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, 23 February 2011

Nice One Ladies!

I have just got to say a big THANK YOU to the ladies of Clitheroe Tangent who last night held an auction of bric-a-brac and quality home-made produce, raising £200 for Cancer Research UK.  Chairman Janet is an enthusiastic supporter of the bike ride and I'm grateful for all that she, and the Tangent ladies, have done so far.
In the meantime I'm spending this miserable weather getting details of all the campsites / caravan sites en route, trying to work out a schedule (not easy), finish off the driver roster (over-subscribed!) and loads of other planning jobs.
Of the caravan sites I've contacted so far, all the replies have been fantastic, offering overnight accommodation free of charge, for which I'm extremely grateful.  The personal cost of this challenge is already approaching thousands, rather than hundreds, of pounds, so all offers of this nature are warmly welcomed and very much appreciated!

Friday, 18 February 2011

It's been a busy week.

Well, it’s been a busy week. Monday evening was a planning meeting with Logistics Manager, aka brother-in-law Alan Breckell plus sister Pat and an excellent bottle of red – despite which (the bottle, not Pat) we got a lot of ideas sorted out.  The photo is of the only time our Logistics Manager ever got on a bike - on the car park in Tomintoul on Land's End - John O'Groats - perhaps the proximity of the distillery offers an explanation...

On Tuesday Val and I were looking at second-hand motorhomes, then in the evening I went to Clitheroe & District Motor Club (www.cdmconline.com/) whose members kindly raised £140 for Cancer Research UK.

Wednesday evening was Clitheroe Bike Club: Nick Dinsdale from NJD Sports Injuries (www.njdsportsinjuries.co.uk) informed us about all the things that go wrong with our feet, legs, pelvises and backs. I volunteered for an ‘MOT’ and wished I hadn’t! Bit like knowing you’re about to start the Paris-Dakar and the car’s about to fall to bits!

Meanwhile the Lancashire Telegraph published a piece on the ride, as a result of which an old friend contacted me with the possibility (nothing more than that at this stage) that a motorhome might be found on a loan basis – fingers crossed.

Thursday I finally got out on the bike, posting a time over Waddington Fell which was good for me and hopeless compared to all the other CBC times - :-( In the evening Frank Brown and I went to the annual dinner of the Rannock Sheep Breeders’ Society and a more jovial bunch of farmers and auctioneers you couldn’t wish to meet. Frank Wrathall, from Gisburn, entertained.

Today started well with another possibility – again, no more than that – of some fuel sponsorship, which would be a real boon. Fingers crossed again. If all the sponsorship deals come together the motorhome will look pretty good with supporters’ logos!

And lots more besides. This is getting to be a full time job.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Motorhomes 'R' Us

Today I decided that with time getting short and no sign of a motorhome to be begged, borrowed or stolen (well actually there are a few that could probably be stolen but a custodial sentence would interfere with my timetable) I made up my mind to go and look at some second-hand ones.
So Val and I went off to the Preston area and visited Todds, Campbells and Brownhills, to be met with a huge array of all types, sizes, prices and colours. Correction - virtually only one colour, white.  We need a 6-berth so that we're not too cramped with a full crew, and it must have an oven, some storage, and be reliable, so low mileage preferred.  The trick is going to be getting one at the right price so that when we sell it again in August we don't lose a fortune on it.
We've got a shortlist of three or four so later this week there may be some serious haggling to do.  No rush, we don't really need one until the end of March.
And if anyone reading this wants to lend us their 6-berth motorhome, or knows someone else who might - please let me know!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Out and About - at last

Since I posted the route timetable, lots of people have volunteered to be crew members but with all the driving, navigating, cleaning, cooking, shopping, brewing up and so on, there’s room for more! If you are interested, get in touch.

The kind weather this week has meant that it’s been possible to get out on the bike more – in fact it’s the first time this year I’ve been able to cover over 100 miles in one week. The ups and downs of the Hodder Valley were hard work on Thursday afternoon, and I apologise to Bill Barker and Philip Bailey who were moving the Life Education classroom from Slaidburn School when I approached down the hill past Dunnow Lodge at high speed! But the weather was gorgeous, unlike the unremitting rain today which meant more indoor jobs.

The cold weather in December has led to so many potholes that road cycling now demands top concentration. I’ve had two punctures in under 200 miles – and I normally average one about every 1500 miles. As well as the potholes, there are long stretches where the road surface is just plain worn out, and rough as hell. I’m sure we can expect lots of that on the route around the coast.

I’ve had two speaking engagements this week – Bacup Ladies’ Guild on Thursday night and Burnley Probus on Friday. The Probus fee went to the Rosemere Cancer Foundation as I was talking about the 214 Wainwright Challenge (see blog link), while the ladies’ fee has gone to the Cancer Research UK (see CRUK link).