I am opening a little window into my John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE) adventure.

These blogs are a combination of photo’s, lessons from the road and the ‘relive’ video that shows my daily journey through the UK. It is not the full story, that is something for a longer conversation or may be a book!

I hope you enjoy your peak into the days of an End to Ender.

Day Six – JOGLE

Happy Birthday to Me!

I remember waking to beautiful sunshine peaking through the curtains and the smell of a cooked breakfast. I was well rested considering how my body felt the day before. Ellen really treated me this morning, knowing it was my birthday she had prepared a full Scottish breakfast, all the trimmings. I knew, in fact I had vowed, that today would be more relaxed than previous days. Not least because it was my Birthday and I wanted to enjoy the day, but also because of the enforced late departure due to Hope needing some TLC… brakes being a priority as were replacement inner tubes.

It was a strange day altogether. I rode with an odd presence, as though I was riding under a cloud. It was of course the morning after the atrocious attacks in Manchester. I watched the news as I ate my breakfast and felt numb. I had a job to do – get on and ride. It was my birthday and another beautiful day, but how do you begin to post about your wonderful day or even your worries and concerns when something like this is going on. It is all about perspective. I was riding for a reason. To put life into my days and to ensure that I raised money to enable the same for others. Although it didn’t stop me thinking that it was just a silly bike ride…

It was the first time my bubble had been punctured by the outside world, you really don’t get to see much in the news. I had ignored the TV and of course there is not time to sit and read the paper. However this was unavoidable. Everywhere I went today I would be drawn into the discussions but equally know very little about what was going on. Later in the week I would travel through Chester and see for myself the outpouring of emotion from that city. It was there that I really broke down. Today though I simply tried to embrace the journey and let the news stay on the outside and not effect my drive to get to my destination. I didn’t want it to effect my journey – which of course felt wrong but I had had a difficult few days myself and I needed a good day on the bike. In fact cycling can be the best thing to do – you can simply allow the pedals to wash away your thoughts – meditation in motion is what I call it.

  • Miles : 67.58
  • Meters Climbed : 872
  • Average Speed : 11.7

Day Six #LessonsfromtheRoad

Just like choosing the road you travel down you need to choose your mood and attitude.

Day Six – Relive the event

Day Six in Photo’s

So there I was, setting off. After yesterdays struggles and this mornings news I felt the need to ‘be the egg today’. To know more about this concept I invite you to head over to Jasmijn Muller’s page Lands End to John O’Groats. This is her mantra and cycling cap. Jamsijn is attempting the distance record for LEJOG in September 2017. I had received a couple of lovely messages over the last few days spurring me on in my journey. This was exactly what I needed to do.

Waiting for Ayshire Cycle Services (ACS) to open I bought another couple of postcards. I had sent my Mother-in-law a postcard for every day of the trip so far. It was now part of my routine to search out a good card and find a postbox on the way the following morning. I loved these little routines I had devised for myself. It broke the day up and gave me something to focus on. The bike shop was due to open at 9:30 and being an early bird I had time to appreciate the little town of Prestwick. Jerry and Ian soon arrived and were simply fabulous. They treated me to a cup of tea and Hope received a full service. New brake pads, gears cleaned, lubed & tweaked, new tubes and plenty of air in the tyres.

I was so grateful for their service and overwhelmed when they refused payment, requesting that I put the money to my charity instead. It wasn’t the first time that someone had sponsored me, but to receive all this in support was wonderful.

Thanks so much chaps – you really gave me a boost and as I pedalled out of Prestwick Hope felt like a new bike.


When I arrived at my first stop, Dallmellington, just 15 or so miles out of Prestwick, I was deeply frustrated. This should have been my mid morning cake stop not lunch as time suggested. To be honest I wasn’t actually that hungry, Ellen’s breakfast doing its job… so I settled to tea and scones anyway. My feelings didn’t ease though and I was beating myself up for stopping when I really should be pushing on. I finished my drink and carried on along the road towards Casphern. Berating my inability to look after the bike myself, for having to stop and wait for the shop to open, for not having a bike that would support the weight of the bags… and other such thoughts. I rumbled along like this for maybe 30 minutes. Then it hit me.

‘What on earth are you doing Nic’!

My inner voice rose above the noise of my ‘hurry up’ gremlin and told me what I already knew. ‘You have all day, you want to enjoy it’.


It wasn’t that I needed to slow down the pace on the bike, that wasn’t the point of my inner voice. The point it was trying to make was that I could still enjoy the day even though I was behind on my original timings. Beating myself up was not going to get me to my destination any quicker. Indeed beating myself up would only make the day less enjoyable.

It is incredible how much you miss when you are drawn into your inner thoughts.

Carsphern was my lunch stop and my body actually felt the same way. The fact that it happened to be nearer 2:30pm didn’t mater. The last 1o miles had been pleasant, once I had dropped the gremlin off. Stopping for soup and a sandwich in a little cafe was bliss.

It was just 6 miles south of Carsphern that things became a little worrying. Surrounded by large trucks, tractors and a sign telling me that the road I wanted to take was CLOSED over the next two days for resurfacing did not help me keep ‘Mr Hurry Up’ at bay. He came back with a vengeance and I stood at both a physical and metaphorical crossroads wondering what to do next.

