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 Day Sixteen – Crask Inn to John o’Groats (82 Miles) and mission completed!

2021-09-02T11:58:07+00:00

1st September 2021  Day Sixteen – Crask Inn to John o’Groats (82 Miles) and mission completed! The final instalment of Alison’s stories of being the back-up and support for the intrepid cyclists, as she reports here with the last day’s MAMILgram (that’s Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra): Day 16 – the last leg of a very long bike ride And so we come to our final day. Both cyclists by now admitting to getting weary, although they seemed to plough this into a shared determination to get there quicker. Proceeding from The Crask Inn, their route headed north. The landscape stretched away into the [...]

 Day Sixteen – Crask Inn to John o’Groats (82 Miles) and mission completed! 2021-09-02T11:58:07+00:00

Days 14 and 15 across the Scottish Highlands from Glencoe to The Crask Inn

2021-08-31T15:22:33+00:00

31st August 2021 Follow Alison’s stories of what it’s like to be the back-up and support here, as she reports back with a daily MAMILgram (that’s Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra):  Day Fifteen – the penultimate day, from Inverness to The Crask Inn (66 miles) A significant moment occurred today when, at a café rest-stop, our two cyclists met someone travelling the other way – so JOGLE as opposed to LEJOG. They compared notes, the other cyclist having done it both ways. Impressively, he was also carrying all his equipment on the bike, including a tent and lightweight sleeping bag. [...]

Days 14 and 15 across the Scottish Highlands from Glencoe to The Crask Inn 2021-08-31T15:22:33+00:00

Days 12 and 13 from Loch Lomond into The Highlands, and some equipment tips

2021-08-27T15:27:07+00:00

27th August 2021 Days 12 and 13 from Loch Lomond into The Highlands, and some equipment tips Follow Alison’s stories of what it’s like to be the back-up and support here, as she reports back with a daily MAMILgram (that’s Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra): Day Thirteen- Loch Lomond to Glencoe (67 miles, 2,635m elevation) After a well-earned day off the saddle (Day 12), I took the cyclists back to the shores of Loch Lomond where they had finished on Day 11, and they picked up the cycle path to Tarbet; a long cycle ride [...]

Days 12 and 13 from Loch Lomond into The Highlands, and some equipment tips 2021-08-27T15:27:07+00:00

Days 10 and 11 from the Lake District to Loch Lomond, and some roadie tips

2021-08-25T13:52:42+00:00

Days 10 and 11 from the Lake District to Loch Lomond, and some roadie tips – Follow Alison’s stories of what it’s like to be the back-up and support here, as she reports back with a daily MAMILgram (that’s Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra): Day Eleven - Moffat to Loch Lomond (81 miles) Today the cyclists were joined by a third rider – Nigel Williams, a cycling friend of Derek’s. Meeting in the hotel, they rejoined the road from Moffat to Glasgow, starting with a climb for the first 15 miles. Then, turning towards Glasgow, from where [...]

Days 10 and 11 from the Lake District to Loch Lomond, and some roadie tips 2021-08-25T13:52:42+00:00

Days 7, 8 and 9 from mid Wales to the Lake District, through driving rain to beautiful sunsets

2021-08-23T17:03:44+00:00

23rd August 2021 Days 7, 8 and 9 from mid Wales to the Lake District, through driving rain to beautiful sunsets - Follow Alison’s stories of what it’s like to be the back-up and support here, as she reports back with a daily MAMILgram (that’s Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra): Day Nine – Slaidburn to Keswick (74 miles) and into the Lake District This was a good day. They reported that the road from Grasmere to Keswick, although offering spectacular views, was perhaps best appreciated from a car or bus rather than a bike. The traffic tends to move fast, with some [...]

Days 7, 8 and 9 from mid Wales to the Lake District, through driving rain to beautiful sunsets 2021-08-23T17:03:44+00:00

Days 4 and 5 from the South West to mid Wales – and then a well-earned rest day

2021-08-20T12:19:01+00:00

20th August 2021 Days 4 and 5 from the South West to mid Wales – and then a well-earned rest day - Follow Alison’s stories of what it’s like to be the back-up and support here, as she reports back with a daily MAMILgram (that’s Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra): Day Six - the first rest day! Today is a rest day, although to be frank Neil and Derek don’t seem to need it. I have been amazed at how perky they both seem, with no apparent evidence of tiredness or problematic muscles. The person who really needs a day off is [...]

Days 4 and 5 from the South West to mid Wales – and then a well-earned rest day 2021-08-20T12:19:01+00:00

And so the epic bike ride begins…

2021-08-18T13:25:05+00:00

18th August 2021 Days One, Two and Three as the cycling challenge gets underway - Follow Alison’s stories of what it’s like to be the back-up and support here, as she reports back with a daily MAMILgram (that’s Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra): Day Three – Moretonhampstead to Glastonbury (60 miles) In addition to cycling to raise money for Reading Force, I’ve noticed the emergence of a sub-plot. Having had so many Forces moves, we now have former military friends all over the place. This journey has enabled us to reconnect – particularly for picnic lunches in mutually convenient National Trust properties. We have been in touch; they have loyally turned up. It’s left me reflecting on the tremendous bonds that [...]

And so the epic bike ride begins… 2021-08-18T13:25:05+00:00

Fulfilling your life’s ambitions

2021-08-11T11:02:28+00:00

9th August 2021 On 13th August Neil Baverstock kicks off his cycle ride from Land’s End to John o’Groats to raise money for Reading Force. Alison, his wife and founder of Reading Force, says Neil has wanted to do this for as long as she can remember. But as second in command, what should she bring for back up?! I always knew my husband wanted to complete the Land’s End to John o’Groats cycle ride, so last year I put two relevant books in his Christmas stocking. There is the Cicerone Guide, which covers how to avoid the [...]

Fulfilling your life’s ambitions 2021-08-11T11:02:28+00:00

Reflections on 10 years of Reading Force

2021-07-19T14:05:31+00:00

19th July 2021 Life generally just rolls on. One often looks back week to week (‘This time, last week…’). Holidays and official festivals puncture time, seeming to last for ages and afterwards collapsing in on themselves. How we hang on to, and record, what took place is more difficult. These days photographs tend to be moments of instant recording, exchanged online and then lost. I don’t have the precious albums for our children’s lives that my grandparents did – that’s a job being saved for retirement. The pandemic forced us all to do things differently. It was in this context that we marked [...]

Reflections on 10 years of Reading Force 2021-07-19T14:05:31+00:00

Special guest author blog on The Cat Mafia!

2021-07-09T13:39:07+00:00

9th July 2021 We’re thrilled to welcome author and naval mum, Liz McKittrick, as our guest blogger. Liz wrote Valiant Tails: The Cat Mafia, which is the very first book to kick off our new column in Homeport magazine, in which naval kids tell us what they think of a new book. Safe to say, they absolutely loved Valiant Tails: The Cat Mafia. Here, Liz tells us about the bits of real life that inspired the story… be prepared for snakes! Hi! I’m Liz McKittrick and I’m the author of Valiant Tails: The Cat Mafia.  In 2009 my [...]

Special guest author blog on The Cat Mafia! 2021-07-09T13:39:07+00:00