Day 19 – July 7, 2021

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Hi guys….well as per tradition here we go! 

Guess what? Chinese! No delivery so Mark and Alan had to drive into Perranporth to pick up the food while Thomas was trying to find a wifisignal to write the Day#18 Blog. Once again, we adapted and overcame….and cold beers and tasty takeaway was enjoyed by all!

We set the alarm as usual to 6:00am and we all awoke to torrential rain. We decided to lie-in for another 30 minutes in the hope that it might calm down enough for us to do all the outside tasks, like uncovering and oiling the bikes. In the end it was more than an hour and a half before we could do anything productive outside the shelter of the RV.

But it is as it is….and we got prepared in our wet weather gear and set off finally at 8:45am for our first and only checkpoint at Penzanceafter 36 miles. We had decided to go large and then enjoy a last run in to Lands End of about 12 miles.

And before we left, we made sure to deliver our last special picture. And here it is.

Come on guys….you must have it all worked out by now? 😉

The first 7 miles were atrocious. The rain was heavy and we counted four of what we have lovingly called ‘Alan’s Liveners.’ We had a joke at one stage after a hill that we agreed was the best part of a two mile climb. We had a long downhill freewheel, followed immediately by a 12% uphill climb. That was then followed byanother small downhill and then a hill with so many twists and turns and different inclines, that the only appropriate signage at the bottom would have been…’There be dragons beyond!!’ 😢😂

We saw this sign at one point and our Garmin was telling us to go towards it. Google Maps was showing it several miles in completely the wrong direction! So we took a decision to ignore it. Even though it had a personal connotation for one of us! 😂

We set off for Penzance via Helston, ditching Garmin and entrusting our fate to Google. We were trying to avoid the A30 and the A39 because both roads have fast-moving traffic and the rain was heavy. 

At first all was well and Alan and Thomas took some shots of the cathedral in Truro whilst on the way.

But inevitably, Google led us to the A39. We stayed on it for around 2-3 miles at which point, as we reached a roundabout after only around 15 miles travelled, and with the rain absolutely torrential, this happened. 😢

Alan had another puncture. 

There are times when you look at each other and you can think that things are stacking against you. No chance! Alan got on with the tyrechange, Thomas told the JOGLE team and set a new course away from the A39 and on a new set of back roads. As our new musical best friend, Willie Nelson, would say…we were …’Back on the road again!’ 😊👍

We endured another two hours of uphills and undulations and then we were descending into Marazion and Penzance.

On arriving in Marazion, we smelt the sea for the first time, at which point though both riders were excited, Thomas got carried away, shouting ‘HELLO!!!’ to all and anyone out walking their dogs or tending their gardens. 🤣It was all Alan could do to get away from him!!

Well….he was excited!

The checkpoint was a quick one in the car park at Sainsbury’s Penzance, and in less than 15 minutes we were on our way to our final destination at Lands End. 

There was some more ‘lumpy ground’, to use Alan’s terminology, before we got to Sennenand the last mile or so before the true end of our journey. Before we finally set of on that last mile, we stopped and thought about the previous 19 days. Some private words were spoken, and as a summary, we both agreed that it had been a heck of a journey since an idea only in February, that led to such a great adventure and such good funds being raised for such a good cause.

It was a fantastic emotional experience to cross the line and see our family and friends waiting for us. 

Please take a look at the photos from our finish. No words required 😊👍

And finally….the picture that says start and finish. 😊👍

We have travelled 960 miles in 16 ride days, 60 miles average per day, climbed 46,924ft…or 8.89 miles, at an average speed of 11.7mph. 

See! Pensioners can ride bikes! 😉

We would like to thank all of our drivers, Mark being the last, for giving up their time to be with us and support us amazingly along the way.

We would also extend our thanks to all the JOGLE team and our families who have made this possible. Our thanks as well to the team at OYF for all their support.

Let’s finish the mystery of where we have been and why we went there.

We highlighted 10 places or signposts along the way. Here they are.• Occumster• Loch an Eilein• Logierait• Inverkeithing• Ecclefechan• Yanwath• Oldbury• Uplowman• Nanstallon• Goonhavern

Spells Ollie Young! 😊

The only person that we know who has won is Ollie’s nanny, Barbara.

