Design a site like this with
Get started

Why are we rushing about? Why am I trying to blast through extraordinary scenery?

After leaving Tess in Edinburgh, I headed out on sustrans’s national cycle network (Ncn) route 10. Had a great wild camp out. Changed over to ncn 76 which I didn’t really enjoy. It seemed to be hilly for the sake of being hilly… I mean it sent me down into a place called Pease Bay across a ford river and then straight back a steep hill. Hell what was that about? And soon after it began to rain.

By the time I got to Berwick my shoes were soaking wet and my bicycle and trailer was soiled with mud flung over it multiple times. A divine intervention happened at the edge of Berwick that got me thinking why was I rushing when I had 2.5 weeks to make it back.

A stay at the queens head in Berwick got me contemplating on my mindset and how so many of us rush about. Also it became obvious I was now in England even though people still sounded Scottish as less people were wearing masks, unlike Scotland.

In the morning (9 Oct) it was raining and the b&b kindly let me wait until the rain had eased off. Heading out of Berwick I changed over to ncn 1. With the sun now shining everything became stunning. The route goes along the coast passing sandy beaches and bays. The water was gleaming and I wished over and over again to be swimming in it.

The John Muir trail transistioned into England’s coastal path which meandered into a bunch of cows who were blocking a gate into a gorgeous coastal moorland along a narrow trail that seemed to be dug out by cows having walked along it several times over.

I felt greedy wanting to absorb as much of the scenery as I could.

I had only completed about 30km so decided that I should at least cycle 15km more before calling it a day. By the time I had finished at 48km, it was dark to getting very dark and I saw the birth of a new moon. The small country roads had no street lights. I saw a man with a dog (Dave) and enquired about a B&B or a barn as I needed to have a meeting at 7pm. He offered me a spot in his Woodlands. His wife (Jane) insisted I should be in the house.

Along the John Muir trail ncn 1

Once again kindness which am hugely grateful. 10th nov – Jane found me a friend to stay with in tynemouth… 95km away. Great incentive to do the distance.

11th nov – have now swum with Gill in the North Sea. It was awesome.

Have to spend a second night as left late and had 2 punctures to sort out!!! The tyres themselves had lots of voodoo pins (thorns and a metal bit) stuck into them which slowed me down as felt they had to be removed. Oh well what’s new. Thankful to this family who have hosted me a second night

Today’s weather is supposed to be Rain and need to think about Cycling as far as I can towards ilkley.


Culmination at COP26

Our fingers were numb with cold as we were greeted in Glasgow By rain and wind but our hearts were warmed by kind and lovely people And the great sense Of having achieved 600 miles on a bicycle… Carbon friendly…

Here nations were gathering to find solutions and a way forward for the climate crisis. We were contributing…

We had carried around three thousand heart-felt climate action pledges from individuals. Many from children…. it was an honour to speak them out at the Tree of Hope in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove park. We, Tess, Rima and Elsie of Pedalling For a Bright Future , hugged the tree as we sent out positive thoughts for the COP26 outcome… it was, as Elsie observed, like giving the Earth a hug.

The pledges were then presented by our 13 yr old Elsie to The Bahamas minister of state for the environment who passed these precious sentiments on to the Prime Minister of The Bahamas just before he spoke to world leaders. The minister put his arm around Elsie and said “your actions have made a better world”

The original pledges were finally delivered to the symbolic cardboard Tree of Promises for everyone at COP26 to see .
We would like to warmly Thank everyone Who sent their pledges.
It has been exciting to be in the vibrant coming together of thousands of Concerned people here in Glasgow… not the least of which has been the opportunity for Elsie to express the voice of youth.

And thank you so much to all who have generously sponsored  our three charities to help the climate crisis . We welcome ongoing contributions.. Please see our donate buttons.

The work continues…

Nature Encounters

Last night as I camped out the animals were noisy. In the night an animal appeared to kind of bark but it was not a dog.

Perhaps a deer or a fox. Something scurried across my ground sheet on its way to an important meeting; and in the morning some birds were screeching. Later 2 deer bounded into my camp area within 5 metres of where I lay

I loved every encounter, for the tree cover and thankful for the nature connections.

Moving Mountains

Nothing is black and white but many shades of grey. It is probably why it is so difficult to get 190 leaders in agreement. Anyway I decided to leave Glasgow before the big march on Saturday as once we had delivered all the climate action pledges to the tree of promises, our physical work was done. I needed to get away from the echo chamber of COP26 and now focus on the spiritual side to vision strong ground up global movements moving mountains. We need to vision all those who have been united in the march now united in a collaboration that either causes world leaders to take action or to move aside.

