Nick Veasey exemplifies our fears...
Updated: Jun 13, 2018
This wonderful image by Nick Veasey epitomises so well the feelings we have about the enormity of the task ahead of us.
Our journey will be over 1,000 miles. We aim to ride 35 miles a day for the first week as we navigate the steep hills of Devon and Cornwall. From then on we plan to cycle about 50-55 miles each day taking a rest day each week.
We have pre booked accommodation for the first few days as much available accomodation in Devon and Cornwall is already booked up in September. One of my largest fears is that we may struggle to find accomodation en route, especially in the Scottish highlands. Spending a night on the moors or in bus shelters would not be my accommodation of choice and is the stuff of several nightmares recently! We cannot book accommodation further ahead as it only needs one thing to go wrong and the bookings would fall like dominoes.
Other fears include the weather, (most people who have ridden the route all say to expect it to rain on you every day!) our strength and stamina (riding 50 miles a day, every day!) and our ability to follow the routes on our Velo GPS. The problem with all the bike GPS devices that we have explored is that it is really hard to see them in bright sunlight. You will all know how difficult it is to take a photo on a phone when the sunlight prevents you from seeing on the screen what you are taking. I wish there was some entrepreneur out there who could invent a device that overcomes this problem.
We initially had real problems with the Velo GPS. It is from Ordinance Survey and is new to the market. We did not fully realise until after we bought it that you have to buy individual map tiles for it to be able to input all the .gpx routes necessary for our journey. So we had to buy 65 tiles to see us from Lands End to John O'Groats!!! So, we bit the bullet, bought the tiles only to find that we could not downlod them. Some tiles would download but most would not. So Bob spent hours and hours on the phone to customer support. The people he spoke to were lovely, and tried to be helpful, however it transpired that they had had no training on ths new device, had never used it in practice and did not have a clue why we were having this problem. Eventually they put in a ticket to their techies and we discovered that the problem with the downloading is that the USB cable that came with the device was faulty! A new lead solved the problem.
In addition to this, the screen on the device sometimes freezes and so it becomes unusable for a time. Because we felt a distinct lack of trust in the device by now, we felt we had to have a reliable GPS if we are to navigate our way up country. We decided to buy a reconditioned Garmin Explore 1000. We have been using this ever since and it is terrific.
On the plus side, we will be riding the length of Britain, seeing and experiencing the country in a way that few others can ever do.
Please help motivate and support us on our journey by supporting the Harefield Hospital Transplant Appeal. When you enter the Transplant Appeal site, please make sure you click on the DONATE button just above the picture of Nick & Bob.