Crowle Freemason Simon Cliff intends to redefine the phrase ‘coast to coast’ with a 1,000-mile south to north cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
The Freemason from Temple Belwood Lodge at Crowle and his friend Richard Vergette are riding as two members of a group of 18, covering about 75 miles a day and raising money for Cancer Research UK.
Simon, who lives in Belton near Crowle, is quick to point out that he’s not really a dedicated cyclist, but is equally apprehensive and excited about the longest ride he’s ever been involved in. He has organised and undertaken more conventional ‘west to east’ costs to coast rides for charity since 2007, and even one in Holland from Rotterdam to Zeebrugge.
He got into the latest – and longest – at Richard’s suggestion. Said Simon: “Some time ago, one of my daft friends and now cycling partner Richard Vergette suggested he would like to do LeJog in his 60th year. When he announced he had signed up for the ride and asked who would join him, I couldn’t say no!”
Simon has organised and ridden many Coast2Coast bike rides from 2007-2019, with the ventures coming to an end only because of Covid. “This one is the big daddy – at least five times longer and four years since our last ride. It’s not going to be easy!,” he said.
He believes that the older we get, the more contact we have with cancer. “I have a number of close friends who have or have had skin, breast, or prostate cancer, and more friends and acquaintances than I can count that have many other forms of cancer or sadly have been lost to them. That’s why I thought it was important to tackle this ride.”
The adventure starts with a train ride to Land’s End on Saturday May 13th, with the party climbing into the saddle to start the ride proper on the Sunday morning.
Accommodation will be in B&Bs, and the route has been planned to ensure the group covers 1,000 miles. Simon has set up a fundraising page at JustGiving, where he has already achieved half of his £2,000 target. He jokes that if he had a pound for everyone who says he ought to be riding from John O’Groats because it’s downhill, then he’d have the other thousand.
If you’d like to sponsor him, visit www.justgiving.com and search for Simon’s LeJog Cycle Ride.
Simon added: “I’m not really a dedicated cyclist, and I’ve done a bit of training, so that I’m not winging it. You could say I don’t want to overtrain…”