Wednesday 6 October 2010

Finished - 955 miles; summary, some list and miscellaneous figures!

I certainly didn't come first in any speed challenge but I have enjoyed myself!
I set out with some Goals, these were to:
  1. cycle from Orkney back to Kent before my son's 15th birthday; done with time to spare!
  2. look at engineering works to show how great examples of both current and historical engineering works are all around us and help to make our country the success it is; I believe I had a good go at this and whilst I could have done more, some people found it a little too technical!
  3. visit my family across the country; well I managed to visit my parents, brothers and sister and most of their children. Thank you for putting up with me and my thoughts are very much with my brother Angus who shortly after I met up with him and Robert had an accident and has yet to recover.
  4. reflect on the implications of the big changes I (and perhaps we all) need to make as we move to a low carbon economy; well I have done this but reached no firm conclusions. I will return to this on another blog.
    • There's always something to do...
    • raise money for two charities; I still have a bit of work to do on this but I am extremely grateful for all those who sponsored me - thank you
    • find a new and challenging permanent job; still working on this one but the notice period I have been given related to my redundancy goes through to mid-February, so there is till time!
    So I thought I would round up with some lists
    Challenge favourites 
        1 cycling with Angus and Robert from Hexham
        2 south from Tongue to Lairg with pint in the Crask Inn
        3 05:30 start from Kirkwall to catch ferry from St Margaret's Hope 
        4  getting new wheel in York!
        5  staying with and meeting nearly all my family at various places along the route  
    Places that catered for my cycling best 
        1 London (quantity, maps, clear route types, investment)
        2 Loughborough (junctions, quality and quantity)
        3 York (cycling facilities)
        4 Inverness and area around south to Aviemore (old A9 and commuting)
        5 Sheffield (plus whole region from Derby to Market Harborough)
    Places that catered for my cycling least 
        1 Leighton Buzzard to St Albans (signs, routing etc)
        2 Milton Keynes (signage misleading and quality of surface)
        3 Peterlee plus or minus 10 miles (quality of NCN route 1 surface)
        4 Edinburgh (RR - ring road was very poor quality routing, poor junction design, no temporary routing whilst roadworks taking place). Of course this is where I was born so I should favour it!
        5 Perth (no idea what is going on at junctions)   
        £2,637.10 raised to 6 October; £1,400 to go, it's never too late and every little helps! Thank you. 
        955 miles (1,635 km) cycled including about 1 mile walked (some hills, tunnels and foot bridges)
        356 photos taken
        20 blogs written (almost daily)
        9 kilometres (5.6 miles, 29,600 ft, 9,031m) total vertical climb
        8 serious near misses; incl. 2 by me (skidding on wet rivets on old rail bridge and narrowly missing curb, 6 by others - 1) head-on young guy racing level crossing barrier closing from side road near Doncaster, 2-5) local coach in Derbyshire, HGVs near Perth, St Albans and Woolwich having no idea what they were doing! 6) 50+ year old woman driving in Tain where shopping is far more important than watching the road. General knowledge of Highway code rules 139, 158 and 188 fairly poor with at least 1:100 drivers - at least the time I met them!
        1 new rear wheel but no punctures
    Slideshow of all photos as per map above 

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