Tess decided to ride out with me on Friday afternoon along the national cycle network 754. Btw if you’re a cyclist or walker and not done that route from Glasgow to Edinburgh (or vice versa) I would encourage you to check it out. I rate it highly along with riding along the Rhine in Germany. As we cycled we either meditated or prayed for positive action to result from COP26 and to hold the whole process in a ball of light. Through the rain and wind, the sun was able to break away from the clouds and we had sunshine on Saturday as we headed to Edinburgh… and of course a rainbow appeared. The autumn scenery along the canal was magic and the engineering of the forth and Clyde canal and the Union canal is awe inspiring.

We have been wonderfully looked after. We arrived in Edinburgh and found no place to stay…. but a kind lady offered shelter in her home as our search for a place yielded little. We were also offered a boat but didn’t think Tess had enough warm sleeping stuff to cope with a windy night under a canopy on the canal. Anyway Anna was sooo very kind and so were her housemates who ensured we were comfortable and had some food.

I have now left Tess at Edinburgh as she catches up with family and wants to return home by train. I feel it is important to show that once we climbed the mountain we need to continue and make the journey back down. COP is a moment in time but we must continue and we must keep defending our environment…. although our environment can probably do without humans screwing her. Anyway so I return solo by bicycle and am now wild camped under a tree in a field. Good night all and please consider sponsoring one of our charities who are taking action to reduce environmental pollution (see our front page

Day 21

We like things in balance and harmony… the day starts with a puncture on the trailer.. the score is now 21 days and 21 punctures!
Setting out It doesn’t take long before we are as soaked as we were yesterday.. only today it’s colder and the rain is heavier and the wet attacks us from all sides… the rivers Descending from the southern uplands are brown and overflowing, the fields are flooded and the cycle tracks are in torrents of water.

Even the cars passing drown us in spray but we are so wet it doesn’t make much difference… until hands start going numb and we manage to find a service station cafe near the m74… thank goodness it has a good hand dryer in the loo and we can dry out layers of clothing… all the clothes I (Granny Tess) possess as it happens…

Along the toad we overtake a polar bear walking on his way to COP26.. he’s Clarion a 10 ft high white Bear made from bamboo and tissue paper on a 300 mile climate crisis pilgrimage.. interesting the different ways people are expressing their concern for our planet .. he’s certainly not the sort of bear one can ignore… and seems to be coping with the deluge of water better than I am… maybe polar bears are adaptable after all and could survive where humans could not.

I remember seeing the effects the polar bears Had rampaging In an Inuit village in the Arctic due to the climate crisis.. On the front line of global warming… And worry that the truth is the likelihood of polar bears disappearing from our planet all together…
At last off the main toad we head into gentle but soggy farmland As the evening sun appears casting It’s pink glow on the many wind turbines around… my chain comes off my bike at the bottom of a steep hill , quickly fixed we struggle up and belt down the other side into Larkhall where the river Avon in full spate roars past on its way to the Clyde.. climbing out the other side I am overtaken by a local walking his dog! In spite of our increased leg fitness I’m still not the fastest on a bike! 

As darkness falls we see before us the lights of  Glashow ahead. Yay!  We find shelter in Hamilton. A 30 mile day. Tomorrow we arrive…

Sunday 31st Oct: Reading of the Climate Action Pledges

Dear Lovely friends

On Sunday 31st October at midday, we would like to invite everyone who is in Glasgow to join us at the “tree of hope” to help us read the climate action pledges that have been sent to us and that we collected at the schools we have visited.

This tree was also Scotland’s tree of the year in 2015

If you are in Glasgow please join us. We will most likely be here until 3-4pm. The tree is located in Kelvin Way which is at the top of Kelvingrove Park.

Come for the whole time or just come for a short period of time. We have lots to read 😀

Day 20

Haggis for breakfast! Wow, we really are in Scotland! Vegetarian haggis of course… a sign of the new world!

Then we head out into a wild and woolly day.. heavy rain and driving wind mostly from the west which threatens to blow us sideways.. but fairly warm so once out it’s not so bad. We are soaked within a few minutes. After that more wet is nothing to worry about 

Along the road we meet contingents from walk2cop London to Glasgow like us similarly talking at schools and raising awareness but walking the roads instead of cycling. From this group is Pushpan, an activist from India doing wonderful compassionate action… he explains that he is carrying his gear in a heavy looking rucksack to be able to experience the painful burden of humanity…he takes one look at 13 yr old Elsie on her bike and says “you are our leader”. He sees her gentle strength that drives her and understands without being told how she is quietly standing up for the future of her generation … 

We head off our Cycle route to Moffat to find something to eat. Outside the cafe. A fit looking man rushes up to wish us well and thrusts money into Elsies panniers . A fellow traveller recognising our tired adventuring look And wanting to support us…
Onwards out of town we climb steeply away up the legendary Greenhillstairs.. a 3 miles road of agony  for the legs but completely beautiful .. wonderful autumn tones from bracken grass larch and birch pearing out of the Heavy cloud and dousing rain… and move from Dumfriesshire into Lanarkshire.

