Meet our hero Nick, riding from the far south of Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands18 Aug. 2021
From Land's End to John O'Groats for MDS UK
On the 30th July Nick Harpur set off from Land’s End in the direction of John O’Groats.
He was planning to follow the GB Divide route, a 2000km (600km off-road) route that snakes its way up through England, Wales and Scotland via small lanes, drove roads and spectacular mountain passes, with 27,000 metres of climbing.
He would sleep in a bivvy bag (basically a sack) in bothies (basically a shack) and in the gardens of kind strangers he contacted via the Warmshowers cycle touring website, expecting to average approximately 12 hours in the saddle every day.
Nick wrote in his JustGiving page:
In January last year I learnt that Lydia's mum, Joan, was diagnosed with the condition Myelodysplastic Syndrome (a rare blood cancer). As you can imagine, it has been a difficult 18 months for Joan and all of the family, and, whilst I can’t do anything to change Joan’s condition I’d like to seize the opportunity to raise some money and awareness for an organisation that can.
MDS UK have been a massive support to Joan and the family throughout this really difficult period. I hope you can join me in attempting to repay just some of the kindness and love this inspiring and brave woman shows so many by supporting MDS UK.
Any donation you can give will make a difference to the impact that MDS can have and will be greatly appreciated.
Day 1: Nick at Lands End
His first day on the bike
Day 2: 153.64 km
Second day of Nick's journey. As he crosses Cornwall he writes:
Shortest of the full days I have planned but it was brilliant. "Camel trail" a particular highlight, that and the pasty I had in Torrington. Need to prep myself for a 220km all the way to Chepstow tomorrow 😬
Nick spent 6 months planning and training for this ride to ensure his route, equipment and body were in the best place they could be. Still, he knows there will be unexpected challenges along the way.
Day 3: 177.31 km - An eventful day
The biggest highs and lows of the trip so far, both literally and metaphorically. It started with an endless 25% climb up to the Old Brynmawr Ironworks, then a very enjoyable gravel climb up to an old quarry with terrifying views of "The Gap".
It was every bit as hard as I feared, but so rewarding and beautiful, then I was hit by a big storm, dried off by climbing the Sennybridge military road before heading into the wilderness to find my bothy which involved an hour hiking through bracken (first big routing error!), 5 river crossings, and the most incredible road of the trip (and possibly my life) before finally being greeted by Moel Pyrsgau bothy in the woods.
Not a day I'll forget in a hurry
Every day we post a new leg of Nick's monumental journey in support of MDS UK. Come back tomorrow for an update!
A BIG THANK YOU to Nick for putting in such an incredible effort in aid of our small charity. We thank him not only for the fundraising, but also for the fabulous awareness of MDS he is generating.
Today, more than ever - due to Covid – we need generous people like Nick to help us assist MDS patients and their families.