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John O’Groats to Lands End – Days 1 & 2

It started oh so well, apart from the weather!

Day 1 – John O’Groats to Bettyhill 49.1 miles – 5 hours 3 minutes

After a long but easy drive to John O’groats from the PlaneTalking HQ in Devon, via Inverness Airport to collect cyclist number 2 Martin – it seemed that this ride to Lands End was going to be pretty straight forward.

The two riders, Karen and Martin, prepared themselves on Day 1 with a cooked breakfast at Bencorragh House before gabbing additional waterproof layers to cope with the sudden change in weather.

Strong winds, low cloud and drizzle had greeted us on the 1st April – no joke after enjoying the mini summer the whole of the country had experienced just hours before. A sneak peak at the car showed that even in this stormy weather the bikes were still strapped to teh roof of the car…just.

The head wind provided a slow and strength sapping start to the ride although once past Dounreay the wind had dropped and changed direction which made things a little easier.

Traffic was very light throughout the day with the only real issues being cattlegrids and kamikaze sheep’

With temperatures down to 33.8F, both soaked after just over 5 hours in the saddle, the warmth of the Farr Bay Inn couldn’t come soon enough!

Day 2 – Bettyhill to Bonar Bridge 56.3 miles – 5hours 15 minutes

At 9.33am the sun was breaking through the low cloud, temperatures had risen to nearly 58.0F and the back-up crew where enjoying themselves on the local beach….

The route to Bonar Bridge would take in a meandering single track road almost 38 miles long with very long (9 mile) climbs past some fantastic scenery.

Again there was very little traffic to contend with and any drivers they did meet were more than considerate – unlike many of the sheep along the route who continued to play chicken!

The snow topped mountains seemed great to look at from afar but in the early afternoon the temperature dropped and the riders spent the next few hours battling rain and sleet. Yet agin they would end their day cold and wet – but it couldn’t get any worse…

After drying off at Kyle House it was a quick walk to the local hotel for a bite to eat through the light rain and sleet.

By 6pm it had begun to snow and now at 22.48 it is still coming down.

A re-route has already been decided to try and keep to lower ground and avoid ice as much as possible but other than that we will all have to sleep on it.

Stay tuned to Twitter for updates.

We are raising money for the Devon Air Ambulance – the air crew and medics do a great job! www.JustGiving.com/PlaneTalking

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