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, 29 April 2011

In Memory of Geoff Braithwaite

To my great surprise, Clitheroe Lions have awarded me their annual Geoff Braithwaite Award, in memory of their founder member Geoff Braithwaite MBE who also happened to be a second or third cousin of my mother (I won't bore you with the genealogical details).

I'm very flattered, and last night Val and I went to the Lions' meeting to receive it, together with a cheque for £250 for Cancer Research UK.  The award was given in 'recognition of my charity fund raising efforts' and it's jolly nice to get an award for something you like doing anyway!

Geoff's widow Diane, who lives in Downham, the village where Val was born (apologies if this is sounding a bit like nepotism) was also there to present the award, and is in the photo alongside David Hepworth, Lions President.

The other highlight of the night was a 'job-talk' from Brian Cushing. I have known Brian for over 45 years and - like everybody else - never really knew what he did for a living, other than he was a man of mystery. Now retired, last night he revealed all, and it was a fascinating and hilarious talk. Now we know just what he did - but if I told you I'd have to shoot you of course, so it has to end there.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Come On, Spoil Yourself!!

Another generous offer! Martina Myerscough from the award-winning Michelin Guide-listed Red Pump Inn at Bashall Eaves is offering DINNER FOR TWO AND a night’s B&B to the winners of the next auction!

The Red Pump is a chilled out cosy country pub and restaurant, “three miles from Clitheroe and a million miles from hectic”. Have a look at http://www.theredpumpinn.co.uk/ – they’re on Facebook and Twitter and have a cracking blog too. The offer is worth at least £120 and as Martina says, “The more you bid, the more we’ll throw in!”.

All you have to do is promise to make a donation to Cancer Research UK. This is how it will work – send an email to bill.honeywell@gmail.com with your name and the amount you are ‘bidding’. Bids will close at 5.00 pm on Sunday 8th May, and we will then notify the winner, and post details on the blog. If you wish to remain anonymous say so in your initial email. If you win, you make the donation and the prize is yours.

I’ll up-date the blog from time to time with how bids are going.

Thanks to the generosity of the Red Pump Inn you can have a superb break AND make a difference in the fight against cancer at the same time. Please be generous and good luck!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Thanks to Sean McGinty

Well I made it on to Sean McGinty's Sunday morning programme on BBC Radio Lancashire this morning.  I had to get up early too - to be in Blackburn for 8 o'clock, and appeared with Andy Mitchell who's the Head of News at Radio Wave in Blackpool.

Great fun - grab a coffee, look through the papers, chat about your 'CV' and then into the studio with headphones and mikes and all the radio palaver.  We talked about the bike ride, Cancer Research UK and so on, and also commented on news stories such as the Royal Wedding, Disability Benefit, Binge Drinking, Super-Injunctions and so on.  What a great job - I wouldn't mind doing that for a while.  Other opinions are available of course.  I did accidentally talk across the mike when I shouldn't have done once, but hopefully I got away with it and didn't lose the show too many listeners.

Thanks to Sean for inviting me on, hopefully getting a bit more publicity for Cancer Research.  Now I'm back home the weather's looking good, so time for a quick sandwich then off cycling this afternoon.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Going, Going, Gone!

I told you your chances were better than the National Lottery.  In fact there were fewer than a dozen bids for the fabulous 3-course meal for two with a bottle of wine thrown in, but that doesn't matter because the best offer was a generous £75 from Margaret and Adrian Rose.  I'm sure they'll enjoy the good Bowland food and hospitality!  Thanks to Margaret and Adrian, and thanks to Stosie at the Parker's Arms for donating this prize to such a good cause.

Watch this space, I might have something else up my sleeve...

Revised Schedule

It's a long time since I posted the first draft schedule.  Now it's just about finalised;  I'd like to print it out on this post but it loses all the formatting and would be difficult to follow, but you can view it as a .pdf file by clicking on this link:


It's still (and always will be) provisional but I'll do my best to be on time!  Not sure I'm happy with this fantastic weather though - I get the feeling it will be replaced by something a lot worse by the time I start!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Auction Update

Three bids received so far for the meal for two people, courtesy of the Parker's Arms, Newton, and nearly 24 hours to go!  More details lower down this page a couple of posts ago.  The state of play is that I've had bids for £40, £50 and £60 - so the people who made them will recognise their own offer!

Email me before 5.00 pm tomorrow on bill.honeywell@gmail.com if you want to increase your bid or submit a new one.  Good luck!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

My Cycle to Walk Scheme

Today was the monthly 41 Club walk and 15 members from Clitheroe and Aldridge in the Midlands met at Holcombe, north of Bury, for a 7 mile moorland walk which included Peel Tower.