Well done Barbara! 😊

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message.

We have received nothing but best wishes and goodwill along the way. People have been genuinely interested in Ollie’s story and why two old farts should be doing what they are doing. From anonymous online donations, to generosity where people have waived fees for us, or just wandered up and dug into their pockets, and filled the magic bucket. Times have been hard for all the well-known reasons.But it hasn’t stopped good folks doing something good. We thank all of you for that.

In particular, at the end of the JOGLE, we have endured 3 difficult days in Devon and Cornwall. It has been the sting in the tail. Endless hills, torrential rains, fierce winds, Strava issues, and punctures. But never once did we take the easy option. We could have made a phone call to the RV and asked for a pick up and a lift to help us out. But that was never in our minds. Our goal was only to finish, and finish in style. The Young Family never gave up, so why should we? 😘

So please continue to spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £7,730 without Gift Aid! And we have another £423 in the magic bucket. This means without the Gift Aid, we have so far collected £8,153! We have crashed through the £8k barrier! Amazing! 

Thank you so much!!! 👍😁

We couldn’t do this without you all. Your support has been through both funds and through your time. We can’t thank you enough for helping us to make this happen. To see friends turn up on the way, send messages from all over the world, and see people who were complete strangers, commit themselves to some crazy video antics 🤣 …it’s been so uplifting.Thank you. 

We can’t set expectations about tomorrow’s journey, because we don’t have one on two wheels. We do have one to go home to our family and friends and to a life that is something a bit more normal than the last 19 days. 😉

We have enjoyed every single aspect of it immensely. Doing something for a cause that came about because of something awful that happened to a normal family and that could potentially happen to any one of us and our loved ones.

We called this adventure POW21, Pensioners on Wheels 2021.

There is no reason at all why we could not follow this with POW22. 

Why not?

Watch this space…..

POW21 signing off….stay safe everyone….more news whenever! 👍

Day 18 – July 6, 2021

Hi guys….well as per tradition here we go! 

We ate last evening at the Wainhouse Inn just outside Bude on the A39. We must be getting tired as we again forgot to take the dinner photo. However, after the days events of yesterday, Mark took this photo of Alan and Thomas still struggling to warm up!

A fine dinner of halloumi, garlic bread, steaks and hamburgers was enjoyed, washed down with the obligatory cold ones.

During the night, it had continued to rain quite heavily and the team decided to lie in for an extra half an hour to try and give the rain a chance to pass over. Thankfully it worked. We set off at 8:45am and looked forward to our days journey that was planned to be 50 miles with a first and only checkpoint at 26 miles in a place called Nanstallon, which also happens to be the location of our next special picture.

It was after only 7 miles that we got what we were expecting…’Alans Livener’. It was a 2 mile climb that was just relentless….it never stopped. We knew that we were once again in for a ‘special’ day! 😢🤣

Very soon into our first section and after the big climb, we found ourselves on Bodmin Moor. It was incredibly windy and was a real challenge to make progress. Take a look at these snaps and video and hear how strong the wind was.

We made it to our checkpoint and got our refreshments and set off for the final campsite on our adventure. 

The next few hours passed in the face of strong headwinds that to be honest we had been expecting. It was like peddling twice as far, orpeddling with your brakes on!! It was another tough day in the saddle and littered with ups and downs. It got to the point where we both said that we dreaded the downhills, because of the certainty of the hill that would follow! As Alan says….’Very lumpy!’

But hey we rocked into camp just before 4pm today, ahead of the expected rain. And Mark had prepared a nice cold one for us as well. 😊 We hope that tomorrows weather is at least a little easier with the wind and that the rain holds off.

We are still feeling great. Another 51 miles done, bringing us to 910 miles in total. Almost there! 😊👍

We prepared a song accordingly!

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message.

At the campsite this evening when we arrived, the owners very kindly waived the camp fees and asked us to put the money into the magic bucket! Thanks so much guys!

But please continue to spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £7,243without Gift Aid! And we have another £422 in the bucket. This means without the Gift Aid, we have so far collected £7,665! Amazing! 

Thank you so much!!! 👍😁

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks so much for all your support and donations.

