Cycling for Royal Blind

Posted: 02/07/2015 |

Land’s End to John O’Groats (in five days), by James Gregson.

Seems an awful long way

“The overall cycle was a lot harder than expected. Physically I felt okay but mentally it was really tiring. If I did it again I would pick a more scenic route that involved nicer views and roads. I took lot of A-class roads which were long and boring.

“The second day, from Bridgwater to Whaley Bridge was the toughest. It was a flat route but, at 220 miles, was the longest. There was a point around 140 miles that I had to just sit down by the road. It was raining hard and, knowing I had another 80 miles to go that day, wore me down a bit. Fortunately, I was able to keep in contact with everyone and spent 15 minutes reading the lovely messages of support from people. After that I just got my head down and got it done.Photo of James Gregson during his cycle challenge

Support really helps

“I had a scruffy handwritten sign on my rucksack saying what I was doing. When I was in Shrewsbury, I called in to get a sandwich and a complete stranger came up to me, shook my hand and gave me a tenner for my dinner. Then the sandwich shop gave me my sandwich for free, so that spurred me on some more!

The challenges

“My bike had been trouble free until the fourth day when I was really tired and not concentrating on a cycle path along the A9 coming out of Perth. I hit a grid and it threw me off the bike causing a flat tyre and sore hip and elbow. Apart from that, and another flat on the last day, the bike ran perfectly.

“It rained for pretty much all of the ride until I reached Golspie, beyond Inverness. I was able to uncover my arms and take off my jacket for the first time in the cycle. The sun stayed with me right until the finishing post at John O'Groats where I was greeted by a gorgeous sunset which capped off an amazing journey.

Fancy doing it again?

“I think five days was certainly a challenge but that’s what I set out to achieve. I wanted it to all be a bit of a struggle and it certainly was. I would definitely do it all again, perhaps in four days next time!

Photo of James Gregson holding a cheque of his sponsorship money payable to Royal Blind“Having completed the cycle, I now feel that there is something missing as I have been planning and training for this for so long. I do have something in mind for next year but I have to wait for a few weeks to find out if I can do it or not. I'll let you know!”

James completed his Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle challenge in five days, between 31 May and 5 June. He cycled over 900 miles, spent 58 hours on his bike, burned 33,359 calories and raised over £1300 in aid of Royal Blind!  We are extremely grateful to James for taking on this incredible endeavour and supporting our charity.

Are you ready to take up a challenge?

If you’d like to take up a challenge, and raise funds for Royal Blind, take a look at our events page which highlights a number of different events you could do, from cycling to running to abseiling!