stickers all over it! 


Day 5 - Thursday 17th May 2024

After a Greggs sausage roll in Newport (we’re all about the nutrition), the heavens opened. Day 2 was wet but today was biblical. Lots of lying water on the roads to spice things up.

The ride up to Market Drayton and then on to Norton in Hales felt tough, but we were thrilled with our jolly welcome committee in the road, and were ushered into Mills’ godmother’s house for tea and cake. Very appreciated.

The road via Audlem to Nantwich was almost all downhill which was joyous and quick, although there was much swerving of potholes. Sadly one of the beasties took out our planned lift home from Nantwich so some sheltering under a tree was required in the centre of town before Ben came to the rescue.

Day 5 - Cont'd...

All clothes washed and dried and repacked. Mills even went as far as to eat shepherds pie in the bath. The height of decadence!

Planning a 6.15am ish departure from Barlaston and will hopefully leave Newport about 7am. Another long day tomorrow with a fair bit of towpath so might be slow weaving through the industrial north up to Garstang. Then we’re back to hills but less mileage - feeling ready for that now.


Day 4 - Wednesday 16th May 2024

146km done - more than 90 miles - and it was almost all very enjoyable!

Could have done without the last busy roundabout at rush hour which was a bit of a dice with death. And possibly could have skipped the long off-road patch where we walked through soggy mud. But the rest of it was cracking.

We decided to skip breakfast, making do with a snack bar and getting on the bikes for 7am. Made great progress via Portishead and Avonmouth on some easy cycle paths, although we coincided with a lot of people on the school run so it was slow going through towns. Great route today though. Left Somerset behind for Gloucestershire and it all became very picture perfect Cotswolds.

Thoroughly recommend Berkeley - impressive castle but we were more appreciative of its Tea Rooms. Huge bacon sarnie and porridge devoured - with a takeaway jam bap for our lunch. We were taking our fuelling seriously today!


Day 4 - Cont'd...

Interesting chat with a couple of chaps there who told us they’d seen a naked couple doing LEJOG last year. We assured them this was a challenge we were unlikely to adopt and, to hammer home that fact, informed them Sarah had taken to wearing two pairs of padded pants today.

Pootled onwards along the Gloucester and Sharpness canal crossing the fabulously-named Splatt Bridge. Went through Gloucester - with its regenerated docks (the UK’s most inland port apparently). Anyway, lovely old warehouses and plenty of cool bars and restaurants around. And just beyond there, in the shrubbery along the River Severn, a little deer leapt out ahead of us. How special is that?

We had lunch on Ashleworth’s village green at around the 100km mark, with a very friendly, greedy hen.

We’d stopped to get a coffee at the village ‘hub’ where, after a chat, the lovely owner donated £20. Legend. The rocky road there is worth the trip alone - it had crunchie in it and was definitely the rocket fuel responsible for making the next few miles go in a flash.

Day 4 - Cont'd...

We were slowed down a bit with the muddy path - and our bikes and shoes are properly mucky as a result. Mills had a chain issue whilst going up a hill, which team mechanic Sarah fixed in a jiffy. And then we were suddenly along the Severn again in the middle of Worcester around 6.30pm.

Enjoyed a carb-heavy Mexican and have fallen into bed feeling pretty smug that our longest day (in terms of mileage) is 1) done and dusted and 2) was such a belter.

Up early again tomorrow as Marco is joining us in Kidderminster around 9.30am (36km north). We’re also looking forward to seeing friends and family at Norton in Hales for a tea stop, and then being picked up from our end point (Nantwich) and driven home to our own beds for a night. Apparently we’ll officially have crossed into northern England tomorrow. How mad is that?!


Day 3 - Tuesday 14th May 2024

Crikey, today has felt extremely long! 138km (86 miles) which is further than either of us have cycled before. And our bottoms are letting us know!

Left Crediton at 8am. Three short hills in quick succession but nothing compared to the previous couple of days.

By 40km we’d reached the highest point and celebrated with a cream tea (although we’d crossed into Somerset by then so it should have been a cider probably). The rest of the day was pretty flat but we were slowed down by shared paths through Taunton and then a long section down the canal to Bridgwater.


Day 3 - Cont'd...

Mills excelled herself here, falling off not once but twice, adding to the bruises (body and ego). Fortunately Zelda Coddiwomple, her glamorously named bike, shrugs off the incompetence of her rider. Sarah continues to ride serenely and safely.

Day 3 - Long Day!

Miles of towpath followed by the lovely Strawberry line towards Clevedon made for beautiful traffic-free riding but it was pretty jiggly on our poor derrières. And the afternoon seemed to go on and on!

We didn’t stop again for food, just snacked on bars, nuts and dried fruit. Not enough calories consumed in retrospect, so the final couple of hours were spent salivating over the prospect of fish and chips. Sadly, getting into Clevedon at 6.10pm meant there was very little open, so dreams of sitting on a beach with salty, vinegary goodness did not happen.

Food and a very welcome pint were consumed at the hotel once we were showered and Sarah was really chuffed that her aunt and cousin popped in to buy her a large baileys. Not that we need anything to help us sleep after a night of dinging church bells and ten hours in the saddle!

Planning to leave by 7am tomorrow as it’s even further (another 8km) and psychologically we’ve decided it’s best to feel we’ve made more progress by lunch time. Hopefully we’ll get a second pitstop too - there are more towns tomorrow as we bypass Bristol and head via Gloucester to Worcester.


Day 2 - Monday 13th May 2024

Well today was a toughie! The rain never stopped, and most of the day there was a headwind. Absolutely drenched. And padded shorts have the absorbency of a nappy which was particularly pleasant for nine hours.