It's about 21 miles from my home to Holcombe so I thought the best thing would be to cycle there and back.  The weather was fabulous, as were the start and finish of the cycle route - but the bit in the middle, through Accrington and Haslingden, were fairly busy with traffic.  I'm not sure how urban cyclists manage - I don't mind the traffic per se but some of the lorry fumes are definitely not pleasant!

I just had to stop and take a picture of this signboard outside a pub near Helmshore.  There's obviously plenty going on on Easter Sundy - well, I suppose that's how it's pronounced, so why not!!?

By the way, I've now got two bids in for the meal at the Parker's Arms, Newton (what meal? where have you been? - see the previous post) - and it will go, because both bids are reasonable. I'll tell you how much has been bid tomorrow evening and give you a final chance to bid before the closing date on Friday.

Finally thanks to Paul Sanders for his help in sorting out a bike-mounted SatNav to help with the complications of the Round Britain route - it's much appreciated.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Stosie Madi runs the very excellent Parker’s Arms in the lovely village of Newton-in-Bowland, near Clitheroe. She has offered a FREE three-course meal for two people – including a bottle of house wine.

All you have to do is promise to donate to my Cancer Research UK charity. This is how it will work – send an email to bill.honeywell@gmail.com with your name and the amount you are ‘bidding’. Bids will close at 5.00 pm on Friday 22 April, and I will then notify the winner, and post details on the blog. If you wish to remain anonymous say so in your initial email.

I’ll use the comments thread to tell people how much the highest bid is from time to time so you can have a chance to increase your bid if you want.

To give you an idea of the amount of competition, about 60 - 100 people a day visit this site – so your chances of winning are about 250,000 GREATER than winning the lottery! Go for it, have a nice meal and help Cancer Research UK!!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Drivers' Briefing

On Saturday evening we had a get-together for everyone taking part, so that they could familiarise themselves with the motorhome and in some cases meet colleagues for the first time.  It seemed to go well - there were no fights and the lasagne went down well, lubricated by an odd beer or two.  Now I'm busy trying to make a few notes to summarise everything, but my brain's not functioning very well!

Yesterday I had a visit from former next-door neighbour Alison and a special young lady called Kayleigh. Alison had told her of my previous rides and so I was faced with the question of 'How did you manage to fall in the Canal?' Not too easy to answer that one unless you just own up to incompetence!

Finally, thanks to Neil Molyneux of FCS Telephone Systems, Stonyhurst. I asked Neil about the best system for 3G Wi-Fi access, and he is lending me his 3-Dongle for the duration of the ride - all we need is a good signal around the coast!

Richard Dugdale Hits The Road

Literally. Yesterday was the Bay Dash Cycle Sportive organised by Lancaster Rotary in the South Lakes. Frost on the cars when we left Clitheroe and not much warmer when we (me, Richard Dugdale, Mick Bryan and Gordon Morley) set off from Halton Camp at 0830.  After 10 miles, just after Burton-in-Kendal, we were passing another small group of riders when Richard, unsighted at the back, hit a sunken manhole cover badly and crashed in spectacular style, hitting the road head first.  His safety helmet took the brunt of the impact – without it he would have been in a very bad way indeed – and he also had cuts and bruises (what bruises!) to arms and legs.A retired vet was following at the time: she stopped, checked him over, wrapped him up and waited until someone came out from the start to help. He was a retired GP: took one look at Richard’s head and took him to A&E at Lancaster where he received 18 stitches to the wound. We were going to go with him to A&E but the GP said finishing the remaining 50 miles of the ride would be quicker than waiting in A&E – good point!
So we left Richard in good hands and continued on what turned out to be a really good ride in great weather through some great S Lakes countryside. 63 miles in just over 4 hours riding time, and feeling strong up all the hills made a very nice change. Perhaps the training is paying off.
Richard got back from A&E in good time and rode four miles back along the route until he met us – I asked him how he was and he said “I feel like shit” – now why would that be, I wonder? I know there’s a bit of controversy about making helmets compulsory, but there’s no getting away from the fact that if you’re going to crash at over 25 mph it’s a good idea to be wearing one!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Mum's The Word

Where would you be without your mum?  Always a keen supporter of cancer charities, good ol' mum has been making her unique hand-crafted patchwork greetings cards and selling them for £2.00 each with all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK via my bike ride.

She's sold loads down at the WI and elsewhere and she's busy making more - apparently she can turn out a perfect card and watch Corrie at the same time!

