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.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Cycle Tour of Tasmania – February 2015

Time to fire up the Blogmobile again
600 hilly miles...

Four months since the end of the epic cycle tour of Yellowstone, Wyoming and Montana last September.  Four months of cool, damp, windy British weather, some of it nice, most of it not.  It’s late January.  Down on the other side of the world, it’s the equivalent of our late July.  Sounds good to me!

I knew at the end of Yellowstone that tour organiser and good friend Richard Dugdale had arranged a three-week tour of Tasmania for February 2015, but at that time it was already full (12 people maximum).  Then in late October Richard rang me to say that one of the cyclists had had to drop out.  Would I be interested.  Just under a second later, I was booked in.  The next day flights were booked, but the tour seemed a long way off.

I leave a week today – Manchester, Dubai, Melbourne, Tasmania (Devonport).

On my previous two long tours I’ve carried too much gear.  Because of inexperience the first time (Spain), and then the need to carry clothes for all seasons in Yellowstone.  This time I’m going ultra-lightweight (for me, that is!)  I’ve been doing a bit of reading, a bit of thinking, and come up with some ideas.  I know I don’t need much warm weather clothing (although it can still get chilly at night).  I’m taking fewer clothes and planning to do more laundry.  Arm and leg warmers instead of cycling longs and long-sleeved jerseys.  And, most radical of all, no cycle shoes or clipless pedals.  I can save over a kilogram just by using ordinary open pedals and lightweight outdoor trainers (that’s a kilogram even if I take a spare pair in case we have a soaking wet day!)  I know all serious cyclists use clipless pedals (a bit of a misnomer that, as you’re clipped to your pedals with clipless pedals!  No, don’t ask me, I didn’t invent the terminology!)  However, when I cycled the Western Front last August, I forgot to take my cycling shoes, which meant I had to fit plain pedals and wear ordinary trainers.  When I think about it, it hardly made any difference.  And a kilo is a kilo, so that’s what I’m doing.

This week is a case of getting as much as possible straight, checking check lists, checking the bike, checking the routes – all in readiness for a getaway next Tuesday.  Long-suffering Val will be on her own again, although no doubt she’ll be off to see new grandson Alasdair pretty often.

I’m just hoping we don’t get snowed in here at the last minute...