On the 8th September this year, 30 brave (or crazy) ladies started the epic cycling challenge that is John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE). They came from all parts of the UK, and from overseas (Portugal and USA). Some of them had met briefly at a training weekend earlier in the year, but many had never met before. Despite this, it was immediately apparent that the journey would be an amazing adventure, with lots of laughs and lots of support from each other, as they all aimed for the biggest challenge they had ever considered, to raise funds and awareness for women’s cancers. Every penny that they raised would benefit 3 charities, Ovarian Cancer Action, Breast Cancer Care and Jo’s Trust. All had their own personal reasons to do this. Many of the women were taking on the challenge to celebrate surviving their own cancer, or were doing it to remember loved ones.
Over the next 12 days they cycled an average of 85 miles a day, through all weathers, and probably more rain and wind than they all would have liked. Getting up at 5.30am every morning, they entered they called the ‘JOGLE Bubble’. It really was a case of Eat, Sleep, Ride, Repeat. They rode for 10 - 11 hours a day, passing amazing scenery, climbing some very steep hills and descending some, at times, scary descents. Every day they met amazing, generous people, who supplied them with cakes, lunch, tea and most importantly, support to keep them going. Surprisingly there were very few punctures or mechanical incidents to hold them up, and although many of them suffered with tiredness, aches and pain and some minor injuries throughout the journey, nothing seemed insurmountable as they all supported each other right to the very end.
Highlights of the trip included, the isolated beauty of John O’Groats, visiting the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, climbing over Shap Fell (which went on forever), crossing over iconic bridges including the Erskine Bridge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Cheddar Gorge, and finally arriving in Lands End, in the dark and fog.
As a group they had raised over £125,000 for the three charities.
Katie Kingham who took part in memory of her Auntie Heather commented : For me it was a challenge of a lifetime, and I am incredibly proud of have been able to support these wonderful charities in such a positive way. I am so grateful to everyone who supported me and particular thanks must go to Bloomsbury Rifles Lodge No.2362 for their generous donation, which has helped me reach an amazing total of £4,600.