Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 5 of the Challenge and the last day

We started the day with smiles on our faces knowing that the finish was in sight in the form of the sea at Robin Hoods Bay, providing Marc's navigation skills didn't let us down, not something that had happened yet, but we did have the unhospitable moors to cover, a place that had broken two bikes during training due to its formidable terrain, bogs, waist high heather and mud. However the day was completed without any major mishaps.

Its been an honour to spend the week with the Team and our Support, and I am very proud to put Ian's name to an arduous challenge that we all managed to completed.

Some of the thoughts from the Team:
John: The final day was here and the thoughts of just 26 miles to Robin Hood’s bay put spirits high for all and I feel we made the best of the day and enjoyed every part… ok a puncture on my bike before we left camp delayed the start but that wasn’t going to put us down.
What a reception at the bay it was fantastic and emotional – thanks all, at first thinking nobody was there to welcome us and then the screams went up. From the welcoming team not us of course we were cruising into town and longing that first pint!
On to the beach for the final pictures and the skimming of the pebble that was collected from St. Bees and carried all the way across. Plus the collecting of a local pebble to go with the second collected at St. Bees as a souvenir and reminder of what we had achieved.
What a great week with highs and great memories all the way…. Those painful times are long forgotten.
Great job well done lads!

Peter: Well the team finished the ride on Saturday 24th at Robin Hoods Bay to a fantastic welcome by family and friends.
The 220 mile ride (plus 20 carrying my bike!!) were just great I enjoyed every single turn of the pedals. Although we had an important agenda to keep in mind, we had a good 5 days of laughter mostly at other team members mishaps along the way which equated to a laugh a minute!!!
If you don't enjoy falling off your mountain bike!!! please do not attempt the off road coast 2 coast stick to the road version!
Thank you to all that have sponsored me and all those that are still thinking about it !!

Elliot: When Mark first mentioned the challenge I thought coast to coast on a bike what a great idea! Little did I know that it would take up almost every weekend and evening building up to the event! It was a great challenge and a fantastic week which made all the training rides and trips in the canal worth it!

I wasn't sure that I or my bike would make it after the first day's fun and crashes! but we did and I feel very proud to have completed it for charity and Ian's name. Thanks Mark for the opportunity and thanks to the rest of the team for making a hard week so much fun! Did I hear someone mention Land's End to John o'Groats.........

Day 4 of the Challenge

No updates were made to the blog due to the lack of 3G, GPRS or any kind of phone signal at all. Let me just say the campsite was remote and a little lacking in amenities, but that's what you get in the middle of nowhere I suppose, but the day's riding and terrain covering was superb.

John said: After a good nights sleep and some brekkie from Mel & Darryn it was butt back on the saddle and go for another long day. It was good to spend some time on the roads again but running across the busy 4 lane carriageway over the central reservation was scary!! The moors seemed never ending although we did have the wind behind at one stage for a change… ok for 5 minutes. A great steep decent to the campsite ended the day on a high. And like all other days the legends Mel and Darryn had put the tents up ahead of us. A drive back to Leeds for me, Darren and Marc made this another very long day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 3 of the Challenge

Today we rode out of the pennines and into the Yorkshire Dales where we were greeted by the highest pub in England. We were told to serve ourselves, put the payment for drinks were free providing we peeled a whole sack of spuds between us!

A sack of spuds later we left the pub across country for some amazing scenary and downhill sections.

Elliot: Another good but long day. The addition of free beer and a good downhill section cheered everyone up. A longer day tomorrow then onto the home streach! Bring on the beers on the final day!

Marc: Day started on a high, Mel an Darryn supplying cups of tea and nothing was to much trouble. Maybe this could be a new sideline?? As for the ride, it was fantastic and a big shout has to go out to the Tann Inn for the free cider even thou it did cost a few spuds to peel. Back to the ride. Good day, fantasic sceneary and i managed to stay on the bike all day although seeing as i have come off it about half a dozen times i though it would be good if Pete caught me up on the scar's board. Night Night Bloggers!

Peter: Yet another fab day the ride was just superb. The gravel rash and the ever more sore bum is not dampening my spirits.