If you would like some, and you know Mrs Honeywell snr, let her know. Otherwise send me a message and I'll try and sort something out - local pick-up no problem but if you're any distance away we may have to charge postage!

Friday, 15 April 2011

What The Papers Say

If I were you I'd be careful before you open next week's Clitheroe Advertiser & Times.  First to come to my attention via the paper's website was a report on last Saturday's Quiz in aid of Crossroads Care Ribble Valley, at which I was the quizmaster. Here's the story:  http://bit.ly/dRhlEN.  The other guy in the picture is Graham Sheard, another charity bike rider who is cycling to raise funds for Crossroads.

Next up, before the ink was dry (metaphorically speaking), came an article on the Challenge to Cycle Round Britain's Coast, which is at http://bit.ly/eDeJp7.  A nice article apart from the photo and the heading - whose idea was it to call me Bulldog Bill?  Not sure my mum will recover from that one - I'd better go and warn her.

Lots of people are posting a 'status' on Facebook saying how important it is to do everything we can to eradicate cancer and suggesting everyone else does the same.  Which is OK but with respect we're not going to get anywhere by posting a statement on Facebook.  If you really want to DO something, follow one of the links on this site - to Cancer Research UK or JustGiving - and make a donation!  Actions speak louder than words.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Clitheroe Mountaineering Club

Tonight I was guest speaker at Clitheroe Mountaineering Club, talking about walking all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District in 55 days in 2009.  Great night, although a bit challenging as there was a party going on in the next room and I am now pretty hoarse!

Anyway, everyone seemed to enjoy it and they are also looking forward to keeping track of the Big Bike Ride.  A quick whip-round soon raised £61 which I'll donate to Cancer Research UK - we're getting towards £2,000 so only another £18,000-odd to go.

I'm off to gargle with a glass of red wine.  Only works if you swallow it.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A Not So Dry 'Dry Run'

Yesterday we got the motorhome prepared and loaded up, then drove to the beautiful market town of Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales (see picture taken when I walked the Pennine Way three years ago) to stay at the Caravan Club's Brown Moor site on the outskirts of town.

All seemed to go well apart from the fact that the fridge wasn't working en route, and although it was fine once we got hooked up to the on-site electricity supply, we found ourselves a bit marginal for ice for the pre-prandial G&Ts!

It's a very good site and the wardens, Ian & Ros McCall, were really friendly - Ros even made a donation to Cancer Research UK once she found out what we were doing.  The cooking facilities worked fine and so did everything else, and we learnt a few things about the heating system (very necessary as it was freezing last night!)

The satellite dish does lots of whirring and direction finding but we couldn't get a picture on the telly, so I suppose we'd better get that sorted out!  As you can see the sleeping arrangements are fine - mattresses slightly hard but OK. The smoke alarm started making a beeping noise every time we got near it or went over a bump in the road, but as soon as I took the battery out it was fine (OK, I'll fix it, don't worry).  Contrary to what most people on Facebook think, the bottle of wine isn't empty (or at least it wasn't when the photo was taken...)

Water & sanitary appliances all OK but I'm not sure I like emptying the toilet cassette thing. Val says it's a man's job but I disagree. I think it's anybody's job providing it's not me!

Driving very steadily I managed to get just over 25mpg, so the fuel sponsorship we've received from Primrose Garage, Texaco and Shell is very welcome but if any other oil companies are reading this, don't feel that you need to be left out!  By my calculations the sponsored fuel will run out after 1,900 miles and we've over 4,000 miles to do!

Next up is a briefing for all drivers on Saturday, the day before I do the Bay Dash, a 60-mile 'easy' sportive in the South Lakes, with two of the cyclists who'll be joining me for part of the Big Ride.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Your Starter For Ten

Tonight we went to the Derby Arms near Longridge for the second round of the quiz - which is supported by people from as far away as Clitheroe in one direction and Blackpool in the other.

Just to show how generous people are, the proceeds of the raffle were donated to Cancer Research UK via the bike ride, and the team who came second also donated their cash prize, making a total of about £120.

Unfortunately we were also-rans in the quiz, on account of not knowing things like the name of Ebenezer Scrooge's partner (we thought it was Bob Cratchett when it was in fact Jacob Marley) or the date when the first ever city sewer came into service (the 6th Century BC, for goodness' sake!). Never mind, a good night was had by all and hopefully all the quiz-goers will be following progress once the ride starts on 10th May!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Where There's Muck...!

