We’ve only gone and done it…

After yesterday’s 122 mile cycle, today’s run was going to be hard. With the girls getting up to watch the sunrise at 5:30 before heading back to bed, we all lay in until late.

As the run started, both of us felt good with little pain from injuries & regular stretching helped. It was only at the half marathon mark that the pain really began to tell…

Today was a day for farm animals – three lovely pigs, fields of sheep (which Brownie insisted on baaing to), herds of cattle, one horse (hoss) and several white ostrich (honestly). There was even an animal rescue, as Mark, with a little help from me, freed a sheep stuck between flagstones and with its head stuck in a wire fence! Bizarre…

At last, we saw the sign for John o’ Groats and ran down the hill to see a Guinness can finishing tunnel, a tartan ‘red’ carpet and named mugs for our celebratory Guinness! As well as our wonderful wives there were locals clapping & cheering us on. Very emotional – an incredible way to finish an unbelievable experience. 

I know we said in our pre-run video how much we have appreciated everyone’s messages of suppport, but honestly it has raised all of our spirits so much!

Thanks everybody – until next time…

The Bonkers crew and Beryl XXXXX

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Final push

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Cycle 7 – The Penultimate Leg…

Today’s leg from Evanton to Thurso was due to be one of the shorter rides but somehow turned into our longest so far. A whopping 122 miles taking 14 hours. 😩 

It began in very wet conditions and we were soon drenched and cold. We warmed up slightly in a roadside cafe where Brownie bagsied thelast sausage   roll leaving me a traditional Scottish pasty called a bridie- delicious! 😜

Around the 35 mile mark, the rain cleared and the rest of the day just got more and more beautiful. The scenery of the Scottish Highlands is just stunning! 

It was during one of the most remote parts that we came across The Crask Inn. A unique place which was originally a drivers Inn built in 1815. It would have been rude to have cycled past so in we popped. We were served 2 pints of the most delightful ales by the landlord Douglas and chatted with him & the 3 other customers Simon (from Norfolk) his wife and their gilly Walter. Thanks for the sponsorship! Very kind πŸ‘πŸΌ. 

On we cycled in the now beautiful sunshine and were lucky enough to spot one of Brownie’s must see animals – a stag deer 🦌 The Golden Eagle sadly remained elusive. πŸ˜‚

Just 30 miles from Thurso we stopped for a refreshing cuppa at Bettyhill cafe and received our second sponsorship of the day from a delightful lady called Amanda. Also very kind!

As dusk turned into darkness and the sunset diluted, we finally rode into Thurso at 9.45pm happy, exhausted and very hungry. Thankfully our lovely and very understanding& patient wives had a fish pie waiting! β™₯️

What a day – final run tomorrow to a small place called John o’ Groats. 😁

OMB

Cycle 7 – The Penultimate Leg…

Today’s leg from Evanton to Thurso was due to be one of the shorter rides but somehow turned into our longest so far. A whopping 122 miles taking 14 hours. 😩 

It began in very wet conditions and we were soon drenched and cold. We warmed up slightly in a roadside cafe where Brownie bagsied thelast sausage   roll leaving me a traditional Scottish pasty called a bridie- delicious! 😜

Around the 35 mile mark, the rain cleared and the rest of the day just got more and more beautiful. The scenery of the Scottish Highlands is just stunning! 

It was during one of the most remote parts that we came across The Crask Inn. A unique place which was originally a drivers Inn built in 1815. It would have been rude to have cycled past so in we popped. We were served 2 pints of the most delightful ales by the landlord Douglas and chatted with him & the 3 other customers Simon (from Norfolk) his wife and their gilly Walter. Thanks for the sponsorship! Very kind πŸ‘πŸΌ. 

On we cycled in the now beautiful sunshine and were lucky enough to spot one of Brownie’s must see animals – a stag deer 🦌 The Golden Eagle sadly remained elusive. πŸ˜‚

Just 30 miles from Thurso we stopped for a refreshing cuppa at Bettyhill cafe and received our second sponsorship of the day from a delightful lady called Amanda. Also very kind!

As dusk turned into darkness and the sunset diluted, we finally rode into Thurso at 9.45pm happy, exhausted and very hungry. Thankfully our lovely and very understanding& patient wives had a fish pie waiting! β™₯️