After 42 miles we arrive at Crawford where a kind vicar has offered to shelter three dripping drowned rats… closer and closer to Glasgow

Elsie makes time for school homework

An extraordinary day.. no punctures at all! The score is 20 days journeying .. and 20 punctures… but we really not quite there yet…. 540 miles down… 60 to go…

Day 18

For breakfast in the bush we scrounge around our saddle bags and find precious gifts of food that people had given us along the way mixed with bits of old sandwiches.. and Rima finds an orange.. gold dust!

We leave reluctantly.. it’d been a happy camp.. I’d even been able to read a book for the first time on the journey as the phones had no power so there were no media jobs to do!

Rima has another puncture on the trailer to fix, that is after she has washed dog poo off the tyre in the river .. and then we are on the way into Carlisle..

We find the perfect cafe.. people pay by donation as it is designed to help the homeless .. yes that feels like us! Also it is a book shop so Elsie and I excitedly buy books.. yes more weight to carry but there are priorities in life.. we determine to find at least some time to read!

One more puncture.. taken for granted now! And onwards to cross Hadrian’s Wall.. a symbolic line heralding the north… and a photo of Elsie biking the wall.. Horns on her helmet striking the sky…

And on to the important milestone.. Gretna green… the border into Scotland… yeah!!!! Around 500 miles achieved!!!!

Cars roar beside us at this ancient village.. depicting the modern world which needs to be changed to find the future…

It’s getting cold and windy by the time we have our next puncture and on Elsie’s first ever day in Scotland she experiences the kindness of strangers who help us to find shelter … We cycle on into the dark to the village inn at Kirtlebridge which takes in three scruffy muddy cyclists ..

Only 100 miles to go!!

Day 17

We start off with a competition to see who can eat the most breakfast… think Elsie wins as usual though we are all stuffed and barely able to move… For my part (granny Tess) I’m sure I’m actually putting on weight.. certainly I’ve never eaten so much ever before!!!! In normal life there’s certain things I’m careful about eating Like milk and bread and butter and sugar as my body feels better without, but now I’m eating everything that the Universe throws at me and my body thinks it’s great.. I guess when the body is being pushed it treats everything as fuel and it’s vital we keep that topped up…

The cycling is through Penrith and north across beautiful green farmland. The roads are so quiet and straight that we are able to cycle side by side.. this is so special , and wonderful to be able to chat without shouting and only hearing half of a conversation… we are happy and relaxed.. and bombarded again with rainbows which we now accept as normal. 

We picnic at a castle with roses and smiley cattle around and think it would be good to find a castle to spend the night in.
Durlston a couple of miles outside Carlisle  is where we find a pub , the bluebell to stop at and eat and warm up. But afterwards we find Rima’s bike has a problem with a part pressing on a wheel… the chef comes to the rescue!

Further along into the evening light along a quiet cycle trail we all suddenly think it would be a good idea to wild camp. There’s perfect bushes nearby with some taller trees to give shelter. So we find a flat spot and make a den., finishing just as dark falls.

We are all so happy to be sleeping with the Earth. There’s different owl noises and rustlings.. and a bright moon appears between the showers. Rima gets dripped on through a hole in the tarp and my feet end up in a puddle of water and we are all a bit damp and wishing we had filled up Drinking water bottles.. but it’s wonderful! And we stay in bed for 14 hours!!! And feel well rested. … hugged by the Earth.

Day 16

A tough day… we leave Kendal after scrubbing mud off bikes and then oiling and adjusting brakes and head for the hills! It’s all hills!!! Cmon legs…. for myself (granny Tess) I’d woken deeply tired and worrying about the crux of our journey , climbing Shap which cyclists we d met had said was the longest steepest hill out… my knees were painful and my legs complaining.. hill after hill came and went..

to compound it we had to travel on the a6 for a while with traffic wishing past at breakneck speed.. I concentrate on staying upright and avoiding potholes and try and stay well out in the road so cars don’t get too close to Elsie and Rima in front… my main job is to hold us all in a bubble of light and safety…Then down a steep hill I watch as Rimas trailer turns over at a corner… miraculously all is ok..

Thankfully off the main toad I relax along tiny farm roads though still all steep hills.. we have discussions about the route.. it would avoid Shap to take a 20 mile extra detour East on little roads.. decide reluctantly to go back onto the more direct Shap a6 route… more steep hills and tired legs through the rain til we turn up in Shap Village and wonderfully find a cafe… warm with heat and generous owners and yummie food and interesting other takers.. “oh yes. You ve done Shap!”  We d apparently somehow crossed the dreaded hill without knowing we had! Phew!

Leaving the cafe a vital cog fell off Rimas bike and with much searching we found it! A kind farmer took the right screws and bolts off his bike to fix it… and offered us a hay barn to sleep in.. but we carried on re-energised through the dark and ended up in an inn With luxury… it felt very strange…But we need to experience the full kalaedescope of this wonderful life!!