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  1. Re-Launch of Point North & Pedal – Get your FREE Kindle copy now!

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    Download FREE from 3/1/16 – 00:15

    I’ve learned a lot about self-publication since launching Point North & Pedal in 2013, a book about my experience of riding nearly 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Sales have been OK but I thought I would apply some of this new-found knowledge to re-launching the book. I’ve read a lot of blogs and listened to countless videos about the best way to promote a book, hopefully some of it has rubbed off!

    JOG Signpost

    So, what’s it all about and what’s the point?

    I rode the UK End to End in 12 days, a solo effort on a heavy mountain bike but it had a clear purpose, raise lots of money for the Cri Du Chat Syndrome Support Group. I was a fairly new to riding a bike at the time but made sure I practiced everything I would need to ride an average of 80 miles a day for nearly two weeks. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, I can’t recommend it enough.


    The book is an amusing look at the physical and mental side of taking on such a ride. It’s supposed to be funny but also inspirational, something I hope comes across to the reader. I have been honest about how I felt, especially regarding the severe homesickness, something I have never suffered from in the past. I have also resurrected the word ‘wassock’, a very satisfying term when applied to people who wind me up.

    I originally wrote up my notes purely as a personal project, as I got into the detail, it became steadily more fascinating. I had always planned to write something when I got back so I maintained a meticulous journal during the ride. It was a positive way to spend the evenings once all the ‘housekeeping’ had been sorted out. I had a lot of thinking time, usually in a freezing tent and isolated from the rest of my life.


    The book also developed into a ‘top tips’ guide for those looking to research the ride, I made plenty of mistakes so I hope prospective LEJOGers will find some useful information. Check out the About section of this web site for further tips and kit reviews etc.

    The end result should have something for everyone, it’s not just for cyclists or those interested in touring on a bike, it’s a story too.

    I have received some nice reviews on Amazon, I think this one sums them all up well:

    ‘A truly amazing book for cyclists and non-cyclist (like myself!) everywhere. This book tells the story of one man, one bike and a 1000 miles for charity. The planning, the physical and emotional endurance and pressure of cycling one end of the country to the other without a support vehicle all for the selfless goal of giving some financial support and help to this wonderful charity. The funny bits made me laugh out loud and the sad bits made me remember those that have gone before. A truly remarkable read written by a man and his family who are an inspiration to us all. Please, please buy this book you will not regret your purchase.’

    All the above sounds very self-indulgent but there was a point to the exercise, I sell the book to profit the Cri Du Chat Syndrome Support Group. They are a great (small) charity that supports families of those with CDC Syndrome, they also fund research into this rare chromosomal disorder. I have a personal connection with the charity so raising money for them seemed a natural thing to do. To date, the figure stands at over £7,600 but I can and must do better!

    So, moving into 2016, I am offering the book for FREE for a limited period of 5 days only! A little counter intuitive but I hope to improve future sales as a result; more people see what I have done and talk about it to their friends etc.

    Please help me to make this a success, there are several things you can do:


    • If you have a Kindle, please DOWNLOAD the book – after all, it’s FREE!


    • If you don’t have a Kindle, you can down load reading apps for most devices.


    • Share this post with your friends on Social Media


    • Like my Facebook Page (there is also a ‘Like’ button in this blog, under the Twitter feed on the right).


    • If you read/have read the book, write a review on Amazon, this really helps to drive sales.


    • If you don’t have a Kindle, buy a paperback copy (they make great presents too!).


    You may own a copy already, if that’s the case, thank you for helping to raise a little more cash for the charity. It all adds up and makes a difference. More information about the charity can be found here.

    Here’s to a great 2016, whatever you are doing.

  2. Recent guest blogging yields results.

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    I have been spending some time writing blogs and articles with a view to selling a few more books, so far the response has been quite good, I have another couple of blogs in the pipe line which should be informative and interesting, fingers crossed.

    For now, check out one of these articles at here, it contains a few questions and answers about cycling LEJOG; Simon Swan’s website is worth a look.  He’s an interesting bloke, digital marketing is his thing but he also manages a blog about riding LEJOG.

    I was also lucky enough to get a piece on the Wheelsuckers social media site for cyclists, you can see this here  The chaps there couldn’t have been more helpful.

    The point is to get my book in front of new audiences, especially those with an interest in LEJOG. Kindle sales have been very good over the last two weeks although they have dropped off a little in the last couple of days. If you have already read Point North & Pedal, please consider leaving a review on Amazon here, it all helps!