Tomorrow’s journey is from Goonhavern to Lands End, expected to be another 48 miles. It’sour last day! And once again we are expecting more climbing but hopefully not as bad as the last two days. 

We are planning  an earlier start, weather permitting, and hope to get to our final destination between 13:30 and 15:30. 

So please keep an eye out for some first Lands End shots of us arriving. 🤞😊

Anyway, we are all showered and ready to pick up our supper for the evening at a local….youguessed it….Chinese.😉

Signing off….more news tomorrow…hopefully expect lots of photos! 👍

Day 17 – July 5, 2021

Hi guys….well as per tradition here we go! 

Last night we were lucky enough to eat at The Globe in Sampford Peverell. We ate well….once again 😉

Halloumi, prawns, fajitas, grilled chicken and fish and chips were all finished off as the norm with a couple of cold ones.

This morning there were some additional duties to be performed. Thomas had been complaining about the friction coming from his long hair that had just become so uncontrollable this last fortnight. So the razor was out, and Mark was seconded to help out! 😊

We set off at 8:45am for our planned day that would see us travel 68 miles over what we knew would be terrain to challenge us. Our first checkpoint was at 15 miles in the village of Puddington.

On the way we were able to take our next special picture….

We do hope you’ve figured it out by now!

Five miles into our day and we got the first mishap. We got our first puncture of the whole trip this far. Alans back tyre took a fatal dig from a jagged piece of old iron, probably on the canal toepath. We set about the repair and were back on the road again within 30 minutes. No drama! 👍

No further mishaps befell us before the first checkpoint other than the first of ‘Alans liveners’ that to be honest, happened all day. We travelled through Tiverton and on to meet Mark at the checkpoint and had to travel up a hill that whilst not overly steep, was about 2 miles long. It was a taste of the welcome that Devon was giving us! 😆

We pushed onto checkpoint 2 suitably refreshed when Alan decided to test the strength of Thomas’ friendship. At the foot of a meaty climb he instructed Thomas to proceed, only to shout out when Thomas 50 metres up the hill, ‘No, my mistake, not that way!’

Here’s the Strava to prove it! 🤣

After the next checkpoint at Hatherleigh Cricket club at 37 miles, Mark was travelling on the same route as us and caught us on camera for a few seconds.

Take note that at this stage, it is still dry, though Thomas is starting to feel the cold and is already wearing a waterproof layer.

Take a look at the difference as we set off from checkpoint 3 not an hour later.

The last two hours of the day were absolutely miserable. The rain and wind came in and made conditions really tough. It was compounded by what seemed to be non-stop hills, one of which was recorded at 17% incline. A lung-buster….the worst among several others.

The run in to meet the RV for the night was on the A39 in torrential rain with traffic passing us at all sorts of speeds. And of course, we had to overcome more hills before we could turn into The Wainhouse Inn for our hot showers, food and the rest for the night.

But we feel great. Another 68 miles done, bringing us to 858 miles in total. Almost there! 😊👍

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message.

At the campsite this morning before we left, we received more donations for the magic bucket from Jacky & Nicky and Lesley. Thanks so much guys!

But please continue to spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £7,021without Gift Aid! And we have another £396 in the bucket. This means without the Gift Aid, we have so far collected £7,417! Amazing! 

Please consider donating via Justgiving here

Thank you so much!!! 👍😁

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks so much for all your support and donations.

Tomorrow’s journey is from Bude to Goonhaven, expected to be another 50 miles.It’s our penultimate day! And we expect more climbing but hopefully not as bad as today!!😊

We are all set to head off to eat now.

Signing off….more news tomorrow…

Day 16 – July 4, 2021

Hi guys….well as per tradition here we go! 

We were hosted last night Chez Alan & Deb, who looked after us fantastically with salads, pasta and fresh fruit as dessert. You can tell that wasn’t the usual ‘healthy’ food that we have been eating on the road. 

No more photos other than what we posted yesterday as a lovely evening was spent with family and watching footy. We had a great time.

We were up and about this morning at 6:00am and busy making our prep with a drive to get to the start with our new driver.

Alan and Thomas would like to thank Billy for giving up his time to look after us over these last days. Thanks Billy!

