Friday, July 31, 2009

Sea Palling

Dad is camping at Sea Palling on the campsite I found him last night! He's had a great day on the bike today .... weather has been sunny and he has enjoyed cycling through the lanes and calling in at all the seaside resorts.

Today his route has taken him from Wells and back onto the A149 and onto Blakeney and Salthouse (unfortunately it was 10.00 am so the fish restaurant wasn't open!!). It was then onto Weybourne but unfortunately he didn't have the time to call in the at army/navy memorabilia collection. However he did see the Windmill. It was then onto Sheringham where he got a photo of the steam train and then onto Cromer Then on through Overstrand, Trimingham and Mundesley. Lunch was at Happisburgh. Today Dad has done a "big shop" and spent £7.00 in Tesco! I suppose when you are on a bike £7.00 is a big shop!

Dad has is own chair on the campsite ... apparently you just have to ask and they will provide you with a chair. Hope the weather holds out so he can sit out and enjoy the comfort of a chair which must be bliss after sitting on a bike for days on end!

There has been swarms of wasps and ladybirds ... but Dad reckons he can out-peddle them but once he stops they keep landing on him. Dad has managed to delete his contact numbers off his phone (he was messing with it when he'd been the pub!!!! ) ... so if you have his mobile number drop him a text so he can re-add your details.

Tomorrow he is heading for Southwold/Leiston.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Spoke to Dad tonight. He is now at Wells-next-the-sea. Weather has been better today even though there are has still been a few very short sharp showers which caused some localised flooding. Dad is back camping tonight and has found a nice camp-site in Wells. He got to the camp-site about 3.00 pm so has had a leisurely afternoon and even had time to buy and read a paper - anyone would think he was on his holidays!!!

So back to Wednesday which wasn't one of the best days out on the road. It had been a wet and windy day. He had left Ingoldmells and headed past Butlins holiday camp and into Skegness. He did contemplate cycling to Gibraltar Point and may be he would have on a better day ... but instead he headed off to Boston and into a head wind (for 90% of the time he was riding on his smallest ring and not getting very far very fast!!). From there it was on Skeldyke, Fossdyke, Saracen's Head and Long Sutton. He then headed off through the lanes to Saddle Bow and into King's Lynn.

This morning he headed off from King's Lynn and breakfast was a bottle of coke and two bananas in from the Co-op in South Wootton. From there he headed off via Sandringham (he should have popped in for a coffee!), Dersingham, Snettisham, Heacham, Hunstanton and Branchester. He stopped for lunch in Burnham Norton and as the weather was looking like it could change at anytime he sat and ate his lunch in St Margaret Church yard. Well the heavens opened and there was thunder and lightening so Dad sought shelter in the Church - along with a load of other people! He got chatting to a couple who had been walking the Norfolk Coast Path. Once the weather had cleared up Dad headed off onto and Holkham and Holkham Hall into Well-next-the-sea.

If the weather stays nice Dad is going to walk down and along the coast.

Tomorrow is he heading for Great Yarmouth area. Just been looking up Caravan & Camping Club sites for him on the internet. It's a full time job being Dad's PA!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

King's Lynn

Had just a brief chat to Dad tonight. He is now in King's Lynn but it has been a VERY wet day ... well afternoon. He arrived in King's Lynn's_Lynn) and decided to look for a B&B. It's no fun camping after you have been cycling in the rain! He tried a couple of places (one was a homeless place!) and none had vacancies. He then stopped a guy out walking his dog and asked if he could recommend anywhere to try. The guy offered Dad a bed for the night. So Dad has just had a shower and was heading off to find something to eat.

Today's route has taken him along the A16 and through Boston,_Lincolnshire which has one of the most noticeable Church's known as the Stump (,_Boston) and on the A17. Where possible Dad has tried to keep off the main roads but it's not always been possible.

Tomorrow hopefully the weather will be better and Dad will head off toward Hunstanton.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Just spoke to Dad. He is about four miles north of Skegness in a place called Ingoldmells. He finished cycling about 3.00 pm as he was battling against a head wind and thought it would be better to camp on the outskirts of Skegness rather than trying to find a quiet campsite in Skegness. It's very "touristy" area with most seaside resorts having mile after mile of caravan parks.

Last night after he'd come off the phone from me he'd gone for a walk and managed to find a pub. This morning he left Cleethorpes after a brief chat to the model railway station man. Trains didn't start til 10.00 am so we've got no photo of the train. Dad headed off back into Cleethorpes and from there he cycled through Humberston, Tetney, Tetney Locks and North Somercoates. As he was cycling along he noticed a man standing around looking down and when Dad got to him he noticed he was with a man who had collapsed and they were just waiting for the police/ambulance. Dad wasn't sure what had happened but as there was someone there to help Dad decided to cycle on. It was then on Saltfleet and into Mablethorpe . The roads are very flat so no hills to cycle up and down these last few days. The area of Lincolnshire is also very good for bird watching. Mablethorpe was very busy so Dad had lunch and then cycled on along the Prom and past all the beach huts to Sandilands (which Dad thought was about seven miles). From there it was on to Chapel St Leonards and into Ingoldmells (just been reading that Ingoldmells was were Billy Butlin opened his first Butlins holiday camp ... might be useful in a pub quiz sometime!)

