I'm a double cancer survivor, cyclist and walker who does various challenges for different charities, mainly cancer-related.

In 2016 I climbed every single 'Birkett' in the Lake District - all 542 fells over 1,000' within the National Park, including all 214 Wainwrights. I've also done a three-week cycle tour of Tasmania in February 2015 and amongst other things, I've cycled from Land's End to John o'Groats (2003), Rotterdam to Lemvig (Denmark) (2005), walked the Pennine Way (2008) completed (my first) ascent of all 214 'Wainwrights' in the Lake District in only 55 days (2009), cycled 4,500 miles around the coast of Great Britain (2011), cycled all 42 of the accessible Western Isles of Scotland in under a month (2012), twice abseiled 230 ft from the top of The Big One in Blackpool, cycled the WWI Western Front from London to Compiegne via Ypres and Arras (2014), cycled 750 miles in the Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton (2014), done a bit of sky-diving and cycled Australia's Great Ocean Road - just before lockdown in 2020.

Altogether I've raised over £120,000 for my charities including The Christie, Cancer Research UK, the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, and ABF (The Soldiers' Charity) and I was mightily chuffed to receive the British Empire Medal in the 2014 New Year's Honours List.

I'm a Rotarian and give illustrated talks about my adventures in exchange for a donation to charity, so if you're looking for a speaker leave me a message. I am also Event Organiser for the Ribble Valley Ride Cycle Sportive, to be held this year on Sunday 5 September 2021 - more details at www.ribblevalleyride.org

You can also follow me on Twitter - @CancerBikeMan and on Facebook - just search for Bill Honeywell

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, whilst The Rosemere does fantastic work for patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Hen Huts and Bothies

I’m alright today.

I had a good response to my ‘revelations’ in yesterday’s blog.  A couple of weeks ago I was able to help an old friend – recently diagnosed with bowel cancer – on what to expect, and following my explanation yesterday I was contacted by someone else whose close relative is finding it difficult to come to terms with their recently-created ileostomy – and of course if I can be of any help I’ll be delighted.

Another important matter taking place yesterday was the relocation of our garden shed from near the house to the bottom of the garden, in anticipation of Val acquiring a few hens – an ambition she has held for some time.  I got out of the heavy labour due to my frail condition!  My main concern, when in due course the chucks arrive, is to keep them out of the grip of Monsieur Reynard.  I’ve already seen foxes nonchalantly strolling across the field behind the house, so I’m sure we’ll get a visit before too long.  A friend of mine has a security hatch on his hen hut which is controlled by a photo-electric cell – as it’s going dark, it shuts tight. Chickens only get left outside once, apparently – after that (assuming they survive) they make sure they obey the electronic curfew!

It’s surprising how much wildlife there is – on the day I got back from the Big Bike Ride there was a Roe Deer in the field behind the house, whilst on Saturday I looked out of the kitchen window just in time to see a male Sparrowhawk fly off with a Blue Tit in its talons – nature ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’ indeed.

Last night my brother Richard and his wife Sue called in on their way back to Macclesfield from a day in the Dales which included climbing Penyghent. He mentioned that there might be another ‘Bothy Trip’ in October. The last one, to an awesome, snowbound Ben Alder in March last year, was great fun but hard work and soooo cold, as the photos will hopefully testify.  Bothies are about as primitive as you can get – no electricity, water or even any kind of toilet (just a spade – don’t ask!) – but there is no escaping the sense of adventure.

Ben Alder bothy

Cornices on the descent of Ben Alder (3,766 ft) - March 2010

It was little consolation to learn that Richard Dugdale, Len and Steve had a good day on the Manchester 100 yesterday – with an average speed of 17 mph, which was exactly what I was aiming for. So frustrating not to be taking part.

Talking of cycling, I did say that I’d get some statistics sorted out from the Cycle Round Britain’s Coast, and my confinement gave me the ideal opportunity.  Here they are:

Total mileage:                     4,440 miles (7,190 km)
Total height gained:  205,000 ft (62,500 m or 39 miles)
Total time spent pedalling:    392 hours, 19 minutes
Total pedal revolutions:        1,412,340 (approx)
Average speed:                   11.32 mph
Average daily mileage:          64.3 miles
Average daily ascent:            2,970 ft (906 m)
Total calories burnt pedalling:   230,000 approx
Average total daily calorie burn:   4,500 – 5,000
Shortest day:       18 miles, 2 hours
Longest day:     99 miles, 11 h 45 m (including time spent with police after assassination attempt!)

Oh - and the total amount of money raised for Cancer Research UK has now reached £24,300 - if you want to help the figure reach £25,000, click here -http://www.justgiving.com/Bill-Honeywell

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