What a day – final run tomorrow to a small place called John o’ Groats. 😁

OMB

Penultimate adventuresΒ 

Cath- Bonkers Tour Day 16
So this morning Thelma, Louise and Bezza ( as she has now affectionally become known) were up early setting off before the boys, with the intention of driving off the end of the map to catch the boat to The Orkneys. We wound our way through vast empty countryside, nothing to see for miles, apart from heather, moorland, mountains, rivers and sea and the occasional motor home. We now officially feel accepted in the MH community as we realised we received a curt wave from each one we passed! We stopped briefly to marvel at the just risen sun reflecting on the pristine water. We took in the silence, with only beryl creaking behind us slightly as she rested, as if she’d forgotten to take her glucosamine! Sadly timings for boats to Orkney didn’t work out. The dour lady at the ‘wildlife cruises’ desk sitting proudly in front of her poster of puffins and seals didn’t exactly sell it to us either. We were informed it was now the wrong time of year for puffins and we were unlikely to see seals! So instead we took ourselves to the most northerly point in the U.K.- not john O Groats, but Dunnet Point – a wild and spectacular view point. We felt very Thelma and Louise over looking it all. We trundled back to Thurso Bay to set up camp to await the boys in the sunshine after their final cycle. Lemon tea next to bezza, over looking the stunning and incredibly calm sea. We amused ourselves with the fact that the next landmass was Russia! A good feeling sitting in the most northerly town of the Scottish mainland. We made sandwiches. We made dinner. We washed up. We watched the sunset. We waited… we waited a bit more… and a bit more…. they finally rocked up nearly 14 hours after setting off! 122 miles in the saddle! 

#bikeridesdone

Rest day hurrahness

Bonkers Tour Day 15
Rest day. We all realised how much it was needed as we all woke quite late. A lovely peaceful site where we could sit in the sun and listen to the river tumbling by and the boys compare ailments over our morning cuppa, was very welcome. After some tinkering on their bikes, the boys were ready to hobble up the road to the local cafe for a fry up. Sadly in the slightly run down town of Evanton, it turns out the only cafe is only open 3 days a week- bizarrely Tuesday to Thursday. We bought provisions and OMB then did them proud with a super sized recovery brunch. Rachel and I enjoyed cheese scones and coffee . We left the boys for a rare hour or two alone with Beryl as we set off for a good old fashioned stomp into the forest that backs onto the site. We stumbled across an enormous ‘Forest School’ training area run by local volunteers. A passing dog walker began to enthusiastically tell us all about it and he turned out to be the guy that runs it and had the keys in his pocket to show us round the classroom. Very interesting from my point of view having used our version of Forest School at Robert Kett. We continued to wend our way through the dappled fresh green light of the forest to the Black Rock Gorge- a 40 metre deep ravine over which was a very scary wooden bridge. Even non vertigo Rachel was scared! We returned feeling it in the legs having missed the walking we are used to, but demands of protein shakes and recovery foods for us fell on unimpressed ears! We all enjoyed a restful couple of hours drinking tea on our borrowed picnic bench, catching up with social media business in the one available wifi spot of the area and in OMBs case have a snory afternoon snooze! 

 An X factor stylee vote was cast for going out or cards and despite the ‘blunder’ storm the majority voted for T Pub! Squeezed in some cardaegness first tho!! Back to the pub for a lovely meal chewing over the cud…. one more cycle…. one more marathon… wowser! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸš΄πŸƒ

Rest day love.

Mark – As it’s a rest day today and I have wifi I would like to take the opportunity to say a huge massive thank you to everyone who has donated so far, to say I am blown away by all of the support and kind words is an understatement. Both myself and Carl are at 68% of our justgiving target which is an awesome achievement and only made possible by all of you guys who have kindly donated. With 3 days left of the tour we hope we can push that figure a little higher for our choosen charities. The aches and pains have been testing and made the challenge hard going at times but when we see all the love and support it makes you dig that bit deeper. Again a massive thank you, much love 😘😘

https://thebonkerstour.wordpress.com
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mark-Brown87
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carl-bates2
Cheers

Browny

Wild and Sexy…

If yesterday’s run was the most incredible & scenic so far, then today’s 111 mile ride from Tyndrum to Beauly was quite simply…well Wild and Sexy!

The first section took us past The Bridge of Orchy where yesterday’s run finished & included some of the best road surfaces to date. We climbed through some stunning scenery up the top of Glen Coe with Beryl & the girls shooting past to get action shots as we, in turn, sped past them. 

But the descent…was just unbelievably beautiful! A ‘midgy’ infested stop allowed us to have a photo alongside a kilted bagpiper and for the girls to pose next to the Wild and Sexy bus! 🚌 We then pushed on to have tea & scones in Fort William with the girls. 

With more than half the ride left we had to buckle down to a hard grind until we hit Loch Ness, spotted Nessie doing front flips in the dark waters and looked to take the short route to Beauly, turning left at the Highland Games sports field. 

Little did we know that at the 100 mile point we would hit the steepest climb (15%) of the ride so far. It took everything in the legs to make the climb, which the girls had driven earlier panicked that we would be following shortly. 

Having set off at 9:30am we rode into the campsite at 8:30pm to be met by yet another awesome meal cooked by Rachel and Cath. 

As it was Mark’s Birthday πŸŽ‰ we were treated to his favourite Dolly Mixture cake and a Guinness! 

Another (possible the most) amazing day of this Bonkers Tour! β™₯οΈπŸš΄β€β™€οΈπŸƒ

OMB

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