Dad had cooked up already. Cup a soup and a tin of steak and gravy and a tin of button mushrooms! He was about to have his banana and custard for pudding. The campsite has a pub so Dad said he would venture over there later.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Just spoken to Dad. He is now in Cleethorpes His new front wheel has held out ... in fact it's worked just fine and he's not planning on replacing it. He left the old wheel by the recycling bins on the campsite.

Last night he managed to get a good pub meal of soup and a Sunday roast for £6.95 followed by a couple of pints. He'd just got back to the tent when it started raining and it rained most of the night.

Today's route has taken him from Withernsea through Partington and into Kingston-upon-Hull. A couple of cyclists gave him directions to keep him off the main roads and one of the routes was along the side of the river (it forms part of the Transpennine Trail). All was going well until he came to get off the path and onto the bridge. He had to carry the bike up about 50 steps. He had to do it in relays. First the panniers then the bike. It's too heavy to carry as one thing! He then cycled across the Humber Bridge which is the fifth-largest single span suspension bridge in the world! Cyclists and pedestrians go free over the bridge! Once over the bridge it was on through Barton-upon-Humber, Barrow-upon-Humber, Ulceby, Keelby and onto Cleethorpes. The first campsite he found only did 7 night bookings but he cycled on and found another site which has a model railway running by the side of it!

Weather has been mixed with a couple of downpours. First time Dad sheltered under some trees (even when it was thundering and lightening!!). The second downpour Dad had just stopped to help push a motorist who had broken down (other car drivers were driving around them!). Just as Dad was pushing the car the heavens opened and he got soaked!!

Tonight he is cooking up himself so it's cup-a-soup, curry and beans followed by rice pudding. He did say he might go and see if he can find a pub later.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Week 8 Summary

Summary of this week's cycling

Day 50 Bamburg to Morpeth 43 miles
Day 51 Morpeth to Blackhall Rocks 42 miles
Day 52 Blackhall Rocks to Staithes 43 miles
Day 53 Staithes to Robin Hoods Bay 20 miles
Day 54 Robin Hoods Bay to Filey 24 miles
Day 55 Filey
Day 56 Filey to Withernsea 47 miles

I make that to be 219 miles added to the total so far comes to 2202 miles covered to date.


Spoke to Dad earlier. He made it to Withernsea with "mechanical" problems on the bike! There is no AA or RAC equivalent for cyclists! He left Filey this morning and headed on through Bempton and Flamborough and he said he'd noticed a "knocking" on the front wheel so when he stopped in Bridlington for breakfast he had a look thinking the tyre may have been a bit worn or something. He didn't see anything so carried on. His route took him on through Skipsea and Hornsea where he stopped and ate the packed lunch that his friends had done for him this morning. From there he headed on through Aldbrough (skirting Tunstall - is there really another Tunstall!!!) and on into Withernsea. By this time the "knocking" was getting worse and he noticed when he applied the brakes they were "jumping". On closer inspection he found that his front wheel rim had worn and was about to "blow-out". So he cycled careful on avoiding using his front brakes!! With in being a Sunday there was no chance he would find a bike shop open and by the size of Withernsea it was doubtful it even had a bike shop. However he did notice a man sitting fixing a bike. Dad stopped and asked if he knew anywhere he could get a new wheel for his bike. The man invited Dad around the back of his house and he'd got loads of bike spares. Dad found a mountain bike wheel the same size, gave the bloke a fiver, and headed on his way carrying the new wheel on his bike! What were the chances of that!

Dad found a campsite in Withernsea and they were wanting to charge £25.00 to pitch his tent, and as Dad said he could get a B&B for that price, so he carried on and found a normal priced campsite. Dad then had to start fixing his bike. He took the tyre and spindle off his old wheel and fixed it on the one he picked so hopefully that will do the trick! He did say if he hadn't have the mechanical problems he would given Cav a run for the line in Paris!!

Luckily it was quite a flat day today so he was not using his front brakes excessively because it could have been quite nasty if it had of blown!

Weather has been good today but he has had a head wind. He was just off to the pub for a meal and a pint. Think he deserves it after the day he's had!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Filey (day 2)

Dad made it to Filey yesterday and is staying with friends. I did speak to him briefly last night. Today has been a "rest" day and instead of cycling they have all been walking along the beach at Filey. In fact they walked all the way along the 5 mile stretch of beach. Stopped off for an all day breakfast. So not much of a "rest" day with a 10 mile beach walk! Dad got in too late to see the Tour going up Mont Ventoux live .... so instead he will watch the highlights so he didn't want to know the result!

Tonight they are going to one of the villages that has a scarecrow festival and to find a pub for meal and a pint.

Dad was telling me a tale on his route into Filey he was riding along the pavement to keep himself out of the way of the traffic and then he noticed a police woman up ahead so he hopped back onto the road to cycle past her. Turns out it was only a scarecrow!

Tomorrow Dad will move on heading towards Hull.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Scarborough (lunch time break)

Just spoken to Dad in case he doesn't get chance tonight to ring. He was just having lunch in Scarborough,_North_Yorkshire just below the castle. Weather has been good with no rain so far today.

Last night they didn't cook up but instead went out to the pub for a meal and a pint .. that's what being on holiday is all about - not cooking!!!

This morning Dad, Pete and Uni have cycled along the old railway line from Robin's Hood Bay to Ravenscar where they stopped for morning coffee. Pete and Uni turned back here and Dad carried onto Scarborough.