Adam: Well that's it I am definetly not a mountain biker!! Why does I always fall on my right knee???? Sorry chaps making you wait till i finished my Guiness Roast Beef sarnie and chips :). Roads were good today got our heads down and got some good mileage covered. Long un tommorrow but hey ho nearly there, Dont forget you can still sponsor us Kelly Amanda and Joy ;oP

John: After a nice day on the road to get over the totally exhausting long first day it was good to get back off road for some of the time today… although the bike carrying sections did get me longing for the road again! The stop for lunch at the Tann Inn will be very memorable with the free beer but having to earn it… what a shame there was not enough peelers to go around and I was left in charge of Quality…. Well after a telling off for us leaving the bruised pieces of spud in!!
Thanks to a bit of first aid on route Pete was back up and cycling in no time. Plus a puncture fix on Justin’s bike – all in a days cycle.

Justin: To be updated later

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 2 of the Challenge

After cycling around Coniston, then Windemere we crossed the M6 and continued on our way out of the Lake District which has some of the most spectacular scenary England has to offer. God really knew how to build mountains round here!! We arrived at Kirby Steven very suprised that we'd made it for 4 o clock in the afternoon. Thanks again for Mel and Darryn supporting us.

Marc: Just read that pete is after a ride in holland, im up for that but as long as the bikes have an engine!!!
Ok day 2, i could go on about the beautiful countryside that we crossed but it was very hard to enjoy it when your body aches and your bum hurts if you walk or if you ride? sorry, try not to think about it to hard.
ok just about to start day 3 and heading up to Tann Inn, (higest pub in england) its going to be a hard slog up there but i think the hardest part will be leaving it and and doing the next 30+ miles. chat tomorrow campers.

Adam: I want to go back to bed! Hard work, legs dont work and I've got a banging headache from one can of beer.

Justin: Looking forward to hitting the half way point today, and the highest pub in England...might just stay there...

Peter: Well the 2nd day had some very large surprises in store!! I lost count after 40 mountains and the hills even became hard at 2pm. Next year I am up for a ride in Holland!!

John: Am I dehydrated, am I exhausted, am I ill, um decissions decissions but I know one thing we've a few more mountains to climb yet so perhaps tonight I will know what my body is really trying to tell me!!
Lacking some tarmac on these paths I know that though!! :)

Elliot: To be updated later, he's dived off for some breakfast!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 1 of the Challenge

The Team in the sea on the West Coast.........

The first day was a hard day for all of us. Not only was it long (15 hours) but the terrain was both spectacular and gruelling. Over 45 miles were covered and at least 20 of those miles we either carried or pushed the bikes. Below are the team's thoughts:

Elliot: A great but challenging ride! an excursion over the handlebars provided some entertainment for the rest of the team! Some franic repairs this morning helped get my bike back in working order, thanks Adam for the wheel and riding the spare bike for today! All in all a good but long day. bring on the next one!

Peter: Very tough for the 1st day ,but what a fantastic ride and one of the best I have done in 6 years of mountain bike riding.

Marc: This looked like a good idea when we read the article in one of the bike mags, 6 or seven days of easy riding through some off the most scenic county in England and after leaving st bees on an easy path life felt good. 15+ hours later and with batterd bikes and bodies we pulled into the camp site. I have been mis'sold!

Adam: Well if anybody was buying this trip Marc would be done for false advertising!! Anyhow first day done a few more to go Pint and football tonight so long as Elliott doesnt' decide to show off his lack of stunt riding skills. Beautiful scenery so far well worth the bum ache and sunburn. Bring on Saturday i cant wait to sit in a chair :).

John: A nice 22mile warm up until we got to the Youth Hostel of Hell!!! If only I'd spent another couple of grand on a ultra light weight bike because I thought a bike was supposed to be built for riding not carrying!! I could have done with a zimmer on that last hill..... the downhill would have been better with lights too! :) Many thanks Marky B for the uphill assistance!
Some fantastic scenery.

Justin: Some hellish up hills followed by spectacular downhills in some of the most spectacular and remote countryside in the UK. So far, so good!