As we arrived at Avonmouth to begin the ride, we once again had a fantastic surprise. Team members from Alan’s club, VC Newport, had driven out to join us at the start.

Thanks guys! It was a great start to our 70-miler to see you there! 👍

And so we set off on our 72 mile day and our first checkpoint at 24 miles in Cheddar. The weather was miserable. Wet and cold and we took some cycle paths after the AvonmouthBridge that just threw up the muck. We did have ‘Alan’s livener’, which was a long climb uphill out of Thornbury. Nice! Still we were able to record some key events, starting with the ‘bridge selfie’ 😉

Then we recorded Mark passing his first checkpoint test. He has been with us a few days but this was his first test as our driver. He didn’t screw up 👍

And then it was the ‘dirty pose’ from Thomas, showing what happens when you start the ride and forget to take your waterproof jacket. 😢😁

We set off to meet Mark in Bridgewater at 42 miles, and we never expected such a tough climbing day. The rain held off for only a short while but still we got wet again and reached Bridgewater with a Strava failure. Luckily a guy came along on a bike and asked the obvious question…’Are you guys lost?’

10 minutes later, we had found Mark and all was good again.

Thanks Lyall….much appreciated mate! 👍

Well it might have been reasonable for us to feel that we already seen the difficult stuff. Not at all. The next stage to Norton Fitzwarren was horrible. The rains came down, and one climb in particular was awful. It must have been at least a mile with all sorts of increases in gradient all the way along it. And when we were looking forward to getting our reward on the downhill, we couldn’t! The rain was so heavy that the downhill slopes were flooded with torrents of water and mud. So we were firmly on the brakes for the whole descent.

The last section was just a time to crack on and get it done. As Alan says…’Just dogging it out.’

In the end we got there, a distance of 72 miles, at 6:00pm this evening. Pretty tired, but feeling great! A cold one was soon enjoyed. 😊

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message.

This morning, at the first checkpoint we met Harvey from Cheddar RFC who was conducting training with a group of youngsters. He was interested in our story and accordingly made a donation to the magic bucket. Thanks Harvey!

When we arrived at the camp this evening, a lovely couple named John and Lyn, on seeing us arrive on the bikes, also made a donation to the magic bucket. Thanks John and Lyn….much appreciated!

And last night we received a cash donation from Mitzi and Billy Walker. Thanks so much guys for adding to the magic bucket. 😊

But please continue to spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £6,691without Gift Aid! And we have another £371.99in the bucket. This means without the Gift Aid, we have smashed the £7k mark standing at £7,062! 👍😁

Please consider donating via Justgiving here

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks for all your support and donations.

Tomorrow’s journey is from Sampford Peverell to Bude, expected to be another 68 miles. And we expect a lot of climbing too!! 😢 😊

We are all set to head off to eat now.

Signing off….more news tomorrow…

Day 15 – July 3, 2021

Hi guys….well as per tradition here we go! 

We had a recommendation from the campsite for us to eat at the Marina at the side of the site. It was excellent! We ate vegetable curry (our driver Billy not the riders!), rump steak and lasagne….not just any lasagne but The Mighty Big Lasagne! And we remembered to take the photo. 😉

We had our usual morning routine to follow and at 8:30 am we were ready to roll. The first checkpoint was at 17 miles in a place called Over and we expected the day to be around 66 miles of effort.

Because of the heavy rain, a mudguard was needed for Alan’s bike and Thomas being the true friend that he is pitched himself into the darkness to find the required article. He didn’t expect Alan to be filming him!

The first section was pretty miserable. As we set off the rain was teeming down on us and it was like that for all of the first section. We were in need of some sustenance by the time we met Billy at checkpoint 1 and he did indeed seem like the Childcatcher out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang offering Alan cream cakes!! 🤣

We set our next checkpoint to be at Berkeley at a distance of about 24 miles and here we got some great surprises. 

Firstly, some great friends from the village of Burghfield, where Thomas lives, had driven all the way to meet us in Berkeley! It was a great surprise and a great lift for Alan and Thomas. Here’s some snaps. 😊

And even a video as we entered the village. 😊

Guys….thank you so much for making the effort to be with us. Much appreciated! 👍

But that wasn’t the only surprise. Billy’s son Richard and family had also driven out to Berkeley to meet us! And Richard then joined us for the final leg into Avonmouth. We were being properly treated today! 👍😊

During the last section, we encountered the first mishap of the whole JOGLE. Thomas hit a bit of wet mud and took a fall. Completely unhurt, with just a few grazes, Alan persuaded him to lie back down again so that a photo could be taken! The things we do for dramatic effect! 🤣

We also found the place for our next special picture.

