Being of an adventurous nature, I had been contemplating , another challenge/adventure but rather like starting a diet – tomorrow is another day ! However, whilst watching Sport Relief on the television earlier this year and seeing the amazing challenges that were being tackled in aid of charity it made me think – it is all too easy to select a few digits, tap them into the mobile, press send and bingo there is a donation ! All from the comfort of one’s own home and cosy sofa. So , I thought this is it – time to crack on – life is too short and so the idea was hatched. What better way than to do it not only for one’s own pleasure and achievement but to raise money and awareness in aid of charity. I have chosen 2 charities both personal to me – LLR (Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research ) and Sands ( Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths ). So there it was – decision made. Now what to do !
Having sailed around the coast of great Britain and seen the coastline from the sea I thought how wonderful to see the sea from on land. But how to do it along with my faithful and loyal companion – Oscar a Golden Retriever .( he has been with me on many an adventure so leaving him behind is not an option )! The obvious way was by car – no challenge – walking – too far and too long. Bicycle was the answer. So I researched for dog trailers and found an excellent Dutch design aptly called a ‘Doggy-Ride”. I also researched bikes and chose a Thorn hand built steel bike – a sturdy workhorse capable of towing Oscar and minimal gear !
Having decided that I would have to swap my sails for wheels for next summer ( a challenge in itself ) it is now time for the planning. The kitchen table is strewn with maps, routes , lists of B&Bs and all manner of other things – it seems much simpler to plan a route by sea ! The estimated start time will be March/April 2015 giving me the maximum daylight hours for my trip. Starting in Aldeburgh on the east coast of Suffolk, we will be travelling northwards along the east coast in an anti-clockwise direction keeping as near to the coast as is feasibly possible. Being a sailor and brought up watching the flashing light from Orfordness lighthouse I have a particular affinity to lighthouses and intend to visit as many as possible along the way. The trip is approx 5000 miles and at an average of 30 miles per day ( rest days included ) I hope to be back in Aldeburgh by the end of August/September.
Now all that is left is to get out on the bike !!
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