The 1986 Run - 24th May - 1st June

Our story begins on a train from Newton Abbot on Friday 23rd may. With panniers packed with clothes, maps, and anti-knock rations, the bikes are strapped into the tiny "Guards Room" of the "125" as it gently pulls out of the station.
Day 1

Penzance-LandsEnd-Penzance - Redruth - Wadebridge - Bude -Instow
Sunny, warm
Day 2

Instow - South Molton - highbridge - Chepstow - Monmouth ( South Wales)

Sunny, hot

Day 3

Monmouth - Hereford -Ludlow - Shrewsbury - Chester
Hot, sunny
Day 4

Chester - Warrington - Preston - Hincaster Gales, shower

Day 5

Hincaster - Kendal - Shap - Penrith - Gretna -Alness - LochMaben ( Scotland)NW Gales
Heavy showres

Day 6

Loch Maben -Cumnock - Glasgow - Milngavie - InverbegHeavy showers

Day 7

Inverbeg - Crianlarich - Great Glen - Loch LochyVery wet

Day 8

Loch Lochy -Drumnadrochit - Bonar Bridge - Helmsdale
Bright and sunny.

Day 9

Helmsdale - Wick - John O' groats.

Very Wet

KINGSKERSWELL - fettling the bikes!
The first snag came two hours later, as the train pulled in to Penzance station - late. Too late to get to Lands End Youth Hostel -where we had booked in - before lights out!
A telephone call to the wardens assistant to tell him we would be arriving late proved counterproductive, since we were informed that it would take us 2.5 hours to ride the 7 miles from the station to the hostel, and any argument to the contrary proved futile.

So an instant change of plan meant we spent the night in Penzance YH, where we were welcomed despite having no advanced booking.

LANDS END ( nice bit!)

2: DAY 1:
After a restless first night, with thoughts of almost 1000 miles of pedalling infront of us, we set off for Lands End, before breakfast in order to start from the first house at 9 O'clock.

A large part of the reason for doing the ride was to raise money for Lukaemia Research, and we were met at the start by the Rev. Phil Williams of St.Just Parish Church who donated £5 towards our fund.
Heading to St.Ives 1986 and from St.Ives 2004
Heading towards St.Ives - roll over for 2004!

Cameras were set up to record the start, propped up on bits of rock with auto-timers set. This finished we sped off to Penzance with the wind on our backs, and there had a hurried breakfast of Cornish Pasty and Doughnuts.

Fixing Broken Bottom Bracket near Wadebridge.

The combination of these plus the hills to Redruth viaMarzion and B roads slowed our pace a little, so with Instow as our first nights stop we sped up the A30 from Redruth, stopping for a very pleasant lunch at the Plume of Feathers at Mitchell.From Fraddon we took the A39 all the way to Bideford, stopping for tea at Bude. We were amazed at how quiet the main roads were, hardly any traffic and with a tail wind the miles were whizzing by. We arrived at Instow Youth Hostel and were met there by members of the North Devon Leukaemia Society, and after booking in at the hostel, we were treated to a fine meal at the house of their secretary Mrs. Barabara Terrell.



"Oggie" stop at Penzance.

3: DAY 2:
Sunday morning, and after a good YHA breakfast it was up the long drag out of Barnstaple on the A361 to South Molton. The weather was a bit threatening,with some drizzle but on the way to Bampton it improved, and by the time we stopped at the Tone Valley cafe for lunch the day was becoming very sticky. Wiveliscombe was a blur as we sped on to Taunton twiddling a 53x13 gear, and before long we hit Highbridge where we decided to leave the main road for a while.

The weather was now sweltering so we stopped at Mark for some fruit juice and then took the lanes through to Tarnock and main road to Churchill.
Skirting the Mendips via the B3133 and A370 we dropped into Long Ashton, and then took the A4 under the Clifton Suspension bridge to Avonmouth, and on to the Severn Bridge.
We took lot's of photos of the bridge and by the time we arrived in Chepstow it was time for tea and to plan our next stage. As we sat on the park bench eating our Vietnamese take-away we decided that rather than stay at Chepstow, we would cycle up the Wye Valley to Monmouth since it was such a beautiful evening. It was almost 9 O'clock before we set off and the views of Tintern Abbey were enhanced by the approaching dusk, which had turned to dark by the time we arrived at the hostel at 10 O'clock.

YHA Monmouth


Transport Cafe near North Petherton



Severn Bridge - Bristol Channel

Crossing the first Severn Bridge

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Newton Area  Cycling GroupCTC Devon
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