We hope you are working it out! 😉👍

And there was more to come again!

When we arrived at the end of the day, Alan’s family were there to give us an amazing welcome! It was fabulous to see the kids and their welcoming signs.

And even though he had been with us a couple of days, it was time for the formal handover of the keys between Billy and Mark, Alan’s son, who now takes up the driving duties. 

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message.

This morning, Jody, the owner of our campsite from last night waived her fees. Thanks Jody….really appreciated!

But please continue to spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £6,591without Gift Aid! And we have another £240 in the bucket.

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks for all your support and donations.

Tomorrows journey is from Avonmouth to Sampford Peverell, expected to be another 73miles.

This evening we are with family in Newport, our hometown. And to be honest….we’re having a great time. 😊

Signing off now. More news tomorrow…

Day 14 – July 2, 2021

Hi guys….well it’s the tradition now. 

Except…we screwed up! We didn’t get the photo!!

We rolled in after a long day and immediately set about relaxing. We were in mid-conversations as the food order was made and the food consumed. This is getting to be a regular theme. Yesterday’s blog had a photo after the food was eaten and the plates were empty! 😂

We can tell you that we ate nachos, chicken wings, sirloin steak and pork ribs, so there’s nothing wrong with our memories! 😉

So here’s a random photo of the beers we enjoyed just after we had finished for the day. 😊

We were joined for dinner last night by an old colleague of Thomas, namely Jayde who lives in a village not 15 minutes from our resting place last night. We had a good laugh for an hour or so and it was nice once again to be supported by friends along the way. And guess what….again we forgot the photo!! 😢

Thanks Jayde….much appreciated you took the time to visit JOGLE. 😊

Not so much to report about the early part of the day. We are well used to our morning routines now and today we were ready to leave at 8:15am. The whole day was due to consist of a 67 mile total journey and a first checkpoint of three that would be at 24 miles in Wombourne.

The section passed quickly and not without a cold chill. Thankfully by the time we had been on the road for an hour the sun was fighting through the clouds and the ride, all on tarmac, became very enjoyable.

Billy was waiting for us in the planned place and we took some decisions on the route from there on. We wanted very much to avoid canal paths and be on tarmac as much as possible. So it was with a clear mind that Alan and Thomas set off for the next checkpoint at Stourport-on-Severn.

It was then that we got a message with another nice surprise. Craig’s mum-in-law who lives in the area was going to wave us by as we hit the very busy A449. 

Alyson, thanks so much for coming out to see us! It is always such a lift when people go out of their way to cheer us on. Thank you! 👍

So onwards we travelled, and guess what? All the best laid plans went to squat as we once again ended up driven by Strava to a canal toepath.

This is Thomas goofing around and trying to be like Stan Laurel. 😉

Anyway, enough was enough. We ditched Strava and jumped to Google Maps and set our remainder of the journey to follow tarmac to the next checkpoint. We even then decided to drop a third checkpoint that we had originally planned and just blast out the last 20 miles again on tarmac. By our standards, we smashed the last third of the race. Because we used the roads, the journey was 6 miles shorter at 61 miles and we were much quicker. We ended up at campsite just after 3:00pm this afternoon. And of course a well-earned beer was due. 👍

After a well-earned shower and a bit of kit washing, it was then that we got our next nice surprise of the day. Paul, Alan’s son and a key member of the JOGLE team had driven from home to meet us with Alan’s granddaughter Lacey. They had also brought fresh cream cakes and savouries. Happy days! We couldn’t resist another JOGLE photo.

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message.

We were light on collections today so far. We are going to eat at the local marina this evening so maybe that can generate some interest.🤞😉

But please continue to spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £6,561 without Gift Aid! And we have another £176.60 in the bucket.

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks for all your support and donations.

Tomorrows journey is from Upton-upon-Severn to Avonmouth, expected to be another 67 miles. 

