Picture of Ken and LInda with their tandem

Title banner: End to End by tandem. Ken and Linda Hardy

We can't remember where the idea originated, but we'd been thinking about riding the length of the British mainland for some time. For one reason or another we had never actually got around to doing it until, towards the end of 1999, Linda said that "if we don't do it this coming year, we probably never will".

So that's how it started!

In the following pages you will read of our epic journey. Looking back on it now it doesn't seem half as big an undertaking as it seemed at the start. When you are stood at Land's End looking at the road leading away to the north you wonder why on earth you are doing this. Are we really going to cycle all that way? Can we really do it? Will the bike be up to it? What if we have a breakdown? What if we get into trouble amongst the traffic?

We now know that it can be done. We know that, although the distance is great, it's not impossible. If each day is taken on its own it's not really such a big task. We aimed for around 60 miles per day, based on the fact that that's roughly what we are capable of doing as a day ride in the Peak District National Park which is situated almost at our doorstep. We figured that if we could do that in the hilly terrain of the Peak District, we could do at least that in the less hilly terrain we were likely to encounter much of the time on the End–to–End. This was to prove to be an accurate estimate with some days covering lower mileages where it was hilly, others being longer where there were few hills.

The achievement to be felt, having tackled and succeeded in something like this, is something which can only be appreciated once you've done it, or something similar, yourself. However, we hope these pages will help you to feel something of that sense of achievement and, perhaps, to have a go yourself. It really can be done!

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