Tonight he should be in Filey staying with friends.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Robin's Hood Bay

Dad has had a leisurely day today. Weather has been good. He has been meeting up with his friends along the route today. After lunch they found a campsite in Robin's Hood Bay's_Bay pitched the tent and this afternoon they have been for a walk to Boggle Hole youth hostel where they had a coffee and cake.

Dad hasn't even had to put his own tent up as he is sleeping in Pete and Uni's tent and get this for the height of luxury Uni was cooking up tea! Crumbs Dad is being spoilt!

Tomorrow Dad will cycle with Pete to Scraborough and then Dad will head on to Filey where he has a bed for the night.


I didn’t get to speak to Dad last night as he had no mobile phone signal. Not surprising as he was out on the North Yorkshire Moors.

Yesterday’s route had taken him through Hartlepool
which Dad was more impressed with than he thought he would be. It was then onto Middlesbrough where he was cycling in rain with a head wind and up hill! He decided to stop fuel, a bacon sandwich and coffee, and asked in the café what the best way to get across the River Tees was. They suggested taking the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge
which at 40p for Dad and 20p for the bike was a snitch. Dad was really impressed with the bridge as you are carried across in a gondala suspended from it. From there he hugged the coast through Redcar, Marske-by-the-Sea and Saltburn-by-the-Sea and onto Loftus.

He had arranged to met up with friends, Pete and Uni, in Staithes last night.
Staithes is a very picturesque fishing village with a mega steep hill down to it. Dad cycled down to the village and Pete and Uni came in by car. They both arrived at roughly the same time. Pete and Uni left Dad and went off looking for a campsite. A man came up to Dad and said “you look like you need a campsite”. Dad explained that his friends had gone looking for one. The man said “well if you don’t find anywhere you are welcome to camp at my house” and gave directions to his house. Pete and Uni came back with the news that they hadn’t found anywhere to camp to which Dad replied “I have”!! So off they went to find the house. They pitched Pete’s big tent on the lawn. The guy also gave them a key to the bungalow which he in the process of renovating so they had use of bathroom facilities and kitchen! Aren’t people kind (if you are reading this David Whitlock - thank you so much!!). Once they had got themselves settled Dad, Peter and Uni went to the pub (Fox & Hounds) for fish & chips and a pint.

This morning when they were packing up Dad went into the bungalow to use the facilities and when he had finished he came out of the bungalow but left the key inside ... one slight problem his bike, tent and all his stuff were now locked inside the bungalow!!!! Thankfully David also lived on the same plot so Dad had to go and knock him up this morning and ask if he had a spare key so Dad could retrieve his stuff!

When I spoke to Dad just before lunch he had just stopped in Whitby and was sat over looking the bay (I could even hear the seagulls). Today he is having a leisurely ride, well if you call a 1 in 4" descent into Whitby which means, what goes down must go up to get out of Whitby a leisurely ride!!, He is also meeting up with Pete and Uni at regular intervals. Tonight he will camp again with Pete and Uni hopefully in Scarborough.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blackhall Rocks

Just spoken to Dad. Not been great for weather today ... in fact it's rained most of the day! Not much fun when you are pedalling away. Also the area Dad is in is not that picturesque either! He was hoping to find a nice B&B so he could get out of the weather but couldn't find anything. He has dropped on a nice little campsite at Blackhall Rocks and they managed to squeeze Dad in. Its only cost £2.00 for the night. Dad thought that was extremely cheap and the owner said to Dad ".... I've been young myself". Think Dad should take that as a compliment! One slight draw back there are no showers. Think Dad could have done with a hot shower to warm up after all the rain today

Today's route has taken him through Ashington and Newbiggin-by-the sea where he again picked up cycle route 1 down through Blyth, Seaton Sluice (what a place name!) Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. He then followed the Tyne to North Shields and caught the passenger ferry over to South Shields The bike went free and it cost Dad £1.10. Well worth it as it saved Dad pedalling all the way along the Tyne. Was not too pleasant cycling through the big housing Estates of South Sheilds but once he got back on the coast he cycled down to Sunderland and over the Wearmouth bridge and the river Wear. The route then took him down through Seaham, Easington, Peterlee and onto Blackhall Rocks.

Quite a long day today. Dad was about to start cooking up his cup-a-soup, beans and sausage followed by rice pudding and banana.

Part of the route Dad has been following over the last few weeks is the North Sea Cycle Route. He did say for next year he would do the bits he has missed out !

Monday, July 20, 2009


A couple of photos from Morpeth courtesy of David. I can't decide if Dad is tanned or just going rusty!


Today Dad has been cycling with a friend (David). Tonight he his staying at David's in Morpeth hence the reason for being slightly inland.

Today has been a long day on the bike and they have been following Sustrans route 1 again. David knows the area so has been taking Dad off-roading on bridal paths and along the coast line pointing out old mines and open cast mining. They left Bamburgh this morning and headed for Seahouse, Bradnell, Newton-by-the-Sea, Craster where they stopped for coffee but the cafe was closed. Instead Dad had a fish cocktail - a big bowl for £2.00. Think I prefer a bacon sandwich myself!!! From there it was down into Alnmouth Warksworth, Amble and then into Morpeth,_Northumberland. Dad thought they had clocked up quite a few miles today but he worked it out at around 50 miles.

Last night they headed into Seahouses and had fish and chips and a pint. They also had one for the road in Bamburgh before getting back to the tent around 10.00ish!