Mark: Never has a campsite been so welcoming even though it was completely dark when we arrrived. That was one tough day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Liverpool to Leeds - Following the canal 18/19 Apr 08

Could we actually cycle 127 miles off road, following the canal, in two days in preparation for the challenge?

None of us really had any doubt that we wouldn't be able to make it all the way, so we got off to a good start, leaving the Minorplanet offices in the Challenge support truck (Melvin's camper van) with all the bikes in the trailer.

After arriving at Liverpool we set off along the canal and past the first lock but we then managed to make our first mistake as we took a wrong turn and followed the wrong canal! Half an hour later we were back on track but not off to a good start.

7 miles later we to left the suburbia of Liverpool and really started to feel the elements that appeared to be working against us. It was cold, the tracks/tow paths were very muddy, but most of all it was very windy. We had decided to ride from Liverpool to Leeds and not vica verca due to the wind direction normally being a Westerly which would have been pushing us along, however we'd managed to pick one of those brief periods where the wind was an Easterly and appeared to be quite strong. So with the wind in our faces we pushed on and into the Pennies. Well at least we wouldn't have to go up any hills, just 57 locks to Blackburn, that were all uphill for us!

Blackburn was 60 miles away from us when we started and the campsite a further 27 miles, but after 40 miles and far too many stops (saddle sore makes you stop!) a few of us were starting to doubt our ability to get to the campsite in daylight and setup all the tents, but we pushed on. The first leg of over 80 miles was, at this stage, looking a bit too adventurous, but this was due to it not being as easy as we all imagined it would be. The wrong turn in the morning took us at least 30 minutes the wrong way, the tow paths in some areas were slippy, muddy, grassy tracks and we never seemed to go 5 minutes without having to get off for a gate of some description. The Pennies were also very bleak and when we were out on the highest areas the wind really did howl across the open fields slowing us to a miserable walking pace. This was becoming a serious demoraliser. By 4 o clock we still had nearly 40 miles to go to the campsite which was looking impossible to achieve in daylight but we only 10 or so miles to go to Blackburn, so we decided to call in the cavalry and get Melvin to meet us in Blackburn. Except for two.

Marc and Peter were not to be beaten and they refused the transport from Blackburn at 6 o clock and they pushed on. We pushed in, into the trailer and onto the campsite, feeling quite sore, tired and very thankful of the camper van. With a cup of tea in our hands and tea on the stove our thoughts and comments (nutters, ,mad, brave, stupid) went to Marc and Peter, especially as it was starting to get quite dark and wet. Yes, just to make it a little harder for marc and Peter it started to rain, heavily. However we did have comfort in the knowledge that they had taken a 6000 tracking unit with them and they were being tracked by Minorplanet (Patrick in particular, thanks) who was giving us regular updates on their position. As long as their position kept moving on the map we knew they were still moving along the canal and hadn't fallen in, and more importantly we'd better put their tent up!!

At 10 o clock in the dead of night they appeared at the campsite. Hats off to em, I know my buttocks couldn't have carried me another mile that day but they managed another 30 miles further than us.

Bright and breezy we woke in the morning with sunshine and breakfast from Melvin. We packed the tents away early allowing us to leave the campsite for half past 8. It was all downhill, quite literally. Every lock for us in West Yorkshire was downhill. The wind was still strong though and it seemed as determined as ever to slow us where every possible, but we persevered.

But after a superb lunch at Pan Loafys Canal Side Restaurant in Skipton there was no stopping us (thank you for the kind sponsorship from the Restaurant) and by 4 o clock in the afternoon we managed to smile our way back into Leeds, ending the jolly little jaunt at the Armouries.

Easy? No. A challenge in its own right? Yes. And definitely an experience along the way to preparing for the challenge.

if you want to see the route that seemed to zig zag forever you can go to select the 18th or the 19th and view the journey, just like you will be able to during the 5 day challenge.

Please don't forget we need your financial support for us to be able to achieve our goal of £10,000 for the Brake Road Safety Charity.
Please sponsor us by clicking on the link on the left or just go to

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Your Support is Needed

Please dont forget we need your financial support for us to be able to achieve our goal of £10,000 for the Brake Road Safety Charity.

