Congratulations to Graeme Hogg for completing his epic Maggie’s cycling challenge! We at JD Cooling are honoured to have supported Graeme’s challenge to raise money for a fantastic charity – Maggie’s.
“I wanted to thank you and your company for the wonderful support you gave me regards my Maggies cycling challenge, I have completed it at last and there are a couple of attachments documenting how I got on. The reception I got at JD Cooling was brilliant and I cannot than you enough for your hospitality, everyone I met was so friendly and enthusiastic.” – Graeme Hogg
Graeme’s message to his sponsors:
I would like to take the opportunity to let you know how I have done with the challenge I set myself and that you very generously sponsored me to do.
I am sure that you are aware that I missed my start date due to the horrendous weather that hit us at the end of February, the upshot of which meant that I had to totally rejig my plans, there were certain dates that I had to hit to fit in with people who were giving me accommodation.
I actually started on Tuesday March 8th and cycled from home to Embelton, even then I had to change my route since the road over to Duns was still impassable at Cranshaws, this entailed me putting my bike on ELP’s lorry at West Garleton and getting dropped off at Grants House since there was no way I was going to cycle down that stretch of the A1. I called in at Greenvale Duns then onto MSP at Berwick. I then picked up cycle route 1 at Spital which turned out to be very challenging I had to push my bike for some 3 miles due to the state of the track. When I got down to Biel where I planned to cross the A1 I found the route still 2 foot deep in snow and actually ended up with no other option but to cycle around 5 miles down the A1, which certainly kept me on my toes. Day 2 saw me going from Embelton to Maggies Newcastle, the route was a bit convoluted since that area is less than bike friendly. From Maggies I cycled to the Metro Centre where Pamela picked me up and we drove down to Selby, reference my statement regards accommodation.
On Saturday 10th I went from Selby down to Glentworth where we stayed the weekend and on the Monday 12th I cycled round that area visiting various friends and ex work colleagues. On Tuesday 13th I went from Glentworth to Lincoln and then onto Spilsby where I stayed the night courtesy of Tong Engineering, got to say this was probably the easiest day since the weather was good and the route was pretty flat. Wednesday 14th I set off from Spilsby accompanied by Edward & Dave from Tong Engineering who took me as far as Staples. From there I went to Proctor Associates in Boston then LFP at Spalding. Then ensued a 28 mile slog along the A17 to get to JD Cooling at Kings Lynn, the A17 is almost as cycle unfriendly as the A1!!
On Thursday 15th first thing I went back to JD Cooling to get some photos taken and then set off for Cambridge, other than the weather being horrible this was fairly uneventful and reached Maggies Addenbrook by about 5.00pm. Friday 15th I cycled from Cambridge to my daughters in Walthamstow, was mildly surprised to find out just how hilly the first part of the route was, possibly I had just grown accustomed to the flat landscape in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. Last part of the journey was along the side of the river Lea.
On Monday 18th I cycled from Walthamstow to Maggies Barts, this is an amazing building given that Barts is a very old hospital and Maggies is an ultra modern concrete structure, but it really works. Cycling in London was not too bad since most of the route was on canal paths, the biggest problem was that the weather was Baltic, I have never known it so cold in London. On Monday afternoon we drove up to York where we spent the night with friends. On the Tuesday morning I cycled from York to Beverley, for a couple of reasons, one it partially made up for the fact that I have had to miss out 2 of the sections (Newcastle to Yarm & Yarm to Driffield) and also I wanted to visit Matthew Rawson & John Clappison. However this proved to be my undoing in that I had picked up a cold or flu bug in London and was not feeling the best, this allied to the fact that it was still bitterly cold and to put the tin lid on the whole thing whilst going through Eastrington a Jack Russell ran out in front of me and brought me off my bike, no real damage done but given the way I was feeling I really struggled. Eventually I met Pamela at Beverley and we drove home. Once home this bug really took hold and it took me a good 3 weeks to shake it off hence being unable to do the rest of the challenge to date.
That’s it I have done it! Finished at Gartnavel at 2pm on Wednesday 2nd April. Seems like an age since I started this but it really has been worth it. Cycled from home to Pitlessie on Monday 30th April calling in at East Lothian Produce, Maggies Kirkcaldy and Kettle Produce then Pamela and I spent the night with Aileen Smith at Priestfield. On the Tuesday I was accompanied by Sandy Green & Rob Whiteford, we called in at Branston Abernethy then turned south, they left me at the Beinn Inn at Glenfarg and I continued south calling in at Dechmont Forklifts and finished in Linlithgow where I spent the night with my son and his family.
Wednesday 2nd I left Linlithgow and called in at Maggies Forth Valley (It wins my vote for best Maggies visited lovely building and beautiful location). From there I set off on the last lap and as stated before ended up at Maggies Gartnavel where along with all the others was given a really nice welcome.
To all my sponsors and everyone who helped me with accommodation I cannot thank you enough, speaking to the staff that and volunteers I met at all the Maggies I visited I can assure just how appreciative they are of your support they do a fabulous job and depend entirely on the generosity of people like yourselves. It has been a privilege to do this and again I could not have done it without your support.