Latest News from the LEMKEN CHALLENGE


9th June 2010............

Cereals Event - Royston, Cambridgeshire.

The opportunity was taken to present representatives from British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK with cheques for £10,000 each from proceeds of the Lemken Challenge 2010, which raised over £30,000 in total for good causes.

A hog roast was enjoyed by all, despite the heavy rain, and heartfelt thanks expressed to all involved in this tremendous fundraising effort!



25th April 2010...........

The fundraising continues....................watch this space.



24th April 2010...........

The long journey home.

It was difficult to comprehend that after finishing at Oldmeldrum last night, and driving 1.5 hours south again to Coupar Angus, that we still had a 7 hour drive south to Oxford where we all met the previous Friday. That point of course was still 4 hours drive from our Challenge start point in Launceston!

Some adjustment was needed today as we were somewhat unaccustomed to travelling in a vehicle without the wind in our faces, and without our legs doing the work.



23rd April 2010...........

Day 7 of the Lemken Challenge.

The final morning dawned with dry roads but the promise of rain from the west later. We had been very lucky with the weather so far, and the end was in sight.

Scottish area manager Kevin Rennie decided to join us on a bike for the first part of the day, so a spare bike was brought out of the support trailer.

The Baiglie Inn  car park came in handy again to allow a start at about 08.20am with riders heading towards Bridge of Earn, then Perth, before heading out through Scone and Balbeggie to Coupar Angus.

A short stop for coffee turned a stop to put on wet weather gear as the rain was becoming an irritation. As we set off again heading north, the decision was certainly correct.

Through Forfar and Brechin, it was miserable, but there was some relief with a lunch stop standing inside the support trailer underneath the A92! Our thanks to Peter Lawson and Peter Stewart of Sellars for organising that. 

Thank's must goto Duncan Duthie who did a great job as support driver, providing the much needed hot drink's and bacon sandwiches, as well as arranging regular announcement's on local radio station's, the team had lot's of cheerful toots from passing driver's.

Then the work began in ernest. From our stop we headed though Fettercairn and over Cairn o' Mount, climbing some 1488 feet in the process, for 1.5 miles with a 16% gradient. The only good thing was that it warmed us up! Another coffee stop at the summit was enjoyed whilst we watched the snow and sleet falling. Temperatures close to freezing meant that precious body heat quickly went as we looked forward to the drop down the north side. Jim recorded a speed of close to 45 mph as we descended, but by the time we reached the lower altitudes we were all very cold again. We plodded on before an enforced tea stop just before Inverurie, which gave an opportunity to thaw out hands and feet before the final 6 miles or so to Oldmeldrum.

A welcoming committee of Neil Wattie, Johnny Duncan and Graham Gammie from Sellars awaited our arrival, and were keen to warm us up with a 'dram' or two.

Meanwhile, everyone who was tracking us on the website knew we had stopped, resulting in many texts and calls of congratulations. 

104 mile's were completed on day 7, with a total of 728 mile's in 7 day's! An amazing achievement raising lot's of money for British heart foundation and Cancer Research UK, two fantastic charities so if you have not already donated then please visit www.lemkenchallenge.co.uk to donate, thank's to all involved!





22nd April 2010..........

Day 6 of the Lemken Challenge.

Day 6... longest day so far, after returning back to Rochester to the point of stopping at the end of day 5, the day began with a long climb to the top of Carter Bar, to be piped into Scotland by a lone Piper, with probably the first few minute's of pleasure experienced throughout the entire 6 day's freewheeling down the other side! 




The descent into Jedburgh was followed by a long hilly ride to Thomas Sherriff & Co's branch in Stow for lunch. Thank's to all for the much needed refreshment's! 











Back on the saddle again and impeccable timing meant that the team were forced to cycle through Edinburgh city centre at rush hour... quite an experience! After stopping for tea at the Hawes Inn, just beneath the Forth Rail Bridge, the team decided to make up for some lost time by cycling until 10pm, which included a 2 or 3 mile downhill ride in the dark toward's Bridge of Earn, not so phased by the pot holes when you can't see them! 

108 mile's covered in day 6, with 101 mile's left to complete the final stage...



21st April 2010...........

Day 5 of the Lemken Challenge.

Day 5 again saw the weather in our favour.

First stop of the day was at Brian Robinson Machinery at East Cowton, where Brian, Christine and their team gave us a warm welcome and tea.

The route then took us west of the A1 and onwards to Piercebridge and the steep climb of Toft Hill where we took on more food and drink. Having said goodbye to the last of our guest riders, Dave Trewhitt, we soldiered on to Tow Law and Corbridge, where every climb was steeper than the last one.

At the end of day 5, the team have completed almost 2 third's of the route although horrific climb's on the A68 prevented them from making their checkpoint in Jedburgh on the Border's, forcing them to stop for the night 20 mile's short in Rochester. 

They now not only have two day's of the most challenging hill's yet, but also must gain an extra 20 mile's in the final two day's... track the team live via the tracker as they compete with the toughest terrain of the 700 mile's yet!