Sponsor us by clicking on the link on the left or going direct to or see any of the team for donations.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

75 miles, 4200 feet and 10 hours in the saddle

Friday 11th April and Marc and Justin took the day off to complete a loop around the Severn River beginning near Gloucester, traveling off road along the West bank of the Severn to Chepstow and then over the old Severn Bridge and back up the east side of the river, off road back to our start point.
We estimated the route to be 67 miles long and had thought it would take in the region of 9 hours to complete, so we set off from Marc’s house in Quedgley and traveled North along the Sharpness- Gloucester canal until we were able to cross the Severn at Over Bridge. Having made it to the West side of the river we headed down the Gloucestershire Way footpath which follows the river as it meanders through the Gloucestershire countryside.
13 miles in and the river meets the A48 and a welcome tea hut. Soaked to the bone already, we stopped off for a quick brew and a warm up. While we were having tea the sun came out and the promise of a nice day loomed large!!
A further half mile up the A48 the path breaks away and follows the river again, so we were straight back to stiles and mud as we followed the river. Spectacular scenery along the river more than made up for the howling wind that we faced all the way to Chepstow and we were even lucky enough to watch the Severn Bore trundle up stream as we approached Newnham.
Once we got to Aylburton we stopped at my (Justin’s) house for a quick brew and a bite to eat before striking out on the last leg down the West side of the river to the old Severn Bridge at Chepstow.
Once on the bridge we had the welcome sensation of the wind at our backs and looked forward to an easier run back up the river to Gloucester. As we crossed the bridge we hit the 45 mile mark and it became apparent that our estimate of 67 miles was going to be a bit off, but nevertheless we were happy with progress and came off the bridge in good spirits.
A fairly long climb up to Thornbury, almost as soon as you come off the bridge was paid back with a lovely long 15 mile stretch to Sharpness which was almost all slightly downhill or flat the whole way. From there we got back on to the canal bank for the last few miles.
By this point I had well and truly had it while Marc looked like he could have done another 20 miles…the swine!!
So for me the stretch along the canal was a long slog although it has to be said it was punctuated with very picturesque little villages and brightly painted boats all along the route so it wasn’t too bad at all.
Eventually we came off the canal and after a quick route through Quedgley that took us to 75 miles done, we found ourselves back at the start point and a very welcome drink.
With the big day less than 5 weeks away now, the more of these long days in the saddle that we can organise the better!!


Friday, March 28, 2008

You can track us!

We now have the VMIgreenlight website running where you can track us during our training and eventually during the West to East Coast to Coast challenge by clicking on this link:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

South West half of the Team in Cheddar Gorge for Easter

The South West half of the team made the most of the wind and snow on the bank holiday with a trip to one of Somerset’s finest tourist destinations, Cheddar Gorge. With its spectacular cliffs, hills and cave networks it really is quite spectacular. Starting from the bottom of the gorge the ride began with a serious hill climb which got everyone’s heart and lungs going, followed by another easier climb alongside a very picturesque small stream on a woodland trail(CIMG2702, 2703 & 2705) which took us to the summit of our first hill and was followed by a very long rewarding, rocky descent in to Cheddar itself.
Once out of the village we began the climb back up. As we approached the summit we really began to feel the effects of the very strong wind that was whistling over the top of the Mendip hills. A fairly long plod across the top of the hills and we approached our final ascent which would take us to the top of Beacon Batch, the highest point in the Mendip Hills.

A quick photo opportunity there(CIMG2709.jpg) and a chance to admire the view and then we had the long flowing descent down the side of the hill and then on to the road that winds its way through the gorge itself.

A spectacular end to one of the best routes we’ve done to date. Well chosen Mr Badman!


Please do not forget to sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side and a big thank you to those of you who have sponsored us already, or go direct to

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Monday in Dalby Forest

We just can't get bored returning to Dalby Forest. Even though the red route is only 23 miles it is a long and hard 23 miles that gives us some damn good physical training that we require, so 4 of us, Peter, Adam, Elliot and I arrived at the Forestry commission car park in Dalby Forest at 10:30 to start out on the route.

The day was cold, very cold, but after the first difficult climb we would soon warm up, however what added to the difficulty was the mud. The tracks had a covering of mud from the melting snow in the gorgeous sun that just made it that little bit harder, something which I don't think we had factored in.