    The next piece I have planned will provide a bit of interest to those who are into bike frames…especially bespoke, handmade ones – watch this space!

    Happy cycling.

    Further reading…..

    If you liked this blog please take a moment to check out my book describing the solo Land’s End to John O’Groats ride in 2012, all profit from sales to

    Please click the cover image for the Kindle version or click here to order a paperback copy. Thank you!


  3. Big Isle of Wight Challenge rolls on…

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    Been a busy weekend working on the September ride logistics and also driving some of the route on Sunday morning.

    It wasn’t a great start when I didn’t hear the alarm and jumped out of bed at 7.55am for a 7.50am meet! Phil T picked me up and we met Simon C and Mark P in Grove. With Garmins beeping away, we set off for Lymington via Newbury, Andover, Romford and the New Forrest. This route is fairly well trodden by me (my wife’s aunt lives in New Milton) so I was aware of the climb out of Wantage and Newbury, the rest is flattish with a few bumps. When we arrived at Lymington, we’d clocked 73 miles.

    A brief look round the ferry ticket office ended with a visit to Costa coffee next door. With cups in hand we sat outside and watched the latest ferry depart for the island. The Isle of Wight is notoriously hilly and this can be seen from the mainland, 67 miles around doesn’t sound a lot but with 80+ miles already in peoples legs plus the ride back to Wantage the island was going to be tough.

    In a bid to add a few more miles to at least one of the routes, we went home via Winchester, Basingstoke and Pangbourne. We clocked 88 miles on the way back but to a man, decided against this route as it was very hilly for a good 25 mile section.  This would have been a tough 88 miles in isolation let alone the night-time (and last) leg of the challenge. Mark committed to plotting some other, slightly flatter routes!

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    Left to Right: Phil Cox, Phil Tynan, Mark Popkiss

     All in all, time well spent. We had ruled out one route and also clocked various places where the van could safely stop. The quick look around the ferry terminal was also useful; especially noting the car park seemed very full for a Sunday morning. The scale of this challenge was firmly driven home, no room for complacency or bad planning on this one, time margins are too tight!

    Please like our FB page and also have a look at our fundraising page, thanks you!

    Further reading…..

    If you liked this blog please take a moment to check out my book describing the solo Land’s End to John O’Groats ride in 2012, all profit from sales to

    Please click the cover image for the Kindle version or click here to order a paperback copy. Thank you!


  4. A New Challenge but am I up to it?

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    Despite best intentions my blogging activities have declined over the last couple of months. There are a number of excuses around time spent training, cricket and family holidays etc.; marketing of Point North and Pedal has also taken its toll but that is a good thing!

    I have been in discussion with Phil Tynan over the last 6 months or so about his proposal to ride to the Isle of Wight and back in 24 hours, a distance of approximately 250 miles. Happily, this is coming to fruition now due to a lot of hard work by Phil and our fellow rider Mark Popkiss. Our goal is to raise money for a reasonable new charity Delete Blood Cancer



    Phil has a very personal story attached to this challenge and his motivation to achieve it is boundless. His invite to ride on the challenge was gratefully accepted but with some self-doubt on my part. Once again, I know I have the fitness but I am worried one or more of the worn out bits on me might suddenly fail.

    The ride is in 3 sections: Wantage to Lymington, circumnavigate the Isle of White and then reverse the first leg. The total is 241 but there are always the ‘phantom miles’ that seem to attach to long rides however careful the mapping is in the planning stage.  Whatever the total is when we get back, we will ensure it is at least 250 miles. The time margins are very tight on this one as it includes transit time to and from the island.

    Phil has lent me his 2nd road bike for the trip. The name of the game is completing the challenge and there are no medals for hauling a heavy mountain bike around the course. I like riding it but I have developed a ligament issue in my left foot, I’m still not sure if this is to do with an unfamiliar bike or an over-training issue.  I’m sure Adam at Revolution Sports Injuries will tell me when I visit him later this week.

    I’ll post more about the ride in the coming weeks, in the meantime, please feel free to sponsor us at


    Further reading…..

    If you liked this blog please take a moment to check out my book describing the solo Land’s End to John O’Groats ride in 2012, all profit from sales to

    Please click the cover image for the Kindle version or click here to order a paperback copy. Thank you!