Pete’s Lands End to John O’Groats Cycle Ride

Pete Baker at Southwater The Bike Ride 2015
Centre member and volunteer Pete Baker is going to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of Centre funds. Here in his own words is why he is taken on this tough challenge.

Many years ago in my 20s, as a county standard athlete, I dreamt of running the length of the country. Life, circumstances, i.e. 30 year police career, family, 4 children, meant the dream was put on hold, and if honest, forgotten.

In 2003, my wife Judith was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS, I found it difficult to deal with this, and if I’m honest I still do.

I retired from the police in November 2006 and had a 2nd career as a coach driver, with Regency Travel (Thank you John and Jackie Durrant). During this time, I had more time to attend social functions at the Sussex MS Treatment Centre. Through a combination of meeting people there, and a gradual deterioration in my wife’s health, I decided to retire from all work in November 2014 (well almost). Come visit Mile Oak Farm for a bacon sarnie on a Sunday! Your find me in the café! (Thanks Dave and Julia Cross)

Since then, I have been doing voluntary work at the Centre and met numerous people, who have become my friends and inspiration, and that has made me feel very humble about how lucky I am to still have my fitness and I totally admire how they deal with their adversities in life.

In May 2015, I took part in the Shoreham to Slinfold fundraising cycle ride (25 miles), for the Centre, which rekindled my dream. Now too old to consider running the length of the country, let’s make it happen on a bike!

I aim to complete just under 1000 miles in 12 days having signed up with Discover Adventure and with the Sussex MS Treatment Centre as my chosen charity. I am already adapting my lifestyle for the challenge and preparing myself for the start date of 30th August 2016.

I need to raise a minimum of 2700, but my goal, aided by the fundraising committee at the Centre, is well above that as you will see when you visit my fundraising page.

It won’t be a holiday for me, and I will make it happen. Please support me, by visiting my donation site at Virgin Moneygiving or signing the sponsor forms at the centre.

Pete and Judy’s daughter Jade has written this about her dad and his big cycle challenge.

Pete was on Juice FM’s Drive programme with Guy Lloyd on 25 April 2016 to help promote his cycle ride and the Centre. See the Soundcloud file below to listen to this.

Pete was on Allison Fern’s afternoon show on BBC Sussex on 24 August. If you missed him you can hear what they talked about via the Soundcloud file below.

 

Pete’s Land’s End to John ‘O’ Groats Diary

 

Day 1 – Land’s End – Liskeard (80 miles)

 

Pete Baker at Lands End

First day done with no dramas feet up in Liskeard for the night before a tough day over Dartmoor tomoz! Looking forward to it though as have so many fond memories of family holidays and coach trips with Regency Coaches and CB tours! Now time to crack it on a bike! Cheers Pete

 

Day 2  –  Liskeard – Tiverton (70 miles)

Pete Baker LEJOG Day 2 - Liskeard to Tiverton

Generally considered to be the toughest day as after reaching Tavistock there is a steep climb onto Dartmoor.

Day 2 Pete at Warren Inn

 

Day two on the road for Pete plus washing, amazing!


‘Safe in Tiverton after a murky ride over Dartmoor ! Loads of memories of the Warren Inn 8th most remotest pub in UK with a continuous log fire burning since the 50s !

Other pics of big Fran from Bolton a real character in the group ! Merv and John my main riding mates and washing done !

Rest time and off to Chepstow tomoz . Only 91 miles away !

Cheers Pete.

 

Fran

 

 

Day 3 – Tiverton – Chepstow (90 miles)

All about food and friends today! Typical water and lunch stop and even had disabled space reserved! The 3 musketeers and 90 odd miles completed and welcome to Wales ! Can’t tell you where I’m staying in case you think it’s too classy ! Ok Google the Marriott St Pierre Chepstow, had to invest in some speedos for the spa , medium I may add! At least I’ve got them for ice baths in the lochs later in the ride ! Thanks again for all your support, getting a few hits a day on the Virginmoneygiving site it means so so much ! Thank you

Day3 riders - LEJOG

 

Day 4 – Chepstow – Shrewsbury (93 miles)

Damp start through the Wye valley and Welsh villages today but the sun came out for the rides over the Shropshire hills ! Why take the main road around them when you can keep going over them . Can’t moan some fantastic down hill bits to ! And in case your thinking , I did take the bike and not the buggy ! Honest . Cheers pete

Pete Baker Day 4

Pete Baker on golf buggy Day 4

 

 

Day 5 –  Shrewsbury – Preston (88 miles)

Shrewsbury to Preston map

Cycled in the pouring rain all day ! Character building as me old man used to say !

 

Day 6 –  Preston – Carlisle (91 miles)

Pete_Day6

Day 6 completed and in the hotel in time to watch England play ! Preston to Carlisle today . So that’s England almost done and off to Kilmarnock tomoz . Pictures of Merv John and Duncan my companions for today , and the top of shap pass in the Lake District .
Thanks again for all the donations and please keep visiting and sharing my virginmoneygiving sight ! Cheers pete

 

Day 7 –  Carlisle – Kilmarnock (100 miles)

Pete_protourbus

 

So I decided to leave the professionals to get on with the tour of Britain and made the Scottish border with Merv and John . Lunch in a cow shed ! Good old Scotland ! Then onto kimarnock . Staying next to the footy ground . Moving onto better scenery tomoz ! Once again thanks for all the support and donations cheers pete

Day 8 –  Kilmarnock – Inverary (82 miles)

kilmarnock-to-inverary-lejog

‘Stans kit dry and another day done , coffee and ice cream in largh ferry trip and up to Inveraray ! Early to bed again as have back to back 95 mile rides through the highlands coming up ! Thanks for all the support . Cheers pete’

pete-day-8

pete-inverary-jail

 

Day 9 – Inverary – Loch Lochy (95 miles)

Very tired after a hilly 100 miles ! But happy and in a youth hostel with 20 other guys !  Thanks for support and good wishes and see those that can make it at the Mile Oak Sunday . Cheers pete

mile-oak-homecoming

 

Day 9 – Loch Lochy – Brora (97 miles)

pete-baker-brora

No I didn’t jump in the river to get this wet ! Tough one due to hills weather and 10 days on the road but all good and nearly done ! Thanks again for all the support and donations cheers pete

Day 11 – Brora – Thurso (65 miles)

pete-baker-lejog-penultimate-day

Great final proper day on the moors of Scotland and chilling in Thurso before final bit tomoz ! Your support has been amazing ! Thank you all so much ! Cheers pete

Day 12 – Thurso – John ‘O’ Groats (30 miles)

pete_baker_johnogroats-1

pete_baker_johnogroats

What’s the chances of a Leeds win just to make my day !