But with the blue skies and sun in our faces we knew we were in for a good day weather wise, well at least that's what we thought, until half way through the ride when the skies turned grey and across came the most painful wind driven hail and snow. Fortunately for us it didn't last too long and didn't hamper or spoil the ride. Not until Pete's chain broke again that is. Yes the same chain that broke whilst out on the moors! However with only a mile and a half to go, mostly downhill we free wheeled back to the cars after a long, hard but fun day.

Please do not forget to sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side and a big thank you to those of you who have sponsored us already, or go direct to

Friday, March 21, 2008

North Yorkshire Moors - Fylindales Loop 15th March 2008

Ok, so this route was a bit adventurous considering the time of year and the quantity of rainfall we have had recently, however there were still 3 of us Pete, Elliot and myself) out of the team that were stupid enough and available to give it a go as we needed the long distance training. If you google the 36 mile route you will find information about the route with the following description:

Not a route for the unifit, the unskilled or the easily lost. If that doesn't put you off, there's plenty to keep you busy for a full day; miles of moorland singletrack, forested areas and some fairly boggy fields, peppered with some lung busting climbs and some pretty full-on descents. There's plenty of rocky, technical stuff which will test your skills, pretty views to stop for, as well as some fast swooping singletrack to get you moving again.

What it should also say is that if it has rained in the last 2 weeks the tracks you need to follow will be almost invisible, the mud will be like superglue, and the heather, in between the bogs, will be as high as your waist!

So, after leaving the cars in a quiet forest we headed off down a very well kept fire track through the forest for about ten minutes. Then we turned off the firetrack onto a sparsely used track and this was where we hit the first mud section. To be honest at this stage it was quite funny as we all took it in turns in sliding to a muddy end on the floor without any control over the bikes because of the deep, thick gue we were attempting to navigate through.

Once out of the mud we broke out onto the moors, now starting to realise that this was a very bleak and potentially inhospitable place to be caught out if something went wrong, but we were confident. Well I was because I was the one carrying the map!

However Peter had no faith in my navigational skills and was adamant we had gone wrong so he had us cross the river, climb an embankment carry the bikes for about half a mile through bog before deciding that this might not have been one of his best ideas and that we should cross back again. So we did. Through the bog, down an embankment, through the river and into some of the highest heather I have ever seen. Waist high snow would have been easier, but we persevered. (how foolish!)

There was light at the end of the tunnel though as we could just make out, a few hundred yards away, a trail cutting its way through this very remote part of the Moors. It was probably an hour before we reached the track and at least two hours since I had last ridden my bike (I can't ride through bog, rivers and thigh high heather!) but we finally made it to the track. What a relief. But oh no the track was not a track but a thick, shallow river of molten mud. Not deep but thick like we had never seen before and wherever the mud touched it stayed. The bikes became clogged beyond belief with mud until my rear gear mech gave up the ghost and destructed itself and Pete's chain managed to wrap itself (mud assisted of course) around the crank..... twice.

With repairs made but with two very sick bikes (I had one gear and Pete had a chain that would eventually break 10 minutes later) we decided to head for the cars, hmmmm I wonder where they might be???!

We did made it back and were very relieved to see the cars but with bikes that would need some remedial work after a ride (and bike carry) that started at 10:01 and finished at 15:06.

Please don't let me pick any more training routes!
Please do not forget to sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side and a big thank you to those of you who have sponsored us already.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dalby Forest Training 8th March 2008

On Saturday morning Elliot, Adam and I set off from Leeds for Dalby Forest in the Yorkshire National Park to try their Red Route without the snow that we had encountered last month. That was after we'd had the compulsory bacon butty at the Forest cafe. On the website it interestingly states about the Red Route "Ensure you and your bike are ready for several hours of hard, technical riding" which was not far from the truth at all. The technical sections included board walks, rock paths bizzare bridges, bermed corners, bomb holes and steep switchbacks to name but a few that tested our brakes, full suspension or seat padding, our agility (or rather lack of it!) and concentration, to their full.

And then included in the middle of the forest is a circuit for those of us that might want to catch some 'air'!

