Corby cyclist survives pain, potholes and pummeling on seven-day Lands End to John O'Groats ride

The 39-year-old took up cycling 10 years ago

Friday, 18th June 2021, 8:12 am

A Corby cyclist has described himself as an 'idiot' after completing a gruelling seven-day sprint from the heel of England to the tip of Scotland.

Rob Butchart took on the Land's End to John O'Groats challenge spending as long as nine hours a day in the saddle to cover the almost 900 miles.

Travelling as light as possible, the 39-year-old logistics and supply chain manager didn't even pack a deodorant or a razor to reach his goal as quickly as possible.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rob's course took him north up the west of England

Rob said: "You could say I'm a bit of an idiot. I'm paying for it now, I have now got cycle palsy - both little fingers on my hands are tingling. Your hands, feet and backside take a pummeling and there's been a lot of chafing."

Opting for the Sudocream instead of Vaseline to ease his sore skin, there were times during the ride that Rob wanted to stop riding due to the pain and the state of the roads.

He said: "I just wanted to get off the bike and shake my hands but finishing the ride was topmost in my mind.

"But the state of the roads and the cycling infrastructure is lethal. I was lucky to get through it with all the potholes - the infrastructure really holds you back."

Happy - the end of the ride

Choosing to start from Land's End also brought the most punishing leg of the journey with a head wind as he pedalled into Scotland.

He said: "It was horrific. I did a couple of sections with 30km uphill into the head wind. That was the worst bit."

Rob came to cycling 10 years ago after he decided to get in shape as he was 'unfit and unhealthy'.

Starting with some cycle tours, it was when he heard a presentation by sustainable transport charity Transaid that he became more adventurous.

Rob Butchart at Land's End in Cornwall

Signing up to a fundraising bike ride in South Africa in 2017, he followed up with a tour of Zambia. So fired with enthusiasm he signed up for three more - a day long UK coast-to-coast route, John O'Groats to Land's End and a trip to Malawi all to raise money for Transaid.

He said: "All three were cancelled or postponed so I did the 211km Whitehaven to Sunderland ride on my own and because I said I would do it, I wanted to do it."

So far he has raised just over £4,000 with all the donations going to the charity as Rob has covered the costs of accommodation and transport.

Now he has ticked Land's End to John O'Groats off his bike bucket list he will carry on training for the Malawi fundraiser.

He added: "I would like to thank everyone who has donated and sponsored me because that is the reason for doing it."

To donate to Rob's total go to his Just Giving page by clicking here and for information about Transaid click here. Here's how Rob achieved his goal:

• warm-up Land's End to Redruth - 49 km (30 miles)

• Day one Redruth to Tiverton - 177 km ( 110 miles)

• Day two Tiverton to Upton Snodsbury - 222 km (138 miles) ride time in the saddle 9 hrs. 18 minutes

• Day three Upton Snodsbury to Manchester - 176 km (109 miles)

• Day four Manchester to Carlisle - 203 km (126 miles)

• Day five Carlisle to Perth 224 km (139 miles) - ride time in the saddle 9 hrs. 1 minute

• Day six Perth to Inverness 195 km (121 miles)

• Day seven Inverness to John O'Groats 197 km (122 miles)