Day 8 #RideforReuben – Brora to John O’ Groats – A day of sun, family get togethers, hills, pouring rain then joy and great relief of a journey well done by huge effort!

Brora 0530 – it is a morning ritual Get the bikes out the van check that Dave Yvette and Dan that they have everything fill the water bottles and snacks. Get the helmets shoes and gadgets out the normal daily start but in great surrounds .It was a lovely start to the day as we set off from Brora the Royal Marine Hotel after breakfast! The kids have joined us and it was hard to leave them but we had a busy day ahead in threatening weather! Time was precious today as the weather was changing.

The bike crew were soon on form with Dave leading the way the views of the sea the light and the huge expanse of space was a powerful incentive. This coast  is amazing and I sailed round the top of Scotland with pals on a ten day trip many years ago.

After 8 days Yvette,Dan and Dave were all at one with the bikes and moving so well. Neal followed on his Motor bike protecting them from the odd erratic driver and myself and Amanda stopped for food and drink when they  needed it. 

We met so many pals on the road too many to mention and the girls caught up and we had a a great laugh on one of our breaks and met Dave’s Mum and Dad who had come up from Bristol for the end day!

The famous Berriedale Braes a steep hill and very intimidating it  went well and then it was on and on! In the last 10 miles the rain came down in buckets and they powered on to the end where Lexi joined them on the last bit on her new bike at John O ‘Groats to finish an emotional end for a Yvette and the team.   

Yvette was going so well and  with  Dan had given everything it was such an emotional end to an wild crazy 8 days! The last 10 miles in a torrent of rain was wild and it was not over till the last hill. They had given everything and then it was over they had made it.Big Dave had powered them through the pain barrier especially in the last 10 miles in the torrent of rain. 

Too see Yvette surrounded by those she loves and the kids was inspirational and it was as always for Reuben the wee soul aged 3 who is fighting an aggressive cancer.When things dried up we got some photos in the sun at the sign post and the one with. Her Mum is one to treasure.

Life can be so hard at times and I will be honest I worried about her all the time they all looked so vulnerable on the bikes in these busy roads but they made it. It was hard to be part of but the support of Neil, Amanda and Jullie was magic and I can never repay them. 

We met so many others cycling for great causes and it was great to see the effort by so many for others!

It was never easy for them and they dug deep often and Dan , Yvette and Dave will be proud of their achievements. It was then sort the bikes more photos,  food and head to Thurso for the night. For Yvette it was some journey and I have rarely seen such dedication and effort. Her Dad like her Mum would be so proud of her achievement and that she is safe and well but very tired! 

As I got sorted I got the sad news that an old pal John Coull had passed away after a long battle with cancer. I 

Had known John for over 40 years and it was very sad news! To be brutally honest it shook me to the core. We had been in the RAF Mountain Rescue team together and he took me sailing round this very coast on a 10 day trip. This was a great adventure a  trip sailing into secret bays and having fun. So many adventures over 4O years and it was important to get hug from those you love.

It was a huge blow to me and my thoughts are with the family! I could not hide my emotions and I am proud to say I shed a tear ! I was brought back by Lexi who could not find her teddy and we had a trape out into the car park in the Main Street of Thurso in her pyjamas  her holding my hand tightly. Mission accomplished and then she was happy life goes on.

Yvette is nearly there with her fundraising  but any help is gratefully appreciated and I have to  get back to Inverness by 1300 to return the van and get it sorted !

What an 8 days hard graft but worth it if you can please donate to #RideforReuben please and help her raise her £10000 target.

Well done Yvette, Dan and Dave what an effort by you all. Special thanks to all the support and love we have had!
To Neil,Amanda and Jullie a huge thanks what a support team and without you I was struggling!


About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
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