But all in all an excellent 25 mile ride with some excellent skill testing sections.

Please do not forget to sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side and a big thank you to those of you who have sponsored us already.

Some route statistics:

Total Ascent: 2431.1 ft
Total Descent: 1998.0 ft
Maximum Elevation: 859.6 ft
Minimum Elevation: -137.8 ft

Monday, March 3, 2008

St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay recce

Preparation day: 19th May 2008
Our Coast to Coast mountain bike route of 210 miles is across some pretty arduous terrain and we can only best average between 40 to 50 miles a day so we need 5 places to stay, not including the preparation night at St Bees.

So Marc, Justin and I set out to recce the route and to find some places to stay, places that wouldn't resemble a sheep trough (we nearly booked one of those!) and cheaper than the Plaza and this is what we came up with. But once at St Bees we couldn't resist a ride across some of the spectacular coast line from St Bees to the Light House!
St Bees is famous as being a start point for Coast to Coast treckers but ones usually doing it on foot however with some temporary changes made you can see from the photo that this will also be our start point for the ride.

At St Bees we will be staying at Seacote Park for our preparation night of 19th May 08. More information on the park can be found at:

Click here for a weather update:

Day 1: 20th May 2008
Once we leave St Bees we have a long trek before our first overnight stop at Scarr Head Farm, Torver which is a hamlet very close to Coniston Water, famous for the Land Speed Record attempt by Donald Campbell and for the spectacular countryside which can be seen at:
Click here for a weather update:

Day 2: 21st May 2008
As we follow the trail heading East across the Lake District, up fell, past tarn and down hills across Cumbria, our next overnight stop will take us to the Pennine View Caravan and Camping Park in the picturesque town of Kirkby Steven. The following is an extract taken from their website:
Kirkby Stephen is a small town in the Upper Eden valley which was formerly in the old county of Westmorland, now Cumbria. This is an area of Cumbria much less well known than the Lake District, but equally appealing. A traditional market town of historic buildings, cobbled yards, quaint corners and interesting shops, it is surrounded by a landscape of pastoral rural scenery and wild uplands. Being remote from large towns and population centres, Kirkby Stephen has developed a strong and self-sufficient identity and a vibrant sense of community.
More details of the campsite can be found at:
Click here for a weather update:

Day 3: 22nd May 2008 On our 4th day we will leave the Lakes, cross the pennines (this is making my legs ache thinking about this!) and arrive in Brompton on Swale in the heart of the North Yorkshire countryside and at the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. The camping and caravan park at Brompton on Swale set next to the river Swale is just a couple of miles from Richmond. More information can be found at: Click here for a weather update:

Day 4: 23rd May 2008
This day takes us through the Yorkshire Moors towards our ultimate goal of reaching what will have seemed an impossible sight of the East coast, but before we get there we have one more overnight stop at a campsite/farm/toilet in a field with a gate on called Hollins Farm in Glaisdale.

Run by a little ol' lady this campsite really is what this challenge is all about; remote but
beautiful, arduous but rewarding. Sorry guys, there are definitely no jacuzzis at this site, but if we manage to arrive before 18:30 the local taxi will come and pick us up and take us to the only pub within a sensible radius where we can be fed. We have to be picked up before 18:30 as the taxi driver is the pub landlord and chef!

Click here for a weather update:

Day 5: 24th May
From Glaisdale we will be on our final leg (or should I say legs!) to end in the sea at Robin Hoods Bay. Children and sandcastles please be aware because I think by the time we arrive at Robin Hoods Bay after crossing the remainder of the Yorkshire Moors we won't be in much fit state to ride carefully. However the ride into Robin Hoods Bay will only be 26 miles long so anyone will be welcome to join in. Once our celebrations have died down on the beach (we expect to arrive early afternoon) we will head to our last stop, by vehicle I hasten to add, but this time with our families and friends to a beautiful family run caravan and camping site at Fylindales, just 4 miles from Robin Hoods Bay. It has good amenities and has been updated recently which cannot be seen from its website which does it no justice. This will be a fantastic time for us all to get together and look back over the previous week (providing we make it!) and celebrate the achievement and remember Ian, my brother who has been the inspiration for this challenge.