Throw in some big boy hills and it was very much type 2 fun. But, Mills didn’t fall off, we didn’t get lost and there were no mechanical issues so it just avoided relegation to type 3 fun.

Took the ferry out of Fowey and we were greeted with a beast of a hill the other side. A few 17% moments during the day but our recent Coast to Coast and Peaks training rides meant we’re quite well prepared for climbs. If the weather had been on our side, they would have been fine. Bit demoralising when you’re cold and wet though! 


The Fun Scale

Type 1 Fun - this is fun the whole time you're doing it. You could do it again and again.
Type 2 Fun - this is not fun while you're doing it, but you're glad you did it.
Type 3 Fun - this is not fun at all, and while you might take pride in having done it, you'd never voluntarily do it again.

Day 2 - Cont'd

Found a lovely farm shop (Trevallick’s) for excellent bacon sarnies and to shelter for 45 minutes. Left several puddles at our table. We were less than a third of the way through at this point, Sarah’s teeth were chattering and it felt a bit of a slog. But we had our angriest music to power us along (bone conduction headphones are amazing) and soon swapped Cornwall for Devon.

After 60km or so of head-down grinding, there seemed to be more downhills than up. Had a lovely quiet few miles along the Granite Way near Okehampton but then a few busy roads the other side.


Day 2 - Cont'd

The rain continued all day but did get less ferocious. Our bikers hotel in Crediton was a very welcome sight however! Good shower with oodles of hot water cheered us up no end, followed by lots of carbs and a pint. Now tucked up hoping our clothes might dry over the radiator. Not optimistic our shoes or padded gussets will, which will be a lovely treat at 7am.

Tomorrow is an additional 30km (138km!) although far flatter. A few hills in the morning then flat as a pancake up to Clevedon. Just hoping for better weather.


Day 1 - Sunday 12th May 2024

I fear we may have peaked already. Apart from the 5am foghorn wake up call, today has been perfect.

Snapped the ubiquitous picture, waved the boys off and left ahead of schedule (bet that won’t happen again!). It wasn’t long till the fog soon gave way to wall-to-wall sunshine. And Cornwall is just epic.

The Cicerone route that we’re following keeps us off main roads - luckily because as soon as we saw six cars, Mills promptly decided to fall off into the road in slow mo. Bounced brilliantly. Looked sheepish. Understandably.


Anyway, we were mostly on single track roads with high hedges stuffed to the brim with gorgeous wild flowers. Had our second Cornish pasty for our early lunch at Trelissick (properly fancy, on a plate with salad and coleslaw!) is. Met the lovely Geoff and chatted about our planned route and his two-wheels of choice. The man knows his bikes. And then he only went and sponsored us. What a gem.

We enjoyed crossing the River Fal on the King Harry Ferry. Bit of a hill coming up from there however. In fact we’ve climbed over 1700m which is a very long way. Some epic downhills though. Met a group of LEJOGers not far from the end as we all slogged up a beast of a hill. They’re supported so on road bikes and carrying just a water bottle. Our steel beasties are a bit heftier but we made it up those hills, just a little more leisurely. Go us.


Sunday 12th May 2024 Cont'd...

Arrived in Fowey about 4.30 which I’m sure will be our earliest finish. And what a place to spend a few hours. Beautiful. Big shout out to Havener’s, where we’re staying. The friendliest staff and whilst we were umming and ahhing about the safest place to leave our bikes overnight, they flourished another key and upgraded us to the Waterfront Apartment which is massive!

We have our own bedrooms, a kitchen and a separate sitting room. All with a phenomenal view over the harbour. And even a washing machine - with capsules - so clean clothes for tomorrow. Lovely people; brilliant place. Totally spoilt. 

Not sure the perfection of day one will last however. Torrential rain is forecast by the time we wake up. And we’re climbing higher tomorrow (and most of it we’ll have done by lunch). Tough, tough morning I fear. But we’ve decided if we can get a 7/10 daily points average over the 14 days, then we have had an exceptional fortnight. And it’s started with the full house: 10/10.

By the way, we loved all your messages that popped up on our garmin screen. Thank you so much.


Day 0 - Tomorrow, we ride!

Saturday 11th May 2024

We couldn’t have chosen a better day for it. No wind, wall-to-wall sunshine and minimal tourists at Land’s End. What a beaut Cornwall is.

Escorted by our supportive husbands, the journey down was interspersed by us debating the number of pants / bras we required alongside giving the boys a list of all the jobs they were required to do over the next fortnight. Good luck Ben and Marco. Thank you for the lift.


Saturday 11th May 2024 cont'd...

 We arrived in time to enjoy a lovely walk along the coast path as the boys wanted to check we knew which way we were going in the morning. Surely there are minimal options from here? Even we can’t get (that) lost.

Several sunny pictures were snapped, dictated by Sarah’s recently-upgraded from mere husband to social media manager Ben - be prepared for them to take a dive in quantity and quality from now.

Then a final pump of the tyres, a cheeky shandy or two to celebrate reaching the start line and an evening in bed watching Eurovision and we are go, go, go for tomorrow morning!

Let’s see how long the weather gods shine on us…


Let's Do This Together

We know how lucky we are to be able to take on this challenge and yes, we rather hope that we'll enjoy it but we do not take it on lightly and we will need your support and encouragement every step of the way.

We've chosen two charities which offer their support and encouragement to vulnerable people in our local area, Stoke-on-Trent. They give hope during the toughest times.


Please Give Generously

Please show your support for our ambitious endeavour by donating generously.

Hit the donate button and you'll be redirected to our Go Fund Me page. We'll split whatever we raise equally between our chosen charities.

We appreciate every penny you can spare. Your donations and your warm wishes will spur us on through those inevitably less 'fun' moments ahead.

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