I’m Chris Bailward, a 73 year old retired farmer and have lived in South east Somerset for 39 years. About nine years ago I started cycling again, after 20 years of inactivity. Since then I’ve travelled over 35,000 miles on a bike including cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in June 2014. That journey took me over 1100 miles in about 15 days and gave me a thirst for a new challenge.
In June 2015 I cycled around France, leaving home on my bike to catch a ferry from Portsmouth to Caen and thence to the Alps where I crossed the Col du Galibier and Mont Ventoux before making my way down to the Mediterranean and then back, by way of the Canal du Midi and other cycle routes to Bordeaux, before the final push through Normandy and the return ferry from Caen to Portsmouth and back home 25 days and 1894 miles later.
In 2016 I cycled through the 48 Ceremonial County Towns of England raising over £3000 for Sport Relief. starting in Carlisle and covering 2042 miles in 30 days with 83000 feet climbed, crossing the Pennines four times, including the fearsome Winnats Gap in Derbyshire and across Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor towards the end of the journey at Truro.
In 2017 I flew out to Sicily ,where my daughter lives, with my bike and took 26 days to cycle back home, crossing the Great St Bernard pass on a bitterly cold and windy day, accompanied by my son Rob who joined me for the four days it took to cycle from Milan to Geneva. The whole journey covered 1730 miles and 68000 feet of climbing
2018 saw me cycling around the coast of Ireland, taking 33 days to cover about 1700 miles and over 90,000 feet of climbing. Storm Ali put paid to cycling the whole way with 80 mile an hour winds keeping me off the bike for two and a half days and enforcing a bus and train journey between Clifden and Limerick but I visited the four extreme points of Ireland on the way, giving me the idea of covering the cardinal points of Britain which I completed in September 2019.
2020 took me around the perimeter of Wales during the Covid pandemic successfully avoiding areas of lockdown.
Because of the possibility of problems connected with Covid I elected to repeat the end to end in 2021 but this time reversed direction starting at John O’Groats and finishing 15 days later at Lands End