You are all welcome at any of the over night stop offs and in particular at Grouse Hill for the Bank Holiday weekend. Either come along for the day and visit some of the local sites or stay the weekend with most of us. If you want to stay at Grouse Hill you can either contact them direct and tell them you are part of the Minorplanet group or just email and I will add you to the list.

Grouse Hill's website is:

Click here for a weather update:

Please do not forget to sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side and a big thank you to those of you who have sponsored us already.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shrewsbury 3 peaks training - 25 Feb 08

On a cool and windy morning the Team met in a Co-oP car park after travelling down from Leeds and up from Bristol, got changed, prepared the bikes and ourselves for the Shrewsbury 3 peaks training session. The ride started with a ten minute road section before the inevitable upwards climb that wasn't too steep to start off with which was easily ride-able. A bit disconcerting though as we were passed by a mountain bike tandem! That was impressive but I don’t think my wife would entertain the idea! However the easily ride-able section soon materialised into an awesome muddy downhill section.

The only issue with this awesome muddy downhill was that we were going up and not down which wasn't encouraging as bike after bike went past us blasting down the trail and commenting on how mad we must be to go up and not down. What they didn't realise was that our trail didn't just involve the one fell which they were riding, but three!

During the whole route we were also tracked in realtime with the new Minorplanet 6000 which can be seen with a snapshot of the detailed report.

Please sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side

Once at the top it was clear that the howling wind was becoming a real issue and it was going to be against us for most of the day, wind blowing into your face makes cycling up hills and dales quite a difficult task, but the top did bring some quite rewarding sites.

It was easy to see why the area is very popular with walkers and cyclist with some quite steep but very picturesque heather covered fells. Anyway back to the training; the route which Marc had picked was without doubt the best route we have trained on yet. It was challenging in the vertical sense, it was challenging in the technical sense of having to negotiate goat tracks on the side of steep hills, extreme uphill sections and of course some quite extreme downhill sections that saw average speeds over the minute in excess of 30mph.

And 30mph isn't bad across fields when being challenged by kamikaze sheep, eh Adam??! All in all a very physically challenging but enjoyable day where we covered 30 miles of terrain that was as near as possible to what we are expecting on the challenge week. More of the same please Marc!

Please sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side

Monday, February 4, 2008

30 miles around Harrogate (in the snow!)

Come rain, sleet or even snow, the training continues (well it does if you have a bike, Elliot is still waiting on delivery of his new steed as the old one has died)

As you can see from Peter's 30 miler around Harrogate.

Please sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side

South West Training Sat 2nd Feb

Meanwhile, down South the weather was much less formidable as John, Marc and Justin set out for a ride through the Forest of Dean.
The decision was made to try and get some miles under our belt so we headed for the single track route.
Having been instructed to get some pictures we decided to head for a part of the forest that we knew would give us some good photo opportunities and make the ride look a bit more exciting and challenging than it actually was…no point in letting our snow challenged comrades ooop North know we’d taken the easy route!!
Marc and John got themselves to the top of a nice drop while Justin prepared himself for his David Bailey impression at the bottom.
Marc was first off…
Always ready with a stupid idea, Justin shouts ”Do the jump at the bottom!”
This would have been a great photo as so far none of us has had the bottle to go for this particular jump.
Marc hits the jump…
Justin misses it with the camera….and then hears a crunch from behind him as Marc’s bike hits the ground.
“oooh, that sounded like your frame going” says Justin as he turns round to find a dazed and confused Marc sitting on the floor…
Marc sticks his tongue out to reveal deep teeth marks across the top and bottom and a lot of blood. How he didn’t bite his tongue off remains a mystery as it transpired the crunch from Marc’s bike was his head hitting the handlebars.

Anyway, they’re a tough lot in the South West and they carried on undeterred by Marc’s injury. At least that was the plan….

Within a few miles Marc got very hot despite the low temperature and went very white, so we cut it short and headed back so Marc could get to A&E.

So only 10 or so miles completed by the Southern contingent this weekend, but at least we got to practice our first aid.
Please sponsor us by clicking on the JustGiving link on the left hand side