20th April 2010...........

Day 4 of the Lemken Challenge.

Day 4 and although the team have still managed to avoid any rain, they did have to contend with strong head wind's for the whole of Tuesday's route from Lincoln, all 110 miles to Northallerton in North Yorkshire. 

Guest riders included Rachael Averill and Steve (Lazer) Brown of B & B Tractors, Paul Everingham of RBM Agricultural, Dave Trewhitt of Brian Robinson Agricultural Machinery and Alison Dupree from the East Yorkshire Gun club. Well done all of you! Many thank's to Stuart Tanton of the Docklands Diner in Goole for the fantastic lunch and the kind donation to the fund. The Goole Times newspaper also attended for an interview and photographs which should appear in Thursday's edition.

The route continued towards York, and then on through the historic and beautiful city with little time for sightseeing.

Also thank's to John Robinson (GB Triathlon team, and GB Shooting Team) for providing a 'cup of tea stop' at Huby in North Yorkshire.

Moral support was on hand at the White Rose Hotel in the form of one of Richard Dixon's shearing team, Keith Porteous, who popped in for a beer or 2.



19th April 2010...........

Day 3 of the Lemken Challenge.

Day 3 with the weather still on the team's side, they managed to find time for an mid morning snack stop in Daventry, where Batman was also trying to get some sponsopship. 

Onwards they went for a few more miles and then a quick lunch stop on their way through Market Harborough, meeting with Claire Relph, before another stop 25 miles further on in a lay-by close to Melton Mowbray for a very welcome cup of tea and an 'energy boosting' Easter egg courtesy of Jim Goold's father and sister! 

Many thanks to Howard and Gavin Pell of Chandlers Farm Equipment, who joined the team for 30 miles offering moral support and good local knowledge which provided a slightly different route with nicer road's, not forgetting a tea and biscuit stop at Chandlers in Belton before arriving at Thorpe on the Hill at 7:30pm, covering a total distance that day of 110 miles.


18th April 2010...........

Day 2 of the Lemken Challenge.

Day 2 (Sunday), was a tougher day encountering more challenging hills, particularly after Wells, with a brief stop at Bradford on Avon, where Sainsburys had kindly allowed the team to use their car park to collect donations... many thanks to Sainsburys and all who donated! 

Riding with the team today was Angus McKirdy from CPM Magazine, who managed to become separated from us temporarily by taking a wrong turn. We grouped up again in Witney and continued on.

A few more miles had been clocked on day two... 105 to be precise, arriving at Deddington Arms Hotel, Deddington, near Banbury at 8:15pm where they were greeted by General Manager, Paul Haverson who the whole LEMKEN Challenge team would like to give a special thanks for such a warm welcome and great hospitality!











17th April 2010...........

Day 1 of the Lemken Challenge.

The Team set off from Hamblys in Launceston, Cornwall at around 9.00am, with the expected start ceremony performed by Steve Perryman and his staff.






The brief exit from Cornwall was over in less than 20 minutes or so, and into Devon we went and up and over the many hills. The first 50 miles or so was quite cruel in places. before levelling out somewhat to complete 97 miles to the Coxley Vineyard Hotel.



6th April 2010........

Ice gives way to rain, hail and punctures!!

Mark Ormond writes:-

"Training for Mark and Jim is running much better since the ice has melted. No more falling off, but we did get very cold and wet when caught in a hail storm on Easter Saturday. Although we had great intentions of riding 50 miles, having got cold and wet through to the skin, we decided to turn round and head for home after just 15 miles. A puncture in Mark’s front tyre, 1 mile from home, only added to our troubles that day.

Never to be put off by a little rain, we headed off again on Bank Holiday Monday. Dry but windy best described the day, with Jim managing 53 miles. Mark decided that he ought to partake in some quality time with the family, so completed just 25 miles before having a day at the coast.

Only 2 weeks to go. Not sure if we have done enough training, but it is probably too late now! I know it is going to hurt, so just hope there is a serious amount of money raised for the charities. If you haven’t made a donation yet, please do so via the ‘Just Giving’ link on this web site. We only ask for £10. “It’s only a round of drinks.” However, if you want to give more, please feel free to do so. "


28th March 2010........

Audax UK event provides valuable training shakedown.

Richard Dixon writes:-

"A chance phone conversation with Dave Trewhitt led to both Dave and myself (as well as around 100 others) to embark on a 100km Audax event starting from Wigginton, north of York.

The route took us north to Huby before turning into the wind and crossing the River Ure at Aldwark and weaving toward Boroughbridge. A fuel stop at Morrisons supermarket fragmented the pack of riders somewhat, as the route continued to Ripon and beyond and to the scenic Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal gardens for another short fuel stop. The tearoom there did us proud.

That was the furthest west point before turning for home and encountering a steep climb or two on the way south-east to the last stop at Ripley Tearooms where a quick splash-&-dash saw many riders grouped up again for the relatively fast ride back to Wigginton.

