Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Going, GROWING, gone!

Just when you think thing are going exceptionally well, they get even better...

Massive sense of gratitude and pleasure when yesterday's adding-up exercise revelaed a total well in excess of £6000.

And then today's post arrived, bringing with it a donation that sent the total whizzerating up to the speech-stifling total shown above.

Thank you again!

I'm doing my best to send a personal 'thank you' to everyone who supported the Summer Cycling Saga - and have a set of personalised postcards to hand for that purpose.

Happily, the 'total so far' part of the printed text is now SO behind the times. Like the cyclist.

I'm closing down the JustGiving site at the weekend.

As I write several Falcon Camps are under way - many more to follow over the next few weeks.

Children and young people from tough, challenging backgrounds are having wonderful, fun-packed hoildays in the unique, caring ethos fostered by the Falcon philosophy.

And the cost of many of these life-changing experiences has been underwritten by fabulous SCS supporters.

Hurrah for you. Thank you.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Home and dry...

We're there - and beyond. The yearned-for threshold of £6000 has been crossed. Wow

It has been a good week. Strange not be in the saddle each day. And there have been issues come mid-morning when I have looked in vain for a cafe, a coffee and a wee scone...

And if there is anyone left who hasn't asked me 'the question' - rest assured, my bottom is fine. Thanks for your concern.

And more people have given.

I'm running out of ways of expressing my gratitude.

All I can say is 'thank you'.

This has been the most extraordinary few months. I had no idea how this project would go - and in the event its success has surpassed my wildest imaginings.

Thank you all so much.

Falcon Camps make a difference to the lives of children and young people from tough, difficult and discouraging backgrounds.

Thank you for responding so generously.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

So close...

More shock. More awe. More astonishment. More donations.

Red balloons? Two thirds of an emergency call? Ice cream cone plus chocolate flake?

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Six appeal...

Er, wow!

Shock and awe as the total donated by the Saga's sensational supporters continues to rise...

Many, many thanks.

David Hart (Head of CPAS Ventures and Falcon Camps) tells me that the amount raised so far underwrites the cost of an entire camp.

And I hope readers will forgive me for having the comparativley weeny figure of £231 currently at the forefront of my thinking.

Meanwhile: Hurrah!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Back in my own back yard...

Home at last...

Saturday's train journey from Thurso to Leamington was a few hours longer than planned - but all things considered, one's grateful to be able to travel such a long distance in such a relatively short space of time - and without pedalling.

Relaxed on Sunday with a 30-mile ride over to Stratford and back in glorious sunshine and genuine heat.  Cycled without a fleece for first time in weeks...

Wonderful welcome back today at work. How kind.

And the total-so-far is above....

You're thinking what I'm thinking, aren't you?

That extra £80 is going to come in, isn't it?

Thanks and thanks again to all the wonderful people who have supported the ride with such kindness, humour, generosity and practical helpfulness.


Friday, 25 June 2010

I was glad...

Early start to take the wee ferry from John o'Groats to Burwick, across the waters of the Pentland Firth.

A corrugated, windy ride northwards up the chain of islands linked by the wartime Churchill barriers.

A brief stop at the extraordinary Italian Chapel, two Nissan huts transmogrified by Italian prisoners of war into remarkably beautiful place of worship.

And then a descent into Kirkwall and the great sandstone cathedral becomes a magnet pulling me to the end of my journey.

And on arrival, emotion surprises me...

But only briefly - back on the bike and pedal against the wind to the narrow, flag-stoned streets of Stromness and the cruise-ship ferry back to Thurso.

The wind drops, and the evening light bathes the vast cliffs of Hoy...








Thursday, 24 June 2010


Well, I had to wait a long time, but finally it arrived - a strong, friendly and so-welcome tail wind.

The remaining miles to John o'Groats were a skim and a whoosh, long segments where I was travelling effortlessly at 25mph. Armstrong-esque. Absolutely no credit to me. It's that west wind.

And then J o G, marginally less tacky than Land's End - and packed with cyclists and leather-clad bikers.

I think I am looking reasonably happy in the 'official' snap - note Falcon Camps on the signpost.

Wonderful email and Facebook messages come pinging in via the extremely intermittent signal.

And I'm here.


(Confused? Probably - I get the date wrong at the start of the podcast.)