Megmeister Proves Perfect Partner For John O’Groats to Land’s End Charity Cycle Challenge4 Min Read
At Megmeister we have always valued the importance of charity work, so when we were offered the opportunity to sponsor keen cyclist Andy Hardy on his charity cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End, we jumped at the chance. What’s more, with over 800 miles of varying terrain to cover in all sorts of weather conditions, we knew our Megmeister base layers would prove invaluable to Andy on his trip, and we supplied him with three different styles to try..
Andy’s account of his ride follows:
“Back in 2017 I was asked by my close friend Paul, President of the Rotary Club of Nottingham, if I would like to ride with him from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for accommodation at Nottingham Children’s Hospital for parents of sick children. Of course, I said ‘Yes!’ to help such a good cause and to take up the challenge.
I was also delighted to be supported by Megmeister, who supplied me with a sleeveless, short sleeve and a long sleeve base layer, so I was prepared to take on anything that the unpredictable British weather threw at me.
Day 1: John O’Groat’s to Inverness 120.6 miles
Possibly the hardest ride I have ever done and my legs were in pain by the time we reached Inverness. The first day 120 miles was the longest day of the trip and it was a day of headwind, hills and a broken wheel! A tough start.
Day 2: Inverness to Glencoe – 81.5 miles
The 81 miles from Inverness to Glencoe down the side of Loch Ness was stunning but slightly hampered by the wet and cold conditions. I was very pleased I was wearing the Megmeister long sleeve base layer on that day, as it stayed dry and warm next to my skin. A much-needed coffee stop in Fort William warmed us up for the final 10 miles into Glencoe. A rear puncture for me just 400 yards from the hostel rounded the day off nicely.
Day 3: Glencoe to Kilmarnock – 103.9 miles
The day began with absolutely breathtaking scenery, as we ascended 6.5 miles out of Glencoe. Just under 7°C and just below the snow line the weather conditions were tough but we warmed up once we had descended. We then had a crazy snaking ride along Loch Lomond (now officially called Loch LeMond!) and then we were on our way to Kilmarnock, which had THE worst roads in Scotland followed by a huge climb out of Paisley.
Day 4: Kilmarnock to Carlisle – 96.4 miles
Today was the day to trial my new Megmeister short sleeve cycling base layer as we woke up to a beautiful sunny day. The first half of the day was lovely, as we passed through the rolling hills of the borders. The second half was pretty hard work as we turned east into the wind towards Gretna. The base layer proved perfect for the warm weather and was a real help, keeping me cool and dry on all the day’s climbs.
Day 5: Carlisle to Preston – 105.3 miles
Half way today, 400 miles done and 400 to go! Felt like a milestone. It was a beautiful day from the start so I decided to trial my Megmeister sleeveless base layer. I loved how lightweight it is, it feels just like a second skin whilst keeping me dry and cool in the heat. Stunning ride today through the hilly moorland on our way to the lakes with some crazy descents on gravelly tracks down to Keswick and then onto Grasmere and Ambleside. We had a few team problems with Paul’s back wheel broken again, so a couple of us pushed on whilst Johann, our support driver, tended to Paul. We all met up again at 9.15pm after a long and hot day in the saddle. This is definitely a big challenge and is testing us all, but we are loving it.
Day 6: Preston to Shrewsbury – 94.5 miles
The Scots have a word for days like today - ‘dreek’. It pretty much rained all day. This was definitely my worst day of the trip as I was tired from not sleeping well the night before. We arrived wet and cold in Shrewsbury hoping for a better day on our journey to Bristol.
Day 7: Shrewsbury to Bristol 101.8 miles
Having ridden through Church Stretton along the side of the Lond Mynd we decided to stop for lunch at The Sun Inn in Lenwardine, which is an absolute gem. It was a warm and humid day with a fair bit of rain as we headed to Hereford. Five biggish climbs including an absolute belter (think mini Alpe d’Huez) out of the surprisingly beautiful Monmouth. On a day full of intense riding I was very happy I had the Megmeister short sleeved base layer on as the ventilation zones kept me cool and dry all day. Finished the day with a breathtaking ride over the Severn Bridge into Bristol.
Day 8: Bristol to Okehampton 104.8 miles
Today started with thunder in the air, showers turned to heavy rain, then turned warm and humid through Somerset and got hotter as the day went on. This was the biggest day of climbing as we headed towards Devon with the Youth Hostel at the top of the final climb of the day – not fun with over 100 miles in our legs.
Day 9: Okehampton to Newquay – 64.4 miles
Climbing and more climbing! We were actually tempted to head to Newquay via the A30 as the first 30 miles of the day took so long to do. However, we prevailed but definitely only managed our lowest average speed all week due to the up and down nature of Cornwall’s roads. With so much climbing and warm weather, my Megmeister sleeveless base layer (https://shop.megmeister.com/collections/men/products/mens-drynamo-cycle-sleeveless-base-layer) was the obvious choice for the day. Lands’ End here we come!
Day 10: Newquay to Lands’ End 44.1 miles
WE DID IT! We were joined for the last 44 miles by Simon, President of the St Columb Major Rotary Club and were greeted by Rotarians in Redruth and Penzance. It meant so much to us. There was still a fair bit of climbing to do today but we arrived at Lands’ End around 1.45pm. What a contrast to John O’Groats! Stepping off the bike for the last time and with our families around us was quite overwhelming. It’s been an amazing adventure and one I will never forget and I will forever be grateful to Paul for asking me to join him on this amazing week.”
Here at Megmeister we couldn’t be more proud of Andy’s monumental 900-mile effort. We’re also delighted Andy was able to really test the effectiveness of our baselayers and they came through with flying colours as we knew they would!
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