Helmsdale to John O’Groats

Our expectations for our last day were mixed for a number of reasons:

The Weather

The forecast was windy and wet all the way. On the whole, the weather has been good to us except on two days when once wet, we became incredibly cold and uncomfortable which many of us found extremely tough. The forecast filled some of us with dread that this last stretch may be our toughest yet.

The Distance

We had 75 miles to cover to follow the recommended route and avoid travelling the whole way on the busy and fast A9. The thought of doing this distance in the predicted weather terrified some of us and so the evening before a few of us had taken a preemptive strike and had cycled on to Kinbrace to reduce our final day’s mileage to 60 miles.

The Challenge

We have all worked so hard training for this challenge and the last two weeks had proved to be the most physically demanding we have ever experienced. We have been physically and emotionally challenged, uplifted, exhilarated and exhausted. There has been little time for anything other than cycling, eating and sleeping. After all our hard work, the end was in sight and we were excited that we were so close to achieving our goal yet a little sad that our adventure was coming to an end.

The Team

From our many different backgrounds, locations and with our own reasons for doing this challenge, we have come together to achieve something really special and in order to do so, we have formed an incredibly supportive, fun and determined team, building on existing friendships and developing new ones which we will miss when we go our different ways.

The Reality

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 19.27.52In reality, our last day was, for the most part, warm, dry and not too windy. With the weather conditions able to make or break the challenge, we were filled with gratitude that our last day was not to be as tough as we had anticipated. The route took us along some wonderful roads through stunning countryside and we managed our fastest consistent pace of the challenge. The majority of the group even added another few miles to visit Dunnet Head en route.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-10 at 00.17.31whatsapp-image-2018-09-09-at-07-28-38.jpegWhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 19.28.23WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 19.29.04

Late afternoon. we reached John O’Groats within half an hour of each other. Our thoughts were with Christine, who’s accident had prevented her finishing with us, as we cycled he last few hundred metres together to the infamous John O’Groats sign, cheering, laughing and some of us crying as we experienced a mix of emotions at achieving our goal.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 20.38.49WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 20.38.51WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 20.38.48WhatsApp Image 2018-09-09 at 20.38.50Due to the size of the group, our matching team jerseys and our exuberance, many bemused tourists watched as we celebrated reaching our goal with a champagne toast, an abundance of photographs and much hilarity and mixed emotions.


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28 thoughts on “Helmsdale to John O’Groats”

  1. Congratulations to you all on your achievement….have enjoyed reading the daily blog and watching your progress, albeit sad that our friend Chris had an accident! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Karen for your constant support, it was uplifting to see you in Chelt and great that Philip could join us for a leg. I missed Chris after her accident but we are hatching plans to make up for it, and you and Philip may be interested.


  2. Our congratulations to the whole team, we have followed “the blog” with admiration for an amazing achievement. You are an extraordinary group of people and the sun came out to greet you! Best wishes and safe comfortable journey home. Mary and Ivan Wilkinson

    Liked by 1 person

  3. FIlled with emotion reading the last part of your amazing journey. You are all fantastic people and I feel so proud of what you have achieved. Huge congratulations and much love to you all πŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ₯‚πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸ…πŸš΄β€β™€οΈXx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations Cyclopaths you did it! So good to follow your amazing journey through the blogs each day, very emotional reading this last one, you are all so inspiring, looking out for each other. Alison you are a star we are so proud of you and what you have achieved. Lots of love X

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations to everyone. I will miss reading all the wonderful daily blogs which have been fantastic, so positive and inspirational. You must be elated. Enjoy your success and have a safe return home and a good rest. X

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Congratulations to the whole team on an amazing achievement. I have enjoyed reading your blog, hearing about the trials and tribulations of your journey and looking at all the photos. You are inspirational. Safe journeys home xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations to all the Cyclopaths. Amazing ride. Loved keeping in touch through your blog. You are a truly all very special and dedicated people. Enjoy your memories and the best of luck in future endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brilliant! What beautiful photos of an incredible journey….we will miss reading the blog but have thoroughly enjoyed following your progress. Congratulations everybody,you are amazing. Special congrats to my big Sis Alison who continues to be such an inspiration….you take my breath away. Much love
    Jules,Dek,Molly and Joe xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. WhooHoo!! Way to go! Congratulations on your spectacular achievement! Thanks for the blog and photos so all could follow along on this Totally Gonzo trip!

    Liked by 1 person

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