An excellent event with a number of lessons learned in preparation for the LEMKEN Challenge.


21st March 2010........

Sportive with lots of climbing gives lots of hill practice.

Richard Dixon writes:-

"I decided that it was time to test myself a bit, so having seen a link on the Evans Cycles website to their organised 'Ride It' events, I found one reasonably locally and took the plunge.

Having not ridden a sportive before, I didn't know what to expect, but the training effect was enormous. The start was at Harewood, north of Leeds, where riders were set off in groups, electronically timed, along a carefully planned and signed route.

There were 3 lengths of ride; 27 miles, 53 miles and 77 miles. I didn't realise until after the event, but my chosen 53 mile route included 4,000 feet of climbing, touring around Harrogate and taking in Menwith Hill, Darley and Dacre Banks before turning south again and crossing 3 of the huge Yorkshire reservoirs which feed Leeds and Harrogate, then roughly following the River Wharfe back to the Harewood start point.

4,000 feet is an awful lot of climbing, but the training can't be simulated any other way, and should make me stronger in the long term in preparation for the inevitable climbs out of Cornwall and through the Highlands.


21st February 2010........

Mixture of ice and mud makes training interesting.

Mark Ormond writes in an email -

"Keen to pursue our training program, Jim and I (plus another pal Andy) set off on bicycles yesterday morning with the intention of covering 60 miles. 7 miles into the ride, aware that there was some ice in the shadows, Jim and I leading, heard a clatter behind us. Looking round to see if Andy had fallen on the ice, (he had) Jim and I simultaneously found ice and fell off. 3 of us sat in the middle of the road, nursing our physical injuries and pride, much to the amusement of the following car driver!

With a ‘never give up’ attitude, we made our way very carefully home and collected mountain bikes. Having decided the roads were far too dangerous, we loaded mountain bikes into the car and headed to Thetford Forest. As the roads were so frozen, we were confident the mud at Thetford would be the same. Wrong again – after 1.5 hours around very muddy tracks, I really wasn’t keen for any of us to sit in my car for the journey home.

Let’s just hope next weekend is more positive!"

                                                           (The photo is not the 3 boys of course, as all 3 were too busy licking their wounds to pose for photographs!)


8th February 2010............Whole-hearted support from B & B.

Nottinghamshire based LEMKEN dealer, B & B Tractors of Warsop, have pledged their generous support of the LEMKEN CHALLENGE. Managing Director Paul Harrison, has written to all of their customers, encouraging them to donate to the project, pledging to place collection points in all of their 3 branches across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire for the purpose, and undertaking to adverts, press coverage and possibly even radio coverage. To quote Paul; "please help us to make the B&B Tractors LEMKEN area the most generous Team LEMKEN pedal through".

Many thanks to Paul and his team at B & B Tractors for their commitment to our challenge. We'll try not to let you down!!


7th February 2010............Ratae R.C. Reliability Ride is first real test.

Richard, Mark & Richard embarked on a 70 mile 'shake-down' ride on Sunday 7th, using the Ratae R.C. Reliability Ride as their first real test of fitness or not!

The route, starting and finishing at Wigston, just south of Leicester, took in the rolling undulations of South Leicestershire and North Warwickshire, visiting Rugby and Market Harborough, with a short lunch halt at Gilmorton.




Many thanks must go to Bob Bragg of Ratae R.C. for his warm welcome, support and encouragement, as well as the many people involved with the club in order to make the event happen. Particular thanks to the couple who provided a much needed cup of tea at Bretford.

We managed to complete the almost 72 mile route in 5 hours, 9 minutes, despite being balked by sheep being herded down the road, and stopping twice for refreshment. Not a bad performance for a first time out.

Photos show us at the start car park and finishing at Wigston.






Richard Relph was perhaps not in the pain that the photo suggests, but was carrying a knee injury which may have slowed progress slightly.

Stopping pedaling was clearly a relief on Sunday afternoon!



6th February 2010..........."3 become 4 in LEMKEN CHALLENGE "

The cycling team has now grown slightly to 4 people, with the addition of Jim Goold, a friend of Mark Ormond, who has undertaken to raise £1000 independently in order to ride the entire route with Team LEMKEN.

Jim's fund, like the main fund, will be split, giving the Lemken charities 50%, and the remaining 50% going to the charity of Jim's choice.

Jim is a serious road cyclist, who has been inspired to not only raise money for good causes, but also to test his own abilities in a long distance event. Best of luck Jim!!


31st January 2010.............."Do as you're told Richard"
The LEMKEN CHALLENGE may sound very easy to some, but Richard Relph is taking it very seriously as you can see in these 2 shots.

Richard's wife, Claire, suggested that they have a weekend away in Chester, 41 miles from home, but also suggested that Richard should cycle there and back, and call it 'training'.

Needless to say, the snow didn't stop him from doing as he was told!!

You're getting the idea Richard.