Sponsor me for the LondonSurrey 100 mile ride.

Monday, 25 April 2016

First blog of 2016

I know I’m legendary for leaving long periods between blogs, but this time there was good reason. 2015 is one year Pam and I were glad to see the back of!
After saying good bye to Meg, we then had Mike’s death to deal with. His funeral was especially traumatic, so the next day we went to Cannock Chase for a bike ride and to begin my ease down to the London ride. This ended in disaster with Pam having an unscheduled trip in an ambulance and seven months off work. We probably now know more about nerve damage recovery, MCP structure and alternative therapies than most GPs.
I did eventually ride the Prudential London Surrey 100 mile bike ride and what a fantastic day it was. So, good that I’m doing it again this year! I didn’t get a place through the ballot and will instead be riding for Children With Cancer UK. We chose this charity due to Pam‘s work - teaching children with cancer in their own homes when they are unable to attend school.  I hope to complete the ride in memory of one very special young lady and will make details public once we’ve had chance to speak to her family.
In the meantime if you would like to make a donation, please click on the link at the top of the page.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Bad week, hard tarmac

Training for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 took a bit of a knock this week. On Saturday (4th) I had a minor crash which has caused a bit of damage to me and the bike. Then on Tuesday I was literally about to go out the door and picked up my phone to find a message that said a close friend had taken his own life.

Pam and I spent the rest of the evening in a state of shock. Training was off, Wednesday wasn’t much better and after a day at work we just went out for tea as we weren’t even motivated to cook. I finally got out on Thursday and had only gone two miles when the gear shifter came lose and I couldn’t brake or change gear. So Friday the bike went into dock. A big thank you to Shrewsbury Cyclelife ( ) for turning the bike around so quickly.

Friday night saw us meeting an old friend for mutual support, sharing of memories of a lost friend and lots of alcohol to try and reason out what happened. Hence Saturday’s training ride with a hangover and on the old heavy bike was hard work. Average speed of 10mph was a disgrace, but at least I was out there.

On a plus – sponsorship money is now starting to appear and I hope we can make a difference to the dogs and cats at Grinshill. Apologies for all those Facebook messages and emails, but we do need to raise enough to make the Just Giving fees worthwhile.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Raising money for Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre

On Monday 16th March my wife (Pam) and I had to make the difficult decision to have our Border Collie Meg put to sleep. Meg had a poor start to her life, having to live with a cruel farmer somewhere in the North of England (location withheld for legal reasons).

Meg had become a problem dog and frequently escaped the farm, only to return to face a near starvation diet and frequent beatings (verified by damage to teeth and arthritis). After numerous complaints from local people the farmer was threatening to shoot Meg. However, a very brave old lady who lived locally decided to rescue Meg and removed her from the farm and sent her far away to the Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre in Shropshire. Meg was never reported as missing.

On one fateful Sunday evening in April 2007, Timmy Ten Bellies and I were climbing at Grinshill. While our wives (Pam and Maz); walked Maz’s three dogs and Megs soon to be lifelong friend – Freddie the Jack Russell (mother-in-laws dog) around Grinshill.

When dogs arrive at Grinshill they are taken for a walk in the woods before being bedded down and fed. This is where Pam, Maz and the dogs first met Meg. Her fate was sealed – she was coming home with us. As it was a Sunday evening we had to wait until the next morning before contacting the centre, but after home checks and a brief time in kennels Meg came home with us.

It was then we found her major passion – football. She was a hit with the local teenagers for her ability to chip and head balls and she even made an unscheduled appearance at a local Sunday league match where she was met with nothing but praise from the fans and players.

Having never slept in a house Meg quickly adjusted to sleeping at the bottom of our bed and Pam walked her for miles during those first few weeks as Meg adjusted to life in Dawley. Her coat also started to grow and we discovered we had a glorious rough coated Collie. There was also a final surprise – Meg went into season. Jenny at the rescue centre couldn’t believe this as Meg’s rescuer had paid the farmer to have Meg spayed a number of years previous. It now appears he pocketed the cash believing the dog would never live long enough for anyone to know.

Meg grew into a fantastic dog; she became a real companion as I trained to become a Hill and Moorland Leader. When Pam and I travelled the country to gain experience on the hills, Meg would always accompany us and has climbed hills and mountains all over the UK. We often joked if we knew the farmer’s address we would send him a postcard from Meg. Meg got to sleep in nice hotels and had afternoon tea at some of the better establishments throughout Britain – while the farmer still wallowed in his own filth.

In her final years Meg suffered a number of episodes of Canine vestibular and possibly a stroke at Christmas. In addition to this she started to suffer from dementia and her arthritis started to impede her mobility. Despite the best efforts of some wonderful vets at Wrekin View Veterinary Practice, old age overtook Meg and she reached that awful point when owners have to decide what is best for the animal. So she was finally put to sleep with dignity by Rob the vet.

As a result of all the years of pleasure and unquestioning companionship Meg has given, I will be taking part in the London Surrey 100 mile cycle ride this summer and will be raising money for Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre. Donations can be made using the sponsor bade above or at