1997 John O’Groats to Lands End – Day 10 Two Bridges to Lands End

I woke early and by 08:30 was back to the place where I had been picked up last night.   The weather was foul, wet and very foggy on the hilltops.   We had decided to take an overnight bag as there was the possibility that I would not complete the ride today and that we would stay in B & B somewhere in Cornwall and finish tomorrow.   We sat in the car for what seemed like ages waiting for the rain to stop and the mist to lift.   Eventually the rain stopped and I unloaded the bike and set off for the final push.   Within minutes the rain came down again and I was drenched, but having got wet, it didn’t seem so bad.

The ride into Tavistock was not too bad as most of it was downhill after an initial climb.   The church bells were ringing as I rode through the town for Sunday service.   I agreed to meet Sarah and Ben on the outskirts of Liskeard.   The road was a continual up and down but I was determined, that having come all this way without getting off and walking, I was not going to start now.   After a quick snack at Liskeard the next objective was Bodmin. By now the rain had stopped and the weather was looking brighter.   The road from Liskeard to Bodmin was all downhill and the route followed a small river valley.

On arriving at Bodmin I turned left and hit the main A30, the road that would take be all the way to Lands End.   I don’t know what it was, maybe it was the thought of Lands End, but the adrenalin began to pump through my body and the bike wouldn’t go fast enough.   The main A30 was up and down but no longer steep up and steep downs.   The hills appeared in the distance, but when I reached them, they did not pose a problem, just head down and into the climbing rhythm.   I came across 3 cyclist heading to St Ives who had cycled from Birmingham and Bristol.   They were off to see an old school teacher who had taught them many years ago.   We exchanged our stories and I then headed off at a terrific rate of knots.   A brief stop for a snack when I met Sarah and Ben at the side of the road and we agreed to meet again just the other side of Camborne.

The miles seemed to whiz by and both the bike and me were really motoring.   I came across Sarah and Ben who were surprised that I had reached them so quickly.   The end was now in sight and I had about another 25 miles to go and this was the final push.   Sarah and Ben headed off to Lands End and I began to reflect the past nine days.   Here I was within a couple of hours of the end of my adventure.

Penzance came and went and I was now on the final stage.   The last 10 miles were initially hilly out of Penzance but once on top of the peninsula the road flattened out and my thoughts were now on the finish.   The final couple of miles were flat out, there was no holding back, through Sennen and there it was, Lands End and the famous hotel, albeit now a mass of tourist buildings.   Down the final straight and through the car park barrier to the end of the road.   But where was by support team? I eventually saw Sarah and Ben who had not expected me so soon.   Ben presented me with a special certificate that he had done and a mug of Lands End.   We wandered down to the famous signpost where I had the official picture taken and then into the hotel to sign the official end to end book.   Then into the Post Office to register my journey and get the official certificate and then back to the car for a well deserved glass of champagne.   We loaded the car and headed back to Tavistock via a MacDonalds for a well deserved rest and an enjoyable weeks holiday with Sarah and Ben.

Daily Mileage: 97.50 miles

Average Speed: 11.30 mph

Cycling Time: 8h 36m

Cumulative Mileage: 892.33 miles

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