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Rain pedallers back in borough

GALE-force winds, pounding rain and uphill climbs didn’t stop two borough men from completing their challenge.

GALE-force winds, pounding rain and uphill climbs didn’t stop two borough men from completing their challenge.

Friends Mark Stokes and Paul Robinson had set themselves the task of biking the “long way” from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

The 1,050-mile journey took three-weeks and they were welcomed back by the Mayor and Mayoress of Solihull.

To date, the former Solihull policemen have raised almost £2,000 for Marie Curie Hospice.

Paul, from Castle Bromwich, who retired from the force two-years-ago, said: “We’ve both lost close family members, friends and colleagues to cancer – and at the same time know people who have fought the battle and survived.”

Both men had cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats in the past, but decided to attempt the journey in reverse.

Starting from north-east Scotland, the friends cycled via the Outer Hebrides, Ireland, Wales and south-west England.

They regularly found themselves off the beaten track - travelling along disused railway lines, tow-paths and bridleways.

And they were hampered for long stretches by the always reliable British weather.

Mark, from Shirley, who still works for Force CID, said: “Within an hour of landing at Larne in Northern Ireland, it rained for the next three days. Plus, we had to contend with a gale force head-wind.”

And now the friends are looking at a bike ride across the length of Europe - starting in Istanbul and finishing in Solihull.

Find out more about Paul and Mark’s trip at www.jogle-thelongway.blogspot.com.

 

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Cathrina Hulse
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Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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