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.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A Western Isles Update

People are so brilliant!!  As you know, I’m planning a cycle tour of 39 of Scotland’s Western Isles with Richard Dugdale, starting 28 April.  I think I’ve already mentioned the problem with camping, and the cost of B&B every night for 28 nights is not cheap, to say the least!  So I’ve been putting out feelers and the response has been terrific!

Through a network of friends, friends of friends, Warmshowers.org and Twitter (which was so helpful on my Cycle Round Britain’s Coast) we have so far been offered accommodation for 10 nights, from Bute to Mull and from Islay to Oban.  It’s adding a whole new dimension to the ride as we’ll be meeting several old friends and several complete strangers – it should be great!

So far we’re still a bit thin for Skye and the Outer Hebrides, but I’ll keep working on it.  If you, dear reader, know of anyone in those areas who might be able to help (also Mallaig and Ballachulish/Onich), please let me know.

Mentioning Skye reminds me of a trip about six and a half years ago, when Ian Hardy and I decided to do the two-day walk of the Trotternish Ridge. Naturally the weather turned rough, and the night camping on the tops was really bad – the rain and high winds meant we had to pitch the tent on sloping ground.  We spend all night slithering to the bottom end of the tent and then trying to shuffle back up again, discovering in the process that the groundsheet wasn’t waterproof any longer! But that wasn’t the best bit…

Back in Portree on a Saturday afternoon we went to a pub for a ‘refresher’ when in came a chap about 40 yrs old, clearly the ‘worse for wear’.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, in that distinctive Islands accent, “Everyone’s a homosexual.”  “Really?” I replied, not quite sure if that was the correct response.  “Why, are you one?” he asked. “No,” I said “But it was made legal a few years ago;  we’ve been out on the hill for two days and I just wondered if they’d made it compulsory whilst we were away.”

At this point his friend arrived, explaining that they were the rump of the Portree Football Team who had been over to Stornoway, where they were soundly beaten and were now back on Skye drowning their sorrows (I think they’d been working hard at this for a few hours).

We talked about life on Skye, then they said how rubbish the English were, so I tried to make a brave defence of my native country. Then one of them said “Right, what are you two girlies having to drink?” I said “I’ll have a pint of heavy and Ian will have a Talisker, thank you.”

“Did you no mind me calling you girlies?”

I said “Well, you’re buying a round – let’s get the drinks in and then we’ll discuss the girlie business!”

That seemed to go down well. We soon left for another pub, and then another, and just as I was thinking that we were going to end up inebriated, the first fella said “Sorry guys, we’re going to have to go home, we can’t stand up any longer.”  That was a relief.  They were good company but I didn’t relish the thought of a major hangover the day after!

Happy days!


  1. Hope you have your tracking gizmo again, that was great fun.

  2. YES! I've spoken to Bob from Fleetsmart, the tracker people, and he's agreed to the tracker again. Lots of people enjoyed it last year.