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.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Bridge Over the Atlantic (2)

Today was always going to be a long day.  We left our hosts for 3 of the last 4 nights, John & Suse Coon of Whitehouse, Kintyre, just after 8 am. Their daughter and son-in-law, Emily and Richard, had arrived the night before, with Richard asking us for advice on his forthcoming Land's End to John o'Groats cycle. I hope we were helpful!  Today they were all doing the Gigha Challenge, an 11 mile walk, jog or cycle, take your pick - on an island we visited earlier in the week.

Meanwhile we had nearly 90 miles to do, and the most we'd done before this week was 50. Riding 90 miles on a tourer fully laden with panniers is not the same as the same mileage on a light road bike!  However, we'd soon done 20 miles so stopped for a brew and scone in Ardrishaig, after which we made a small detour to follow the Crinan Canal, which was idyllic.

Was that rain we felt for the first time this week? No. It was snow!  But only the lightest of light showers (when the sun went in it was perishingly cold).  There are a few long climbs on the Lochgilphead to Oban road but the only thing you can do is get your head down.

By early afternoon we had turned off on to the road to Seil Island, and seeing the steep hill sign asked ourselves why we would take 15kg of panniers on a 20 mile round trip. So we left them in a disused telephone box, hoping that no one would pinch them. It didn't occur to me until later on that someone might report them to the anti-terrorist police. I decided that if we encountered a horde of police cars on the way back we'd just cycle on as if we knew nothing about it!

The Bridge over the Atlantic on to Seil Island is very impressive, and soon there we were on island no 8, which I guess is a popular place for retired folk.  It's one of the slate islands, and a look at the rocks tells you why.  We cycled for another 6 miles down the island and took the side road signposted 'Easdale'.

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