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.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Hang on lads, I've got a great idea...

A few weeks ago I was enjoying a relaxing evening at home, when a thought popped into my head. ‘Liverpool to Goole 2001, Land’s End to John o’Groats 2003, Rotterdam to Lemvig 2005, British Cycle Sportive 2007, All 214 Wainwrights 2009…’ Every other year. And 2011 will be here before you know it, so am I going to break the pattern? Suppose not. On each occasion I’ve raised money for various charities – The Christie Hospital (£9,000 in total), Multiple Sclerosis (£5,000), Rosemere Cancer Foundation (over £10,000). Time to raise some more, probably for Cancer again. I got out a few books and maps. El Camino de Santiago de Compostela? Gibraltar to John o’Groats by bike? (that still has a certain appeal). Round the coast of Great Britain? How far is that then? I’d read Josie Dew’s account of cycling round GB, but she cut out Scotland (nearly half of the whole thing!), carried about 50 kilos of luggage, and camped. So whilst she’s pretty exceptional, it’s not my style - I’d prefer to travel light, in a bit more comfort (of which more later) and do the whole thing – England, Scotland, Wales. There’s scope for confusion here: to be pedantic (heaven forbid) Great Britain is the main island of the archipelago that is the British Isles. There are hundreds, thousands, of smaller islands, from the Isle of Wight and Anglesey down to tiny specks, but they can wait for another time. Maps out again. A few evenings looking at possibilities. Keep as close to the coast as one reasonably can and use ferries across estuaries where they exist – Felixstowe, Tamar, Dart, etc. A rough estimate puts the distance at just over 4,000 miles. At 80 miles a day that’s 50 days, plus rest days (at least two per week please) plus other delays, so at a best estimate it will take around 10 weeks. Booking accommodation is impractical and expensive. For LEJoG we had the use of a motorhome, on loan from a friend of a friend who was undergoing cancer treatment (I was raising money for The Christie). It would be nice to use a motorhome again. The bigger the ride the more money one would hope to raise. Publicity required. When I walked all 214 Wainwrights I got very little at the time, even though I was close to breaking records. This time, especially as the ride covers the whole country, I must make sure we get better coverage. I’ve contacted the BBC but progress is naturally slow. Not sure if a long ride fits well with national newspapers. I still have to decide who to raise money for. If I can get donations on a national basis then it seems right that the recipient should be a national organisation rather than a local one. Cancer Research UK and McMillan Nurses spring to mind but their may be others. I need to look into this some more. That’s enough thinking. I’m keeping my diary free for May – July next year: now to get back to the maps and update the blog again when I have more news. In the meantime if anyone knows where there might be a motorhome availabe for 10 – 12 weeks next Spring / Summer, please let me know!