(In the words of Bum on Bike, Jules
What a great adventure, cycling over 1,000 miles through some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside. Before setting off there was considerable anxiety, fear of the unknown – were we physically fit enough? Would these old knees and backs hold out? Would the weather be kind? Could we avoid bad accidents? But more than that was the fear of failure – so many people had put so much effort in planning, preparing and supporting our adventure that the thought of not finishing was stomach wrenching.
As it turned out there was a bit of blood, and plenty of sweat, aches and pains. But the only tears were when Paul was laid out on the tarmac, curled up in pain, his hand a mess and his buckled bike in the hedge – the prospect of failure loomed and it was too much to bear.
Our thanks go to the fantastic Just-Pedal team who have supported us along the way. The route was amazing, avoiding busy A roads and building in many beautiful country lanes and cycle paths. Dave and Tom were always great company, fun, patient and professional, while Kyle and Steve kept the bodies and wheels rolling.
But our biggest thanks must go to Paul who has dedicated so much time and effort in organising this great adventure. He has spent twelve months thinking of every detail and his planning was impeccable. The logistics, the support, the sponsorship, the kit, the banners…the list goes on and on. He has put his heart and soul into this endeavour, and as Natalie said after his accident “being sore is ok, not finishing is a nightmare”.
I reached John o’ Groats with mixed emotions. There was elation and great relief that six Bums and Chris’s bike completed the trip. Also seeing Paul over these two weeks how much energy, fun, love and friendship he brings to the world ten years on from being diagnosed with cancer has been amazing. But I can’t help thinking of all our friends and loved ones who have aren’t with us and how much they are missed. If this endeavour and money we have raised means there is “one more Paul” out there who recovers because of the research we have funded, it will all have been worthwhile.