Crossing the finish line - Land's End to John O' Groats
As I write, after completing 1,120 miles over the last 14 days, I find myself just 22 miles away from completing a long-held ambition to cycle the length of the country from Land's End to John O' Groats.
Ir's been an extremely rewarding experience and has provided me with a great opportunity to catch up with an old friend from university while between us raising £3,000 for charity. It's been the best kind of challenge, and while we've undertaken it alone with no mechanical back-up, we could never have achieved it without the support of colleagues, family, friends and our many sponsors.
By the time you read this, we're hoping to have reached the finish, but the journey has reminded us time and again not to take anything for granted. Day 12 saw us both come off our bikes in what could have been a much worse accident and which resulted in potentially journey-ending damage to my bike. As luck would have it, it was repairable, but it proved a useful lesson for us in ensuring we focus on the task in hand.
As the boss at Workplace Law I very much see it as my job to live our corporate culture, and that means inspiring not only our own staff to stretch themselves, but also showing existing and potential clients that we are up for a challenge, don't mind getting our hands dirty, and will do our damndest to deliver on our promises. I hope to have achieved all this both literally and metaphorically in the last two weeks.
Together with my co-rider, David Bickley, our efforts will have helped the Friends of Exhall Grange Specialist School near Coventry and St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds, two small charities struggling for every penny they can get. This thought has helped us through the tough parts of the ride and we are genuinely grateful to our sponsors. It's been a privilege to take on this challenge.
Of course we've had a great deal of fun along with the pain of tackling the hills of Cornwall and Devon, the valleys of Yorkshire and Cumbria, and the ski stations of the Cairngorms in Scotland. It's been physically and mentally demanding, especially taking on a route some 250 miles longer than we strictly needed to to complete the challenge.
The greatest pleasure though has been in seeing with our own eyes – and witnessing first hand on our own two wheels – what a truly beautiful and magnificent country we live in, hearing such a diverse range of regional accents, and meeting such wonderful, welcoming people wherever we've been.
It's provided us with an immense sense of achievement already.
I'd like to thank once again all my sponsors, friends, family and supporters in the FM industry. If you'd like to donate it would be greatly appreciated; please visit my donation site online, and to catch up on all our exploits, please visit my facebook blogsite. The finish line awaits!