Tomorrow he heads into the more industrial area of Tyne & Wear. Hoping towards the end of the week to meet up again with Pete Parkin (who he cycled with through the Lake District).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 7 Summary

Well me and the cat have been on the floor with the string and tape measure again. Not sure the cat was actually helping bless her! So our rough guesstimate on the mileage this week is as follows:

Day 43 Peterhead to Stonehaven 50 miles
Day 44 Stonehave to Monifieth 48 miles
Day 45 Monifieth to Lower Largo 52 miles
Day 46 Lower Largo to Edinburgh 42 miles
Day 47 Edinburgh
Day 48 Edinburgh to Cockburnspath 45 miles
Day 49 Cockburnspath to Bamburgh 45 miles

I make that 282 miles. Added to the total so far I make that to be 1983 (now that sounds like a year ... in fact it was a very good year because I was 21 ...). Well that's Scotland done, only England and Wales to do now!

Now if only getting an NVQ in Numeracy was as simple as working out how far Dad has travelled I'd pass with flying colours!

Bamburgh and back in England

Well Dad is now back in England ... as he says "he's done the best now for the rest"! He is camping in Bamburgh tonight. Today he has ridden with a friend (David). Weather has been good just one small rain shower. However there has been a lot of rain over the last few days and the campsite they are staying on is flooded in places. Thankfully Dad has a dry spot (next to the cafe!) otherwise it would have been like sleeping on a burst water bed! Unfortunately the cafe is closed so they are off out to find fish and chips in a place called Seahouses. No doubt they will stumble upon a pub in the process!

Today they have been following Sustrans route 76 down through Eyemouth and Burnmouth. They then picked up the A1 into Berwick-upon-Tweed. and back into England. He did pop round to see Norman (Wilson's Bike) on Mike Carter's recommendation but unfortunately it being a Sunday it was closed. Dad popped a note through to say he had called. So instead off they went for a coffee and bacon sandwich. From there they went "off-roading" and when I say "off-roading" I mean off-roading. At one stage they had to go up some steps ... Dad's bike and weight he's carrying not ideal for climbing steps but between Dad and David they managed to get it to the top. From there it was riding across grass and fields and through many gates towards the Holy Island (Lindisfarne). Unfortunately the tide was in so they couldn't go across so instead they had a lunch stop. They then got back on route 1 through Fenwick and descended into Belford (where they stopped for a cup of tea) and then they had to climb back out again and onto Bamburgh.

So that's Scotland done and dusted on his grand tour.

I gave Dad all the TDF news and asked if he had posted me anything as I've had a note from the Post Office informing me that they have a letter which has insufficient postage paid. Yes it is one of Dad's letters ... not only have I got to pay £1.08, I've got to go and fetch it from the Post Office !!!!

Just a reminder of my email address if anyone wants to get in touch kendieplonks at googlemail dot com

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Spoke to Dad earlier. He is now camping at Cocksburnspath (was a bit worried about Googling Cocksburnspath ... you never know what something like that will bring up!!!).

Today has been another wet/dry day. However Dad did say they must have had some rain overnight as there were quite a few floods en-route. However Dad never heard the rain - he slept like a log at Rob's place.

Dad had a slight hiccup this morning locking up Rob's flat. He needed to post the keys back through the door. Which he did, no problems. It was only when he'd taken the lift and got out of the flat did he realise he'd not got his helmet, gloves and sunglasses! Why doesn't that surprise me ... I wished I'd had a bet on what he'd leave behind! Anyway he'd got spare gloves and he found a bike shop and purchased a new helmet (£25) and sunglasses (£2.00) - I bet they aren't a pair of Oakleys! He did find an Aldi and nipped in to see if they had any cycling gear on offer. Unfortunately the cycling gear doesn't go on sale until 23rd July! (Note to any cyclist reading ... put that date in your diary!!).

Today's route from Edinburgh took him through Mussleburgh, Prestonpans (which is where he found an Aldi) and Port Seaton He stopped off in North Berwick and had his cheapest all day breakfast - five items for £1.99. He then headed off to Dunbar

Today Dad has been following Sustrans Route 76 and also part of the John Muir Way

I've found out that the route Dad has mostly been following is Sustrans Route 1

Tonight Dad is camping in a field and on his walk from the shower block he has found mushrooms (which he assures me ARE mushrooms). So he is going to cook them up with his tin of steak and his tin of new potatoes!

Either tonight or tomorrow he is going to meet up with a friend who is going to cycle with him.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Edinburgh Day 2

Spoke to Dad earlier but he was busy ... so I rang him back later. He's well popular at the moment! Today he has spent the day in and around Edinburgh. He caught the bus into Edinburgh on a £3.00 day ticket. He was meeting a friend but had a few hours to kill prior to meeting her. So as it was raining he had a look around of the Bank of Scotland Museum and a Gallery.

He then met his friend and they went for a pub lunch (he also had to arrange with Rob & Sue to drop off of the keys to the flat as they are away this weekend). In the afternoon the weather picked up a bit so they went for a walk up to Holyrood House. Unfortunately it started to rain again so they hopped on the first bus back into the town centre. Instead they had a look around the National Museum of Scotland which killed a few rainy hours. They then went for coffee in the library.

Dad is now back at Rob's flat after mastering all the various locks to get back in! He is going to spend the evening admiring the view of the docks!

