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.

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Next Big Ride

Planning is underway for the next Tour – this time the Western Isles of Scotland, in April and May 2012.

Which islands to visit?  It’s not as easy as it sounds – but for various reasons I decided that I would include all those that were inhabited and accessible by a scheduled ferry service, or directly by road (like Skye, or Great Berneray). Uninhabited islands, like Staffa, aren’t included.  After all, if there are no roads at all then it’s not really worth it on a bike tour!

As always there are exceptions. Ulva, off the west coast of Mull, doesn’t have a scheduled ferry service, but the man there will come across the narrow sound as soon as you send a signal, so it would be a shame to miss it!

So I have 39 islands on the list, starting with Bute in the Firth of Clyde on 29th April, and finishing with Colonsay (and Oronsay) on 24/25 May. The mileage isn’t massive but there are a few other changes this time:

I’ve got company: seasoned touring cyclist Richard Dugdale is coming with me. Richard leads a number of CTC Tours at home and abroad (including China). He also has a genuine pennyfarthing, which takes some riding. You can find his blog at http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Pennyfarthing/

I’m not travelling light – it’s the touring bike with panniers this time, carrying everything I need for four weeks.

I will be fund-raising for Cancer Research UK of course, but perhaps not as ‘full-on’ as last time – after all, there are only so many times I can persuade all my friends to part with their hard-earned cash. But of course, if anyone wants to make a donation they can still follow the link to http://www.justgiving.com/Bill-Honeywell

The Route

This took some sorting out! You can’t just go from one island to the next, because the ferry timetables don’t allow it. Still, after a few evenings of poring over the timetables and head-scratching, I’ve managed a roughly South-North route which goes roughly Bute – Arran – Islay – Coll & Tiree, Small Isles, Skye, Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Mull, Colonsay.  I’ll work out the mileage some time and let you know.


This is now the BIG challenge! A motorhome is totally impracticable because of ferry costs. Camping is out of the question because I’m too soft (I can’t stand cold and my back isn’t up to hard ground) and 28 nights’ B&B is too expensive. So…. We’re looking for local people to offer us a bed for a night (well, two beds actually!) – we’re not bad company, honest, and anyhow we’ll probably be in bed by 10 o’clock!

So far we’ve got one night’s accommodation arranged on Mull – with thanks to Tony and Jean Wagstaff – and we’ve got people coming back to us for a couple of other locations, but we’re looking for volunteers elsewhere – can you help? Do you live near one of our overnight stops or know someone who does?  Here’s the list:-

Rothesay (Bute), Brodick (Arran), Kennacraig, near West Tarbert (3 nights total), Port Askaig (Islay), Oban (2 nights), Coll, Tiree, Onich/Ballachulish, Mallaig (2 nights), Broadford (Skye), Portree (Skye), Tarbert (Harris), Lewis, Lochmaddy (N Uist), Barra, Uig (Skye) Mallaig again, Oban (another 2 nights) and Scalsaig (Colonsay).

Any help would be VERY much appreciated!

That’s enough for now! I’ll post some more information on how the preparations are going soon.  In the meantime if you have any comments or suggestions, DO let me know!


  1. Sorry you tour doesn't allow a stay with us this time. I can reccommend you as perfect house guests. if you are short of accommodation offers we will sponsor you a night's B and B!
    Good luck
    Adrian and Margaret

  2. You're too kind as always Margaret! I'll keep you posted!