We are really looking forward to the day tomorrow. We are taking the opportunity to spend the night in Newport where we will meet up with members of our families whom we haven’t seen for the last two weeks.

It’s gonna be fun!! 👍😂😎

Signing off now. More news tomorrow…

Day 13 – July 1, 2021

Hi guys….well it’s the tradition now.

Back at the Culcheth Arms and once again a fine meal was enjoyed by all. Fish and chips, pork belly and prawn linguine all hit the spot followed by a few cold Morettis. Happy days!😉

After our preparations this morning we were set and ready to go just after 8am. The journey was to take us from Leigh to just south of Stafford with a planned distance of 67 miles and three checkpoints the first of which was due at 18 miles.

And it was a pleasure to be joined for the first 10 miles by Ian our host at the Layland campsite. 

Thanks Ian for joining us on the journey this morning. It was much appreciated and thanks to you and Jane for looking after us these last two days.

So it was Billy’s big test today. Could he navigate his way to the first checkpoint with no issue and be ready for Alan and Thomas to arrive??

No drama!

Not only did he make it, he even provided some home made snacks….in the shape of flapjacks. Superb!

After the break Alan and Thomas moved on in what was generally flattish countryside and were pleased to get a selfie at the world famous observatory at Jodrell Bank. Squint hard enough and you can see it!!

Whilst on the way to the next checkpoint at Biddulph, we got one of those messages again….ROAD CLOSED.

We decided to take our chances. It doesn’t mean that a bicycle can’t get through. And what do you know….we managed to manhandle our bikes around a major hole in the road and were able to proceed without a big diversion.

Nothing stops Ollie Young!! 😉

The rest of the journey passed in much the normal way. A continuous battle between the Garmin and Google Maps. Once again we found ourselves on a cycle track that was just dangerous for road bikes and later in the last stage of the day, we ended up on a canal towpath that was at some stages completely grass!

There were some nice treats too. Billy got us a nice lunch that was disposed of very quickly at the last checkpoint.

And when we arrived at our stop for the evening, The Chetwynd Arms, a couple of cold ones were waiting for us delivered by The Fly!! 😁

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message.

While we were in Culcheth last night, a lovely couple who had done LEJOG before came up and gave us a donation. Thanks so much to Graham and Janice pictured below.

Also today at the First Life Church in Biddulph, some members of the church gave us a donation whilst we were on the second checkpoint.

When we arrived at The Chetwynd Arms this evening we got further donations from Stuart and from Don and Sandra Gwinnett. 

Please spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £6,561 without Gift Aid!And we have another £176.60 in the bucket.

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks for all your support and donations.

In the end today we travelled bang on 70 miles. We had planned 67 miles, so we had around 3 extra miles but we were quicker as we spent more time on tarmac than planned.

Tomorrows journey is from Stafford to Upton-upon-Severn, expected to be another 67 miles.

Signing off now. More news tomorrow…

Day 12 – June 30, 2021

Hi guys….well it’s the tradition now.

Dinner last night, the last one for Scotty, was at the Culcheth Arms. A fine feast of sirloin steak, Culcheth Burger and Chilli Burger was enjoyed by the team and we all set back home for a taxi ride and an early nights sleep. It’s fair to say that we had a few extra cold ones last night, knowing that we would be having a long lie in tomorrow.

The job for the day was to relax and make sure that Scotty got home safely and our new driver Billy was onboarded and ready to rock and roll.

Not such a big blog today. Not so much to tell.

We took some photos to remind us of the fun yesterday evening and also of why we are doing what we are doing.

After that we said farewell to Scotty at Bank Quay Station in Warrington and set off to find a good hearty breakfast. 

Great breakfast in Warrington, The Hideaway Café.

One of our tasks this morning was to find a place to get Thomas’ spoke fixed, and we tried first at the Go Outdoors workshop. Matt, who worked there, couldn’t have been more helpful. In the end he didn’t have the spoke in stock but he was excellent in trying to help us find a solution.

We found our way to Alex at Ron Spencer Cycles.

Twenty minutes later, and we had a spoke fixed and we were ready to go. Alex….top man!!

We didn’t see so much countryside today but we did pass a farm that belonged to an old man that most of us know!