Weather must have been bad today as Dad actually said he was glad he wasn't on the bike!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Edinburgh (Leith)

Sorry for late post I've been to watch Harry Potter. Did speak to Dad before I went just didn't have time to blog! Well Dad is now in Edinburgh and in luxury. He is staying at Rob & Sue's. Their flat is up on the sixth floor so excellent views of the Docks and the Royal Yacht (I never can spell that word!!) Britannia. Dad did try telling me that he carried his bike up ... but then let it slip that he took it in the lift! He has a proper bed for the night ... now in Top Trumps that beats a table and chair!!

It was another "repair" day and Dad spent the morning looking for a seamstress to sew up his stuff bag for his sleeping bag. First one he found that said open at 9.00 am. He hung around until 9.30 and they didn't show up so he rode on. The next one he found they said "come back in two hours to pick it up", so again Dad rode on. He then found another seamstress in Kingshorn who said "leave it with us, go for a coffee next door and it will be ready". True to their word it was and it only cost a £1.00 so Dad was well chuffed.

Today's route has taken him through Buckhaven, Kirkcaldy, Kingshorn, Burntisland, Delgety Bay, Inverkeithing. The heavens opened and it poured with rain just as he was about to cycle over the Fourth Road Bridge so he nipped off for a coffee until it had passed. Hopefully we have a photo of the bridge! From there Dad picked up cycle route 1 again into Edinburgh.

Dad will get to watch the cycling tonight! He will stay on in Edinburgh until Saturday so that he can have an explore around and have a rest day from the bike.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lower Largo

Spoke to Dad earlier. He'd had a good day on the bike and he is now in Lower Largo which is about 18 miles north of Kirkcaldy.

He has mostly followed cycle route 1 again down to Dundee. Dad needed to cross the Tay Road Bridge but as there were lots of roadworks going on he couldn't find where cyclists needed to go so he asked a cyclist who said "follow me" and took Dad to the lift that cyclists use to get to the level that they can cross the bridge safely. At 1.4 miles it was good that cyclists have their own dedicated part of the bridge

Did skirted around Dundee cycling through the Docks. He again picked up route 1 but this time it took him along a forest track ... not ideal when your bike is fully laden! However he continued on the track and an hour later came out at Tentsmuir Point which is a Nature Reserve.

From there Dad headed onto Leuchars which is also home to another RAF station and then onto into St Andrews. He then picked up the A917 and followed the coast into Crail, Elie and into Lower Largo.

When he arrived at the campsite at 4.00 pm it had a sign saying "site full". However they managed to squeeze him in. Very good campsite and Dad has table and chair and this campsite even has a recreation room with a TV .... it's been a few weeks since Dad last saw a TV! Told him to go and see if it had ITV4 and then he could watch the TDF and Cav reclaim in the green jersey!

Disappointed that Dad didn't find any cake in Dundee ... that's Arbroath Smokies he has missed out and now Dundee Cake!

He'd already cooked up when I spoke to him - curry and new potatoes followed by rice pudding and banana!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Spoke to Dad earlier. He is camping at Monifieth It's been one of those wet and dry days ... but when it rained it rained and Dad got a really soaking. Must have happened about four times while out on the road. Also a rumble of thunder!

He took the coast road out of Stonehaven and then joined the A92 which wasn't that busy. He cycled through Inverbervie and Johnshaven (Dad liked the name of that one!!) and on into Montrose,_Angus. Very nice town. Dad found a cafe, which was very busy but he still managed to have a bacon buttie and a coffee. He also stopped to take a photo of Bamse the hero dog From there he headed onto into Arbroath which again he was impressed with as a town. He had a look around the town and read up on some of it's history - like it was famous for the making of sail cloth.

From Arbroath it was back onto the A92 and through Carnoutsie where he stopped off in a cafe for afternoon tea. A couple of Dutch cyclists saw his bike outside and also stopped off in the cafe so he sat chatting to them for awhile.

The camp site he is staying on is good with a railway line running along one side! Trainspotters would be in their element. Dad is in his element as he has a table and chair (a luxury) but when he rang it had just started raining so he was back in the tent!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Dad is now camping in Stonehaven which is just south of Aberdeen.

He left Peterhead this morning and headed on down through Boddam, Cruden Bay and Newburgh,_Aberdeenshire He stopped off for awhile to have a watch of the birds out over the dunes. He then continued on along the A90 and into Aberdeen. He popped into the tourist information to ask where he could find a Millet's and somewhere to get some new bike shoes. He needed a Millet's as one of his tent poles was slightly damaged (Dad had repaired it with super-glu and the good old gaffer tape). They wanted £22 for a tent pole - the tent had only cost £27!! He decided to leave it and make do with his "repair". He then found a bike shop and it now the proud owner of a new pair of biking shoes/trainers.

He had time for a look around Aberdeen and left about 3.00 ish. He then picked up the A90 again and headed on through Cove Bay and Porlethen and then onto Stonehaven.

Camping on a nice camp site. No cooking tonight as there is a fish & chip shop close by! Weather has been sunny today but at times a bit chilly.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week 6 Summary

Done a rough guesstimate again on mileage

Day 36 - Wick to Brora 46 miles
Day 37 - Brora to Dingwall 48 miles
Day 38 - Dingwall (rest day!)
Day 39 - Dingwall to Findhorn 45 miles
Day 40 - Findhorn to Cullen 40 miles
Day 41 - Cullen to Fraserburgh 35 miles
Day 42 - Fraserburgh to Peterhead 20 miles

I make that to be 234 miles. Add that to the total so far I make that to be 1701 miles covered.

