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.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Day 6 – Monreith to somewhere near Stranraer

Really nice little caravan site last night – Knock School, near the coast on Luce Bay – the wind was blowing and the only TV signal we could get was German, so Alan put the picture on, and got the sound, including Ken Bruce, from the van radio.  I went to bed.

As soon as we got up this morning, it started to rain.  Normally, when you’re thinking of doing a bike ride and the weather looks bad, you start to wonder “Should I, shouldn’t I?” – but on a ride like this, the decision is taken out of your hands, which in some ways makes it easier. You just go.

Heading west, into the wind (what else?) I followed the beautiful coastline through Port William, then round narrow lanes before reaching the A75 for a short while.  Then it was on to the Galloway peninsula and head south past more military ranges, then Ardwell and Drummore until finally, with 40 miles on the clock, the long gentle drag up, down, and then up again to the Mull of Galloway, the most southerly point in Scotland, where there is a lighthouse, visitor centre and coffee shop.  

Nice views.  The rain stopped. Were things looking up?  On the way back I was taken by surprise when out of the corner of my eye I saw a vole running alongside me, and then within 20 yards a weasel ran across the road in front.  Whilst talking about the wildlife, all along this coast there are Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats, Linnets and Yellowhammers singing away, whilst the Pink Campion and Bluebells along the verges look very springlike.

Back through Port Logan to lunch in a picnic area near Ardwell, then off again, and what hard work!  A combination of tired legs (and everything else!) ups and downs (mainly ups!) and really rough road surfaces meant that I felt I was going quickly once I got above 10 mph!  The trouble is, after five or six longish days in the saddle, the old legs don’t have the same energy as they did on Day One – I just hope there isn’t too much further degeneration before I finish!

Just north of Portpatrick I crossed the route of the Southern Upland Way then carried on through more undulating green countryside. Oh, by the way, the rain had started again by now – in fact for much of the way there was a thick sea-fret coming in from the west – but I kept delaying putting on waterproofs until by the time I got to the finish I was pretty wet!

74 miles, and the hilliest day so far, making a total of 505 miles in 6 days. 85 miles scheduled for tomorrow, finishing at Saltcoats.


  1. Matt Khan-Dyer16 May 2011 at 09:58

    Hi Bill

    Just got back from my night shift in the driving rain and wind. It made your efforts seem even more epic. Just had a little look at the route for the 16th and it looks good. Think that you may be able to get a massive pub dinner or 5 with sticky toffee pudding and maybe a wee dram,mmmmmmm

    Mentally do you find the days that you make more progress north more rewarding? How easy is is to turn south, down, lets say the mull of galloway. Is it just kind of linear to you?

    I have got a little game I play, to see what path you will take. I am ever amazed by just how close that you follow the coast.

    Loving the tracker, now even better with street view what a clever bit of kit.

    I look forward to your tweets and blog. Keep going Bill you have an army of Nurses and Doctors at the royal Bolton hospital all wishing you well and hooked on the stories of Mad Bill. I will see if I can squeeze them for a bit of cash later.

    Oh and if you get a good Internet signal watch this on you tube www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGeKSiCQkPw it would crack me up even through the worst weather.

  2. Thanks Matt. I don't think about going back further south or whatever - just that it's another so many miles more done, so it must be progress. But to be honest, it's best not to think that way at all - just try and enjoy each mile!