This wasn’t the first time I had stood at a crossroads on this journey but as I searched for the diversion on my map the more I felt lost. One of the local tractor drivers stopped to talk to me and as we discussed my options it was apparent that it would not be a quick detour. I was looking at adding nearly 15 miles or more on my journey!

Local knowledge though won the day. As we talked through the problem my new friend was convinced that on a bike I would be able to get by. They were only resurfacing the road and at worst they would let me walk along the verge past them. It worked. 8 miles into this route I came across the crew and they were happy to let me go through, if a little bewildered about my adventure!

It was funny as in the end I was grateful for the diversion – this meant that the only traffic on this road was local. Two cars, a motorbike and one cyclist (a lovely lady called Morag) were all I encountered on nearly 10 miles of road. Perfect. I spent a happy 20 minutes or so cycling along with Morag. Finding out about the place I was making my way through from the people who lived there was always a highlight for me. Morag, a school support worker, told me about her job and life in this isolated yet beautiful place. The school had just 7 children and no intake this September; I was amazed it was still open.


As I passed the road crew the views opened out and gave me that same isolated feeling that Morag had described earlier. The sky was still pale but the wind had dropped and it made for a very pleasant afternoon. I bowled along gaining speed as the road wound its way through the hills towards Monieve.

I felt a certain peace here. I was free to spin my legs and sing to the birds and the hills.

Just as I rounded a corner into Monieve a motorcyclist stopped me. In fact he overtook me and flagged me down, as he pulled into a lay-by just a few meters in front of me. Full leathers and broad grin greeted me as I stopped. Not entirely sure what to expect I wondered if Hope could outstrip a motorbike down this hill… I needn’t have worried he was a lovely chap who wanted to simply pass the time of day with a fellow traveler. He offered me a coffee and we stood and chatted for about 15 minutes about the routes and roads we had both taken that day. He had been turned back by the road crew, where I had managed to successfully pass. His was to be a long diversion, but at least he had the power to get there in a more reasonable time. I bid him farewell and continued downhill into Monieve.

I loved the impromptu meetings and will forever remember that a journey is nothing without the people you meet along the way.

Monieve offered a pub and a shop. Two ladies looked on in wonder as I locked Hope up outside the former and stepped into the bar. There was a moments silence as the three local gents looked me up and down. Had I done something wrong. Again there was nothing to fear. Quite possibly the domain of the older gent on an afternoon.. still they happily welcomed a stranger. I was duly bought tea and a slice of delicious chocolate orange cake and allowed to plug in both my Garmin and Phone – I was not going to experience the same problems of yesterday! Conversations ensued and I was brought once again into the lives of the people I meet. Their awe in my journey was confirmed as two of them followed me out to meet Hope before waving me off some 20 minutes later.

The next stretch would take me through Dumfries a large town through which I could find sustenance if I still felt hungry. However I had made a decision at Monieve to cut short my route.  After Dumfires I had an option to follow the coastline and visit a castle on the salt flats looking over to the Lake District. Due to my late start the castle would no longer be open for afternoon tea, so it seemed pointless to follow that route now. My internal debate had rolled for about an hour, but logic prevailed – a pint at the pub I was staying at was calling me and hey it was my birthday…

As I navigated my way out of Dumfries I picked the left fork to go straight to Clarencefield. The sat-nav was a little annoyed at me diverting again and refused to pick up my route, however sign posts were in abundance so I wasn’t worried about getting lost this time.

This route was clearly a local favourite and several groups of riders, including club riders passed me. I even got a little tow off one group until we reached the hill and they inevitably dropped me as I couldn’t hold the pace.

The views of the salt flats were a welcome sight and over in the distance was England. This was a significant milestone. I was almost halfway and would be over the boarder tomorrow.  The pictures do not do it justice.  I stopped to gaze at the view and take in the significance of reaching the boarder between Scotland and England taking pictures was absolutely the last thing on my mind.

My destination was The Cosy Village Inn pub and B&B in Clarencefield. The village felt tiny, just one road of houses and the pub appeared to act as local shop and post office.

I sat down in the bar whilst the landlord booked me in and presented me with a my own post… He was a little confused as the booking was for Peter, my husband, but the card was clearly addressed to me. He assumed I was waiting for others to join me but when I explained to him and the other chap in the bar, what I was doing and that I was alone, they bought me a pint and helped me celebrate my birthday and completing day 6.  This time it was my stories that where heard.  It felt good to have some and I regaled them with the comical extracts form the journey so far and of course the epic battles between my ‘gremlins and my captain’.

I eventually left to clean up and read my messages from the day.  There wasn’t much reception in the bar but thankfully my room had enough to finally talk to the girls. Their card was a wonderful gift and I put it in my front pannier so I could see it every day.

Work with Nicky and live your adventure

As a bravery coach I support my clients to get curious about living a life full of adventure and find the courage to step out of their comfort zone. We work in partnership – I listen, reflect and empower my clients to create action from inaction and encourage them to follow their dreams and ideas through to conclusion.

Could this be the moment you stopped wishing and started doing?

Nicky completed JOGLE in May 2017 raising money and awareness for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court. To find out why Nicky chose this charity you can follow this link.

To sponsor Nicky you can head to JustGiving and pledge your donation.

Visit Other JOGLE Journals

Day 1 :  Day 2 : Day 3 : Day 4 : Day 5 : Day 6 : Day 7 : Day 8 : Day 9 : Day 10 : Day 11 : Day 12 : Day 13