Wheelie Big Ride: Day 7

Wheelie Big Ride: Day 7

Day 7 started off with another car park donation, this time from a lovely chap who had seen us cleaning the bikes the night before and thought it crazy what we were up to. This was followed by some American tourists who also deemed us crazy, “maybe even as crazy as them”…as they were going off to the local golf course – pure mental stuff!​​​​​​​

So the next up was the Forth crossing which we were all looking forward to. Unfortunately when we got there the cycle lane was closed. Not great when the alternative is a rather long detour so we decided to try our luck and were promptly informed by bridge staff that the cycle way on the OTHER side was still open…phew!

Cue the expected photo shoot on the bridge! The old and new…bridges that is!

Our first food stop was for breakfast at The Earn in Bridge of Earn. Though the cake selection was tempting all members of the team ignored their sweet teeth and went for some delicious cooked breakfasts instead.

Back on the road the team hadn’t gone far (round Perth and climbing past Scone Palace to be precise!) before some placard bearers were spotted at the side of the road. This turned out to be more member of team Gaffney – Louise and her girls – who had popped down to cheer the team on!

It was a day for meeting people (hmm we must have been close to home or something!!) as just further up the road Malena and Fraser intercepted the team at Blairgowrie. My how the wee man has grown in nine days and everyone got a lovely cuddle. The expanded tea
m headed up the Glenshee valley for lunch at The Lair, steadily climbing all the way.

After some delicious toasties (the folk at The Lair very kindly continued to serve lunch after they normally stop to fuel up the riders) it was on to the main climb of the day – to the Glenshee Ski Centre. With two Inglis vehicles now in convoy there was no escaping the cameras, as Dave and Malena played a game of leapfrog with the riders, snapping away at every opportunity.


The climb started gradually and kicked up to 12% at the top with very little wind to cool the riders down, but everyone made it up safely and into Aberdeenshire!

The day ended with a fantastic, speedy run down into Braemar to meet the rest of the DDK team for a brilliant BBQ. It was excellent to see everyone and the effort in the prep, execution and clear up was very much appreciated – thank you all!

Oh and congratulations to Caroline for winning the inaugural DDK sack race…you sure showed those kids how it’s done (though that technique was amazing!)

Wheelie Big Ride: Day 6

Wheelie Big Ride: Day 6

Carlisle to Edinburgh: 113 miles

Starting the day as the previous day ended – we had more lovely hospitality from Norman and Mary, breakfast and coffee, a great start for us all!

Once again, the weather forecast was to be warm, we were off and the beginning of the route followed the M6 (using the old road), we crossed the motorway via many bridges, but it allowed us to make good progress to Scotland!


First stop was at Lockerbie for a bacon roll and coffee, always a welcome stop after a good few hours of cycling. As the heat was continuing to fry us, we ended up stopping in Moffat (for an Ice cream), but we were taught a lesson, not to stop! As a result of this stop, a puncture was experienced (once more by Stuart, no more wheelies for him, it really would save his tyres).

Continuing onwards to Biggar, we were all cursing the road surfaces, they were very rough and gave us and the bikes a very good shaking! One major climb of the day (Devils Beeftub), 5 miles in distance, > 300m in accent – oh we love the hills, especially in the sun!

Upon arrival at Bigger, Dave once again came up trumps and found a great lunch spot (The Kirkstyle) who serve great food! As the afternoon continued the spirits were lifted at the sight of the Forth road bridge, with this in sight we knew the end of the day was nearing….

No real ‘Richard of the Day’ moments, the general feeling is that we are beginning to operate as a well oiled machine, or we are too knackered to care 😊.

Wheelie Big Ride: Day 5

Wheelie Big Ride: Day 5

And somehow it’s Day 5 already! We’re halfway through our challenge on hump day and Kenny has surpassed everyone’s expectations and bets on when he’d hitch a lift in the support van for a wee break (still no sign of that)! It was looking to be another warm one so had to keep an eye on hydration levels.

We had a bit of a different start to the day today. Firstly we actual had a proper breakfast at the hotel as they were the first place to start serving by 6.30am! We then had to battle with rush hour traffic around the Manchester area; something we’ve not had to contend with on our wee country lanes so far. ​​​​​​​

Despite some shonky overtakes (mostly drivers which we then caught up with in the next queue of traffic…) we made it to first stop at The Barn in Scorton. What a pick of a place! They had 44 different flavours of home made icecream on offer along with a HUGE selection of cakes including a Percy Pig inspired Cookie Pie. Between the coffee and the sugar we were flying!

Next up we followed the M6 north, criss crossing it too many times to count on the adjacent country roads. This was much more like the roads we’re used to up north and we really enjoyed flying though all the little villages with amazing views across the landscapes. The final push to lunch involved a bit of a head down slog across the A6 with busy traffic which took us up to Milnthorpe and then onwards to Kendal for lunch.

Kenny contemplating his lift choices after Shap Fell

Next we had the big event of the day: climbing Shap Fell. Comprising 5 miles of constant climbing this is a relatively big ask on any day. The heat today (Garmin was reading 30 degrees) made this even more challenging! But all the team made it up and were greeted by the support van offering gifts of water and jelly beans!


On passing through Shap itself we met some fellow end-to-enders (Jess, Louise and Clara) who were tackling their challenge self supported over 21 days. They started on the 2nd of June and aim to finish on the 23rd and we can confirm, have some very heavily laden bikes! After swapping “war stories” we wished them the best in the rest of their journey.


Norman met us on the way

Heading on we got to Witheral just outside of Carlisle where we were greeted by an old friend and ex colleague of the team, Norman Craik and his wife Mary. The Craiks offer of bed and board to the team couldn’t be turned down and the team went to bed with their bellies full of spag bol and homemade cake and ice cream.

And so completed our longest day of the trip!

Wheelie Big Ride: Day 4

Wheelie Big Ride: Day 4


Ludlow – Haydock Race Course – 110 miles.

After a stormy evening in Ludlow, we thought the air would have cleared and made for a cooler start, but no, it was still warm to start. Coming out of Ludlow we had a slight medical challenge, Kevin’s Achilles Tendons nearly popped, every pedal stroke was agony! But though this was a medical issue, it was potentially self-inflicted, by not setting up the bike seat at the right height for the previous 300 miles, dropping the seat a little made a huge difference and the rolling hills could continue. (Some say this was a easy error to make, others would say he was a fool for taking 300 miles to work this out…)

The first stop was to be at a pub for coffees at Long Water, but we found out this was closed, so it was a pit stop in the car park – where Dave our support team managed to put some refreshments out…