Peterhead with Photos

Here are a couple of photos thanks to Kevin from Peterhead today.

Kevin and Margaret with Dad's tent
Kevin and Dad

Dad, bike and toilet block!

Dad enjoying a pint of Guinness!


Spoken to Dad earlier. He's had a "easy" day today and had knocked off by 11.00 am in Peterhead. It was raining and he was meeting a pal (Kevin). He found a Weatherspoons and had an all day Scottish Breakfast for £2.70 and then headed off to find the campsite and pitch his tent (in the rain!). However he managed to get a pitch close to the toilet block so he's back to having en-suite facilities on his tent.

Today's route took him through St Combs and St Fergus and it's big gas tanks and then onto Peterhead Dad had contemplated staying on in Fraserburgh yesterday but it was dry first thing and he was not that impressed with the campsite (next to a fish factory) nor with Fraserburgh.

Once Dad had meet up with Kevin they headed back into Peterhead (via the car) and back into Weatherspoons and had a Sunday lunch and a couple pints of beer. I think Dad has spent most of today in Weatherspoons!

Tomorrow Dad will head off to Aberdeen ... shoe shopping! I don't often say Dad is going shoe shopping but he needs to replace his cycle shoes which have held up well with super-glu and gaffer tape today in the rain.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Just spoken to Dad. He is camping at Fraserburgh - which is at the tip before he turns the corner and starts going down the east coast again. Been a bit chilly today as he has been cycling in his track-suit bottoms (more about that in a bit). He is hoping to meet up with a pal tomorrow night.

Today's route took him along the A98 but it being a Saturday morning it was relatively quiet. He stopped off for coffee in Portsoy and got chatting to a lady who has cycled round the coast but in stages and over a number of years. They had nice chat over coffee and flapjack (they didn't do bacon sandwiches!!). He then picked up some minor roads/lanes and cycled through Whitehills, Banff, MacDuff (is there really a place called MacDuff!). For lunch he headed off into Gardenstown. What he didn't realise was it was a long decent into Gardenstown and an even harder climb out! It took him 25 minutes to push/ride his back bike out! All of that to find a bench so he could sit and eat his sandwiches. After lunch cycling was mainly on lanes through Pennan and Rosehearty and into Fraserburgh. Dad wants it putting on the record that there are alot of hills in the north east of Scotland!

Today Dad has had a shoe malfunction ... basically one of his cycling shoes has fallen to bits. However he has done some repairs with super-glu and silver gaffer tape (he fixes everything with silver gaffer tape!). Dad managed to spill some super-glu on his tracksuit bottoms ... I suppose it was good he was wearing them or he might have stuck his legs together! Now that would have slowed him down a bit!

Forgot to ask what was on the menu tonight ... but no doubt a cup-a-soup will feature in it!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Dad is camping in Cullen tonight The campsite is a big improvement on last nights. Dad now wishes he had cycled on a couple of miles last night as this morning he passed a much better site. The one he used last night had mostly workman on it plus it was virtually on the end of the runway for the RAF planes! He did go for a wander and found a couple of birds hides plus a hut to sit and watch the planes (he could have probably done that from his tent!). Dad went out for a pint but they were charging £3.85 a pint - probably because of the close proximity of the RAF base!

Today Dad finished cycling about 3.00 pm so when I spoke to him he'd had a shower and been shopping. Dad has followed cycle route 1 again and passed through Burghead, Lossiemouth which also has a RAF base and Garmouth. Part of the route today from Port Gordon to Buckie was along an old railway line. Dad enjoyed today's route as it was mostly off the major roads. It also passed several little harbour villages like Buckie
and through Portnockie

Dad also meet three walkers who had just completed the Speyside Way

Tonight he is cooking up cup-a-soup, beans and sausage followed by semolina and banana (I didn't know you could actually purchase semolina I just thought it was something they gave you at school or when you were in hospital!!!). He is giving the pub a miss and going in search of dolphins.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Dad sent me his disposable camera. Unfortanately quality not brilliant but I've added a few here and there are some more on Facebook (scroll to page 3)

Day 1 -The Runcorn Bridge.

Blackpool Tower
Asda Car park Carlisle! Dad, Pete and Della
Dad and Bill at Ardnamurchan Point.
He had not better be getting ideas about going around the coast again on a Harley!

Glad he choose not to ride up this hill!


Dad is currently in Findhorn camping next to RAF Kinloss He had only been there 15 minutes and already five jets had taken off! If that carries on I can see someone not getting much sleep tonight!

Weather started off well this morning but it deteriorated during the day and can be best described as "mixed"! This morning he followed a bike route into Inverness (approx 12 miles) which was all through the lanes. He then had to pick up the A9 into Inverness. He cycled over the Kessock Bridge This bridge features on the Scottish £100 notes - not much chance of me getting ones those!!! Dad stopped in the middle of the bridge and looked out over the Moray Firth and saw two dolphins.

Dad stopped off at Tesco and had one of their mega breakfasts - five items for £1.50. Dad did say that he thought there ought to be a Tesco at every morning breakfast stop ! He then continued on the A96 which was a busy road but luckily had a cycle lane. He stopped off at Ardersier and Fort George,_Highland As the barracks are still used as a military establishment they were reluctant to let Dad bring his bike inside. They wanted him to "park" it on the car park but as Dad pointed out stuff might get pinched out of it so eventually they reluctantly let him bring it in. Dad did get ticked off though for propping it up against the wall. It was pointed out that it was a listed building!!! He should have pointed out that by the time he finishes his cycle ride that bike will be a "listed" bike!! He spent a good couple of hours having a look around the barracks. He then rode onto Nairn, Forres and eventually Finehorn.

