The Andrew Grounsell Challenge is now into day 7, with Luke Westoe and Darren Purvis cycling to and from, as well as climbing the Three Peaks to raise funds for us and Maggie’s Newcastle.

It’s all in memory of their friend and colleague, Andrew Grounsell, who sadly died from bowel cancer last year aged just 54.

Darren has been keeping us up-to-date with their travels and, as you will see from his diary and pics below, they are both exhausted.

Our thanks to Darren and Luke – and to everyone supporting them. If you would like to sponsor them, you can do so here.

Day 4:

An early start again this morning with the alarm ringing out at 6am. A quick breakfast, bags wacked in the van and we were off. The roads were quiet and the sun was starting to come up from behind the hills.

We headed along the north coastal route and away from Bangor towards Rhyll where we would meet Andrew (support driver). The coast route was beautiful and fairly flat for about 30miles. We managed to find the smallest house in the UK in Conway.

Our next stop was Maggie’s at Clatter Bridge. The centre was closed but they had placed a sign on the main door wishing us successful on the challenge. We even managed to beat Andrew to stop 2.

Once back on the road we made our way through the Wirral. We arrived at the ferry terminal with half an hour till the next ferry. Time to chill in the sun. By the way, the weather today read 24 to 27 on the bike… It’s been very hot.

The ferry ride was great and the skyline of Liverpool has changed a lot. Navigating to stop3 was tough with a few wrong turns.
Stop 3 saw my friend Jenny from uni come meet us with her family. Great to see her after nearly 20 years.

30 odd miles later we arrived in Lancaster with the rain in our face. Rain due to pass.

We’ve just had some pizza and ready to crash out. Update again tomorrow.

Day 5 (I think…):

The days are becoming blurred and we’re starting to lose track of what day it is. The time on the bike varies. We had classed this day as a rest day with time off the bikes (but with Scafell Pike to climb).

The ride from our night’s stay was about 60 miles, from Lancaster to Scafell Pike. An early start saw us head off to tackle the roads before it got busy. It also meant an earlier finish so we could get to bed earlier.

The ride was tough with many hills and the climb to Scafell Pike was tougher than Snowdon. There were significantly less people on the slope.
We climbed up through the corridor link and then descended another. The view was pretty much just grey cloud, with cloud flying past us when we were at top.

The descent down was testing on both our knees.

Once down we headed to Keswick to stay at the YHA. The place was great and we were able to cook dinner, setting us up for another day out tomorrow.

Day 6:

An early start at 6am with breakfast from the box. Today we ride unsupported so we left as early as possible.

Leaving at 7am we had to negotiate the change to the cycle track. We planned to stop for food and refreshments when necessary. Our bags were packed as light as possible, as carrying them would be tough.

Near Gretna saw us pass through the border in to Scotland – country number 3 for us!

The ride was long and tiring after our ascent yesterday. We stopped at Lockerbie for our only proper break and lunch before pushing on. It was soon obvious we would beat Phil (second support driver) to Hamilton. Andrew has done such a great job supporting us the last 5 days.
Andrew handed over to Phil, passing on all his well learnt routine. We have kept in communication with both throughout the days.

We had about an hour and a half to relax and shower before Phil arrived with the support van.

We are now back to the room and Luke has crashed. I will go to bed once I have sent this.

The plan is 6am start with 7am depart. As each morning arrives, the aches get worse. Luke needs some shares in Deep Heat!

Time to crash as early start tomorrow.