(Pictured above: The Cyclopaths celebrate as they reach John O'Groats after their 1000 mile cycle challenge!)

From the 27th August The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) supporter Alison Anderson along with her team of 20 ‘Cyclopaths’ completed their fantastic Land's End to John O’Groats cycle challenge. Covering the mammoth 1000 mile ride in two weeks, the team have raised over £5000 to support the work of CPT. 

Alison’s husband and Cyclopath team member John shares his story of the team’s fundraising challenge here:

“I feel very proud to have completed the epic ‘LeJog’ challenge and privileged to have achieved this with such a fantastic group of people. I am sure many have done this faster but I suspect few have had so much fun and support.

My starting point was my wife Alison and I cannot express my admiration and respect for what she has achieved. The actual challenge was only half of the story, as she was the mastermind behind the whole event and planned all of the logistics, hotel bookings and more, dealing with all the associated problems along the way. Alison had good days and bad, highs and lows but, like us all, still cycled every last mile. Chapeau to her and to all of us Cyclopaths.

I am most proud of the team. This was exemplified by one of our worst days going up over Shap in Cumbria on the A6, freezing and absolutely drenched in driving rain. Alison was spent, broken and freezing to a point of being unable to use her gears or brakes. She had to stop. Her friends stayed with her and sought refuge until our ever-present support team of Chris and Chris scooped them up. They had all lost 12 miles of the route in the process of joining the rest of a soaking, cold bunch of Cyclopaths in Penrith. After a couple of hours of defrosting and drying, the disappointment of not fully completing the challenge was too much. Together with Paula and Julia, Alison went back to the pick-up point to cycle the 12 miles they had been driven and the 49 miles to follow that, to reach our final destination on that day.

Both myself and Caroline returned with this group to support and encourage them. This is something I needed to do for Alison, but it was also an example of how invaluable Caroline had become as chief route planner, navigator and general ‘go to’ person for everything – help, advice, medicine, encouragement and of course dinky-deckers. Everyone played a part on that very wet day. Our welcome, late into the evening in Scotland was celebrated and cheered by the whole group, we were together again and had a steely determination to do this.

The team grew over the two week cycle with many people supporting in different ways. Friends and family cheered and rode with us, cooked and transported things around. Strangers we met were genuinely interested and encouraging. This was so special to me and there are too many people to comprehensively name and thank individually. We all were encouraged by the acts of kindness and support they offered and the words of encouragement they provided.

Our journey was a roller coaster with many thrills and some spills. The beauty and variety of the UK cannot be overstated. Hedgerows, canal paths, lakes and rivers, highlands, lowlands, coastline and forests. We saw it all. Unfortunately, Nigel did not see the post on the canal path. Despite significant injuries he completed the route – brave, uncomplaining he was a brick (and a very good cyclist too). Others had falls and most simply suffered scrapes and bruises along with bruised egos. Sadly, for all of us, another member was less fortunate and Christine’s journey was ended just inside of Scotland after a nasty fall left her with a fractured pelvis. This highlights the dangers we all faced on some difficult terrain and challenging slopes. Christine was very much missed and was with us in spirit when we reached John O’Groats, linked by FaceTime – the wonders of modern technology enabling us to share this with her.

I feel this is a bit of an essay. However, Land’s End to John O’Groats is a long way and many things happened. Whatever occurred we had Chris and Chris, our support team and general ‘can do anything’ boys. Without them we would not have made it. They started as our support team and ended as part of our big family. Thank you for all you did.

For me it was both about the journey and the destination. The journey was rich, the destination a sense of relief and achievement. My memories outweigh my comments many times over. Thank you to everyone who made this a very special albeit tough couple of weeks.”

Starting out from Land's End in Cornwall 

A quick stop for a team photo as the Cyclopaths ride on national cycle paths through Taunton in Somerset

A well earnt tea stop at The Green House Cafe in Launceston 

Day 4 on the way to Gloucestershire 

A quick route check from Cheltenham to Penkridge

Half way there - 505 miles cycled, 505 miles to go!

A cold, wet and tired arrival into Scotland

The team celebrating at John O'Groats

CPT would like to say a HUGE thank you and well done to Alison, John and the Cyclopaths for their truly incredible hard work, fundraising efforts and continued support. To read more of the team’s story, please visit their brilliant LEJOG blog or to support their fundraising please visit their fundraising page.

If you feel inspired by the Cyclopaths challenge take a look at the fantastic cycling events that you can take on in support of our work or alternatively please contact George or call 020 7487 3892 to discuss your own fundraising ideas.