Today's blog is one of mixed emotions. The deed has been done, we have achieved what we set out to do. We have cycled from lands end to John o groats the scenic way and dare I say ever so slightly hilly!!

The b&b was pleasant and the normal athletes breakfast consumed! We set out just before 9 to tough start of hills, just for a change. So 2 big climbs in the first 10 miles got the pulse working! We had checked the forecast and the wind was supposed to have changed to south east, so behind us. Alas, it wasn't until after 27 miles it did decide to change, it's only taken 14 days to change and get behind us, so much for the prevailing wind Bruv!!!!!!!

We stopped after 25 to warm up with a hot drink and shortbread that hit the spot. It was so cold I put on my jacket and overshoes.  The next 13 miles to wick went by pretty quick, Martin put the hammer down and smashed it there, I tried to keep up but to no avail, although I felt pleased with my mornings work. Martin stopped for soup at Wick, I of course didn't see his bike outside the cafe and went speeding past. Martin saw me and called me to let me know, I decided to carry on as my legs were getting tired and after all, only had 18 miles to go!! I slowed up so Martin could catch up to make sure we finished together.

To cut a long story short, I have had some problems with my shoe cleats popping out of the pedal causing all sorts of strife, I have had to concentrate hard for the last 3 days keeping my feet still as possible to stop this happening as it could possibly cause a crash. 

7 miles from the finish, I was day dreaming about finishing, the emotions I might feel, what I had been through to get there etc, all of a sudden my feet popped out the pedal and caused me to drag my feet and speed wobble, when my right foot hit the floor, it hit the rear derailleur with such force that it snapped off and bent the opposite side it should be.  Luckily it did not cause a crash but it did mean my bike was unridable. 

Great, 7 miles to go, that's a long way to carry the bike as I couldn't push it either as it would have broke the rear wheel. Bruv had read somewhere if ever this happens, remove the broken bits, split the chain and turn the bike into a single speed. Great idea, he knew what to do, just not how to do it, that's where DIY noz comes to the rescue, I'll give it a go, after all, had no choice really!!! We have a chain splitter and some spare links so I set to work, half hour later, a bike I could ride, yes it only had 1 gear but at least I could finish. The last 7 miles had a few hills so it was tough in 1 gear, especially the last hill, I wasn't going to quit or walk so I shouted at myself for encouragement, Martin gave me words  likewise so I worked my socks off and made it to the top. I was rewarded with the last mile downhill. We rode side by side and I for one was so proud, relieved and glad I could complete this task with my brother. The emotions I thought I would feel were exchanged with relief.

Rob the legend had passed us earlier after driving for nearly 9 hours. He met us there and was great to see him.

We took the obligatory photos by the last house and congratulated each other. We had a quick snack, got changed and started the 250 mile trek back to our nights stop at Perth. It was a bit strange seeing the roads we had  ridden in a car, it took a while to register and even now as I write this, it's still a bit of a blur. About half an hour after we had finished, the rain came down! Happy days.

Tomorrow I will blog once more in conclusion format. I look forward to that.

5/5/2011 05:25:31 pm

Was Cliff there to sing CONGRATULATIONS?? If not, he should have been, because nobody deserves it more than you two.

I am so proud of you both, such determination. Have a great journey home and a stupendous weekend! xx

6/5/2011 03:17:24 am

Well done, top job!
And like a top selling novel, just when it looks like all the problems are behind you & you are nearly home & dry, something happens, the tables are turned and it suddenly seems impossible. But the heros of course find a solution to the impossible & finish anyway. Actually the whole 2 weeks make quite an impressive story.

6/5/2011 04:50:38 pm

Oh Ian, you are so strong and manly to ride with one gear. You truly inspire me. ;-). Mind you, you were also a clown for breaking it in the first instance.

9/5/2011 12:10:06 am

Just Luce then
9/5/2011 12:13:00 am

Bloomin eck n woah!! And phew
I shed a tear as I read that and turned to look at ema sleeping in the back seat, thinking how much u must've missed ur babies. I'm really glad it turned out sooooo well and now ur home with the fam.
I also like Simons word choice...clown haaaahaha!!


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