Essential maintenance was carried out on the bikes and before we knew it we were off to collect our new driver.

Billy has joined us. He comes to take over from the fantastic job performed by Craig and Scotty before him. Scotty had already left so we were unable to do a personal handover between them both. So Alan had to stand in as proxy.

Alan and Thomas would like to thank Scotty very much for giving up his time and for supporting us so well over these last days. It was a blast 😊

Billy….you’re up to the plate!!

And his first job was to capture the daily write up of the blog. 😊

Please spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £6,561 without Gift Aid!And we have another £147.60 in the bucket.

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks for all your support and donations.

Back on the bikes tomorrow. We feel great. A day off has been well-spent with R&R and some fine sunshine. Watch this space for our update tomorrow. Leigh to Stafford….here we come!

Signing off now. More news tomorrow…

Day 11 – June 29, 2021

Hi guys….well it’s the tradition now.

We had some great food and a few cold ones at the Boot & Shoe Pub in Lancaster.

What’s On – Boot & Shoe (bootandshoepub.co.uk)

A Draymans Board was shared as a starter, followed by a Tower Burger, Steak and Ale Pie and Fish and Chips. Al of these washed down with cold Manchester Craft lagers. 😊

Once again, a very good nights rest was enjoyed by all and we even gave ourselves a lie-in until 6:30am. Soon our preparations were complete, Scotty had his shopping list of stuff to do and Alan and Thomas set off at 8:45am for the first checkpoint at Broughton to be reached after a distance of 18 miles.

It was a good leg to start the day. Good progress was made and the riders arrived at around 10:15am. 

It was at this point and with 37 miles to go that we got our Charity Challenge. The guys at WD Construction, one of our sponsors and avid football fans, for a generous donation, dared usas proud Welshmen to show our support for England in a video to be shown later that day. Matt and Anne, two friends of Thomas and Alan, jumped in as well with an offer of a donation.

Well….we couldn’t turn down an offer like that could we!? 

Take a look later in the blog. 😁

Alan and Thomas set off for the next checkpoint that was at 40 miles and located the other side of and south of Preston.

Things began well, and some nice snaps of canal life were captured.

Yes, there is a little one in the front of the canoe enjoying the ride.

And it was nice to see this small community enjoying life at the side of the water.

Then the challenge began. We criss-crossed the M6 at least half a dozen times as we grappled between the Strava route and Google Maps.

It was extremely confusing and we did feel that we were travelling in circles at one point. Alan and Thomas guessed they were off course when the foliage got thicker!! This is genuinely Alan on the trail that Strava had set us 😂

After what seemed an age, we found our way to the next checkpoint and found Scotty hard at work on our challenge.

Refreshments were enjoyed and we set off for the campsite using only Google Maps and some help from some friendly locals.

Alan was given a challenging run in to the camp as his right shoe lost a cleat. He had to ride the last 12 miles with only his left shoe firmly in the pedal. It was a challenge….but no issue…this is Big Al after all. 👌😉

We did have another obstacle in front of us to overcome in Wigan. It was someone blocking the road. But when we asked this lovely lady she was more than happy to help. 😊

Finally Scotty was on hand to film our arrival at the camp that will be our home for the next two nights as we enjoy a rest day here tomorrow.

And so it was time for the challenge and the three of us couldn’t have done it without our supporting cast of Ian and Jane, Garry and Rachael, and Sarah and Gracie. Enjoy! 🤣

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message. 

Today on the canal path, Alan and Thomas were stopped by Dave and Carl from Wigan who had seen our shirts and very kindly made a donation for Ollie. Then when we arrived at the campsite, Ian and Jane waived their fees for the two days and asked us to top up the magic bucket. They even gave us free access to the showers! And then Gracie, a little girl staying onsite, came up and gave us another kind donation for the bucket.

And a big thank you to Brenda, staying onsite as well, who gave us two very chilled orange juices as we entered the site. We are being treated so well!

Thanks to everyone for supporting us here today. 😊

Please spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £6,480 without Gift Aid!And we have another £147.60 in the bucket.

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks for all your support and donations.

Signing off now. More news tomorrow…

Day 10 – June 28, 2021

Hi guys….well it’s the tradition now.