I've got some photos from his disposable camera which unfortunately are not brilliant quality but will try and post some later.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dingwall Day 2

Dad decided to have a day off the bike and so has stayed on at Dingwall. Did has laundry first thing and then caught the bus into Inverness and spent the day there. He has visited the museum, the castle and the cathedral and walked his legs off. He did say it's much harder walking than it is biking! He'd only just got back in at about 6.30 pm

Last night, on the campsite, he met up again with Jon - another end to ender that he'd first met at Bettyhill. Both headed off for a pint (followed by fish & chips). Dad did comment that come 10.00 pm the pubs had shut!

Dad was just about to start getting tea ... cup-a-soup, salmon rolls followed by apricots and custard. No pub tonight as he did say he was having an early night as all the walking had worn him out. No doubt if someone is looking for a drinking buddy Dad will oblige ... well it would be rude not to!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Well Dad has made it to Dingwall. Been a bit of a cool and wet day. However he enjoyed the cycling today as it was mostly off the main roads on small lanes following the coast. He left Brora and took the A9 to Golspie and over Loch Fleet and down to Dornoch. He then sat watching lots of seals basking out in the bay. He stopped off at a cafe for a bacon sandwich only to be told we only do BLT or panni's. Dad gave it a miss and headed off until he found a cafe that did a proper bacon buttie!

Dad then head over the Dornoch Firth and onto Tain. Along the Cromarty Firth and into Invergordon, Alness and eventually into Dingwall. Lunch stop today was a bus shelter - out of the rain.

He got chatting to a local biker today about the TDF. Dad also stopped off in a Church and there was a guy working in there. Dad got chatting and he said he was from Stoke-on-Trent and the guy said "oh I know Weston Coyney"!!

Evening meal tonight is cup-a-soup and salmon rolls (salmon was always a Sunday night's tea!!). He didn't mention what pudding was. He is hoping to go off to the pub tonight as last night it was rained off! However his Millet's test is still serving him well as it's standing up to the bad weather.

While he was in Wick camping he met up with Phil and Steve who had just completed the end to end. Steve has been in touch and sent me the following photo of himself and Dad enjoying a pint.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Just spoke to Dad. He is now in Brora. Been cycling in the rain today. Even had to put tent up in the rain as well - that's not fun camping! It's rained that much that part of the campsite is flooded but thankfully not around Dad's tent! He's been and dried all his stuff in the driers and when he spoke to me it had just stopped raining.

He left Wick this morning on the A99. At Latheron he picked up the A9 and he cycled on through Helmsdale and down to Brora. I knew there there was some connection with A99 and ice-cream ... Brora is famous for Capaldi's ice cream shop! Here is some more information and photos of Brora

Last night be met a couple of bikers on the campsite (Steve & Phil) and went for a drink with them. They are keen "tweeters" or as Dad was telling me "twisters". Lads if you are reading this get in touch as Dad wants to know if you managed to get your bike on the train home!

Tomorrow Dad will head off towards Inverness but will probably camp up in Dingwall.

PS if anyone wants to get in touch with me my email add is kendieplonks at googlemail dot com

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week 5 Summary

I've been on the floor with my string, map and tape measure and done the weekly calculations.

Day 29 Torridon - Poolewe 35 miles
Day 30 Poolwewe - Ullapool 55 miles
Day 31 Ullapool - Stoer 45 miles
Day 32 Stoer - Durness 60 miles
Day 33 Durness - Bettyhill 45 miles
Day 34 Bettyhill - Thurso 55 miles
Day 35 Thurso - John o'Groats - Wick 43 miles

I make that 338 miles this week so added to the total so far that gives 1467 miles covered!

John o'Groats and onto Wick

Well today Dad made it to John o'Groats (4 days ahead of schedule).

Dad had a good night in Thurso last night. He didn't get see the pipers - he'd got the wrong weekend! However he did manage to get a pint or two! He set off as planned about 8.00 as it was only 20 miles to John o'Groats.

He met up with Mike Carter the journalist who is writing in the Observer. Dad arrived at the campsite at 10.00 as planned and it was packed with bikers, so it was a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack!. He gave Mike a call but got "this mobile is unavailable". He then noticed a guy coming out of the shower block and that was Mike! They headed off for breakfast and spent a couple of hours chatting over bacon and coffee! They then headed off for a short ride out to Duncansby Head and the lighthouses. They had a couple of photos taken. Hopefully I'll get them soon - when Dad posts back the camera. I think I should really have got him a camera phone!!! They are hoping to meet again should their paths cross later in the trip. Mike is hoping to write a book on his return ... I know what I'll be getting Dad for a Christmas present!!! Actually I've just got Dad a copy of the book Mike has already written "Uneasy Rider" ... I hope Dad will not want a motorcycle now!

After the ride out to Duncansby Head Dad waved goodbye to Mike and headed off on his own on the A99 (sounds more like an ice-cream than a road) to Wick. Dad is now cycling along the East Coast of Scotland.

Tonight Dad is camping in Wick,_Highland . He was just cooking up his three course meal when I spoke to him ... cup a soup, beans and sausage followed by pears, banana and custard! Wouldn't want to be following Dad tomorrow if he's had beans for tea!