Just like his brother Nick the dairyman, Andrew Bristol the farmer is happy to support Cancer Research in his own individual way.  He's just delivered a load of manure for our vegetable garden and doesn't want paying for it, providing I put £20 towards Cancer Research UK on the My Projects page at http://tinyurl.com/bill-cruk!  Will do Andrew!
Which made me think... Were you a winner on the Grand National yesterday?  Why not donate some of your winnings to Cancer Research UK via my link?  It might improve your luck next time!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A Boost for Morale

Since 'discovering' Twitter it's been quite interesting to see who's started following my tweets - which admittedly don't have much to say at the moment, but once the ride starts then I hope I'll be able to keep people updated with progress.
Most of the interest comes from people who have an obvious interest in cycling, but there are also one or two young ladies out there who clearly have no idea how old I am!!
So it was a great morale-booster when Scotsman Mark Beaumont (pictured) got in touch this morning to add his support to the ride. In 2007/8 Mark smashed the record for cycling around the world in 194 days (the record's been broken again since), and last year cycled from Anchorage (Alaska) to Ushuaia at the tip of South America, climbing Mt MacKinlay and Aconcagua, the highest peaks in N & S America, on the way. His BBC programmes on the two rides were excellent.
Mark said "Great Britain has a famously twisty, hilly coastline so attempting to cycle around it is a serious undertaking! Best wishes for the challenge and your fantastic fundraising efforts Bill."  Thank you Mark!
Lots of good things come out of Scotland - a fellow Rotarian from Whitburn suggested I try to get the local primary schools involved - the children can follow progress around the country which should help their geography, whilst it won't harm for all the parents to be more aware of the ride and the fund-raising.  What a good idea - I just need to find some more time!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

It's Not Just Me...

Clitheroe's twinning with Rivesaltes, near Perpignan in France, came about in the 1970's not through some councillors' 'jolly' but the Waggon & Horses pub football team.  I don't know the full details but suffice to say it's been a successful liaison with regular trips back and forth to France and plenty of football matches.
The next visit from Clitheroe to Rivesaltesw is in a couple of weeks, but two hardy cyclists, Roger Hargreaves and Pete Parkes, set off today to cycle the 1000 miles or so.  The ride is in memory of Peter Carter and Catherine Hargreaves (Roger's wife) who both died recently, and proceeds are going to NW Air Ambulance and other worthy causes.
I went to Clitheroe Castle this morning to Roland Hailwood, Clitheroe's official Town Crier, see them set off in style.  They were accompanied by three supporters who are doing just the first day with them - there seemed to be some confusion about whether today's leg ends at Knutsford or Northwich - Roger said all he new was that it starts with an 'N'...!  As in nuts.
Good luck to them both!! This means that it is now just five weeks to the day before I set off, and there's lots to do yet!  Oh, sorry Roger - that's Roger on the right of the Town Crier with Pete on his immediate left.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

I'm going soft...

I couldn't resist this on Mother's Day.  It was Mum who started me off on these sponsored challenges when in 2001, with my old pal Frank Brown, I decided to cycle from Liverpool to Leeds (along the towpath of the 127-mile canal) and then on to Goole on the Humber as a kind of 'coast-to-coast' ride.  She suggested we raise money for The Christie, one of the UK's largest cancer hospitals and research centres, which we did - I think we raised about £1,700.  Now she's making and selling lots of patchwork greetings cards and donating the proceeds to my latest Round Britain's Coast ride.  She's not the only one to be making this kind of effort - young Ella Spencer has promised to have another cake-stall, like the one that raised nearly £150 on my 214 Wainwrights Challenge.  So if you can think of a bright idea to make some money, why not have some fun and donate the proceeds at http://tinyurl.com/bill-cruk or http://www.justgiving.com/Bill-Honeywell ? I'm off to Mum & Dad's now - let's hope she's got some fresh scones ready!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Twitter - I am now @CancerBikeMan

I know, I know -  I didn't think I'd do it, but it's another way to let people know about the ride, and it does seem especially appropriate that as I wend my way along the coast of Great Britain I can keep followers informed of where I am and anything interesting I see along the way.  So now I'm a fully-fledged ('scuse the pun) member of the Twitter community.  If you are on Twitter and decide to follow, I'll try not to be too banal (should that begin with a 'b'?).

More Supporters

Since I last updated the supporters list I've had several more offers of free 'accommodation' at various caravan / camp sites around the coast.  A big THANK YOU to all concerned - it's great to know that there is so much respect out there for Cancer Research UK, and it certainly gives me confidence that we'll reach the £20,000 target.  I promise I'll update the list very shortly...