After relaxing and attending to the JOGLE and RV chores we decided that a delivery was the order of the day. Footy was on the RV TV and we settled down for a very quiet evening. Scotty arranged a meal for 4 for the 3 of us and not a morsel was left as Belgium and Portugal kicked off.

The night passed well once again…nobody has any trouble crashing for a minimum 7-8 hours for some reason 😉

Then it was up at 6:00am and the day was kicked off with the chores and prep for the day. Once again Alan was the hero but even he is starting to grimace after 10 days.

And so we set off on the journey almost due south from Penrith to Lancaster. It would be over a distance of 55 miles and the first checkpoint was planned at a village called Shap after 13.4 miles.

It was a very pleasant ride through some great countryside and past a place where we took another one of our special photos.

Come on guys, it can’t be only the lovely Barbara who has figured out what we are doing? 😉

We also found some interesting characters at the side of the road whilst on our way.

Two other guys on a bike going somewhere apparently? 😂

And it was here that we took this photo that shows some amazing views across the countryside.

Scotty was in place at Shap and after refreshments Alan and Thomas set off for Kendal, the fabled midway point on JOGLE and the place of our next checkpoint.

Once again the Garmin gremlins visited us.

En route at pace on the A6 and heading for the Shap Fell and the summit at 1400ft, we got a message to turn off the road and go down a single farm track. We shooed away sheep and enjoyed a long downhill for at least ¾ mile before we got the ‘Off Course’ message.

We were a bit non-plussed when along came a postie in his van. Turns out he was a keen cyclist and immediately he put us on the right track. ‘Turn around lads, you should be on the A6!’

So with more than a few cusses under our breath, we engaged in a climb back up the hill to the A6 and rejoined the climb to the summit. 

The climb to the summit was amazing. Long and gradual, it was made to just get into a rhythm and keep pedalling. Alan reached the summit before Thomas and caught him on camera as he crested the hill.

The ride down into Kendal was exhilarating. All downhill free-wheeling and Alan and Thomas thoroughly enjoyed the experience. After a steady climb up the one side, the highest speeds of the day happened on the way down the other.

We arrived in Kendal and Scotty had done his work and prepared some fine food for us. So we all sat down for lunch and a rest thinking that Shap Fell was behind us, we were 31 miles in, and now the rest of the day had to be easy. Didn’t it??😎

And so we took off for the next checkpoint at Yealand Conyers, about 12 miles away. What an hour and a half that was! We had about a dozen sharp climbs that ranged between 5% and 14%. 

It was also the hottest part of the day and it was probably ‘Alans Livener’, albeit later in the day.

However, we battled through without any real issues in the end and it was very welcome to get into the RV at Yealand and cool off before the run in to Lancaster.

We were soon back to the real world when we left the checkpoint as literally within 5 metres we began a 13% climb to get out of the village. Today has been an ‘interesting’ day!

We pushed our way on into the outskirts of Lancaster and once again we were forced to change course. The planned route put us on the canal path into the city. However after 3 miles, the surface was so bad we feared for the tyres and the overall rattling of our road bikes. So we took a decision to leave the canal and get onto the nearest road surface. Google Maps was called, and a route was set that had us back on tarmac and with a clear line of sight to our overnight stop at the Boot and Shoe Pub in Lancaster. The only issue…we had to go back yet again close to a mile to get on the right road! 😒

Finally, we tacked our way through Lancaster city centre and found Scotty waiting for us at the pub. We couldn’t resist celebrating the fact that we are 8 legs out of 16 completed. So here goes….

People continue to see the pow21 and the OYF message. 

A couple of nights ago in Beattock, we met a lovely couple named Beverley and Tony who very kindly have made a donation yesterday to the cause. And it got even better as Scotty left the campsite and checked in to pay, Susan the owner of Thakka Lea where we staying, waived a big part of our camp fees and asked us to put it into the ‘magic bucket.’ Thanks so much to Beverley, Tony and Susan.

Please spread the word. As at a few moments ago, pow21 had raised £5,806 without Gift Aid!And we have another £98 in the bucket.

We couldn’t do this without you all.

Once again thanks for all your support and donations.

Signing off now. More news tomorrow…