All in all a great day for Dad plus Cavendish won stage 2 on the Tour de France and is now in the green jersey!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Dad has just rang. He's in Thurso. Been having some routine maintenance done ... no not on the bike but on the body! He's had his hair and beard trimmed. A number one all over. He'll be looking like an escaped convict again!

He's been in touch with Mike Carter (the Observer guy) who is already in John O'Groats. So they are meeting in the morning. Dad is planning on setting off about 8.00 ish so hopefully he'll be there by 10.00. Mike is already on the campsite and apparently there are LOADS of bikers (all doing the end to end). Until the last few days Dad hasn't really seen many other bikers.

Dad is staying in a back-packers hostel which is over a chippy, so he's had fish, chips, peas, bread and butter and a cup of tea for a fiver. Sounds a good deal to me! I think this might be the hostel he is at

From Bettyhill he head off A836. Quite a few bikers were en-route. He got into Thurso in good time. Tonight he is off to see some pipers and then off to the pub (hope he remembers he needs to be off for 8.00 a.m).

Given him the latest news on the TDF.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Some monthly stats

Dad has been totting up a few things today.

He's had :
5 nights in YHA's
2 nights wild camping
4 beds with friends
20 nights camping

He's only missed 4 showers - I hope they weren't consecutive nights.
He's used two gas containers and had two punctures.


Well Dad decided to move on. Weather was fine this morning so he thought he'd make the most of it. Had a good night in the bunkhouse. There were only five people in and Dad had a room all to himself! He did a shop before he left Durness. He headed off on the A838 and cycled down one side of Loch Eriboll (10 miles) and then 10 miles along the other side Today has been a windy and hilly ride. In fact at times so windy Dad was pedalling downhill! He then headed over the Kyle of Tongue bridge into Tongue . What an ace name for a place - glad my parents didn't name me after that place though :) Dad then headed off towards Bettyhill

Dad has met up with a couple of bikers who are doing the end to end (Lands End to John o'Groats) so he is off for a pint with them tonight.

Dad and Mike Carter (the guy who is cycling the other way round Britain and writing in the Observer) are hopefully going to met up on Sunday in John o'Groats.

Well I must say I missed Dad today ... I've had to cut my own hedges! Hopefully they will last now until he comes back. Sorry Dad but you do a much better job than me :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Well Dad has turned the corner and is now cycling along the north of Scotland. However the weather has changed. Thunder and lightning. It's been like that since 3.00 p.m. It's raining so bad he can't even dash over to the Spa shop over the road to buy tea!! He had to cycle for awhile in the rain and boy did it rain. I don't suppose it's much fun being on top of a hill on your bike with no shelter in the thunder and lightning!!!

He is staying in the Lazy Crofter Backpackers in Durness.

He might stay there for a couple of days especially if the weather doesn't clear up. Durness has a couple of pubs and shops. As a lot of his stuff was already wet he's done some laundry already!!

This morning weather was fine when he set off. He left Stoer on the small narrow lanes heading for Drumberg. The road got very hilly after Drumberg and he climbed/descended seven hills! You can even see the arrows on the map! He then got back onto the A894 towards Klyesku. Lunch was in Scourie. Dad sat on a bench which was a memorial to biker. Dad cycled on towards Laxford Bridge where it started to rain.

A man stopped Dad today and said "are you Jack". He'd been given a message from Joe & Ali who Dad had met a few days ago. They are probably a day behind Dad at the moment.

Dad is probably now about 100 miles from John o'Groats. Well if it stops raining Dad is off out for a pint or two tonight. I think it will be earned.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Just spoken to Dad. He had to ring from a pay-phone as there was no phone signal. He's done well - that's only the second time he's got no signal. So Asda (Vodafone) is serving him well!

A bit of catching up to do and 20p doesn't get you far on a pay-phone phone! Had a good night in Poolewe. There was no live music on in the pub (as advertised) but instead they had tennis on so he watched Murray's game. From Poolewe he took the A832 towards Ullapool. Very hilly. One of the hills took two hours to climb (yes TWO hours going uphill!!). He said the downhills are not much good either as it's all twists and turns so he has to take it easy. This is one of the hills (or maybe mountains) in the region I bet Dad wishes he'd got his boots! Yesterday he met up again with Adrian from Chester. Their paths have crossed several times. They went out for a fish and chip meal!

Last night was spent in Ullapool YHA. Today he headed off from Ullapool on the A835. At Drumrunie he took a left onto some minor roads. He cycled along Loch Lugainn and along the side of Stac Pollaidh Stunning scenery.

Tonight he is camping overlooking the bay. Hopefully going to spot some dolphins later. Talking of which he has seen quite a bit of wildlife. Today he saw a stag and a deer. Even got off his bike to walk a bit closer (hopefully got a picture of that!). Weather has been hot but I don't think it is as hot has it's been here. It's trying to rain at the moment so he has to keep dashing for cover!

Where before he was cycling around 10 miles an hour over this terrain it's 10 miles per hour an a half. Still not bad going! Still ahead of schedule. Tomorrow he'll start heading along the north coast of Scotland. Probably be in John o'Groats by Sunday 5th July.


Got a quick text off Dad last night. He was at Ullapool YHA waiting for it to open at 5.00 p.m. It had been a HOT day out on the bike.

Here is a bit of information on Ullapool.

Hopefully get to speak to Dad tonight.