Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Tuesday 29th December Radio and Cricket

Which has been the most exciting aspect of today - the 6 wickets haul by England against South Africa or the privlige of being on Ed Doolan's radio show on BBC radio WM? Both in different ways. Screams and leaps greeted each wicket, as Swann and Broad got 3 apiece. Ed Doolan was gentle, humble and soncere and this was the best radio interview so far.

Phone Midlands Today in the afternoon and at this moment await a reply over whether they'll be there for the start of my journey. had lost the email from Louise Pedersen so used the web to find the phone number. Liz Goddard answered and gave an email for me to send the press release.

It's been a lovely last few days with friends getting in touch and pressies given and received. The website seems to be practically there. Not quite the right size on some computers, at least all the links work properly now.

Thanks go to CLEY SPY. they've donated a tripod carrier to me. I'm very grateful and know that it will get a lot of use. The carrier will be either returned or sold at the end of next year. If sold then the money will be donated to the charities that I am supporting.

No snow; well not yet anyway. Here in Bromsgrove it's raining and cool [3 degrees C] but snow has been promised. Just don't want it to be here on Friday.

Friday Sandwell Valley RSPB reserve. The official start at 11.00am but i'll be setting off on the bike from my Sister Donna's house in Romsley near to Halesowen. Mum's worried but she needn't be. Everythings ready and I know I'll be fine.

Last day with my 2 children, Rebecca and Joshua, tomorrow. Love them both.

So now recent birding to report upon. Mind you a raven over Tesco''s car park this morning was good for Redditch.

Thank you to everyone who's emailed support. Special thanks go to those people who have offered this complete stranger a bed for the night. i am so grateful and it's people like you that will ensure the success of Biking Birder 2010. Thanks.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Friday 27th November 2009 Who'd catch a train?

Right, try to be ECO. Take the class of 9 special needs children on a train to Birmingham. Sounds a good idea. The children get the thrill of the train ride, we save the planet, everyone's happy.

First train cancelled, second train full and the request for space to appear in the aisles ignored. Left on the platform, one child crying from the cold and placating chocolate bars brought for the disappointed nine and two TAs.

Next train, fullish but we got on and ended up only 20 minutes late for our wonderful [thanks Birmingham Museum and Art gallery] hands on artifact experience.

So I ask the question - who'd catch a train. Was our experience a one off? I doubt it.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thursday 26th November 2009 Flat!

Just a quick one - had my first flat tyre of the year on the bike. Hope that means I won't have one next year.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Wednesday 25th November 2009 Who'd have a website?

Hello there. Golf club at school with noisy children just finished and now for the bike ride home.

Last night 3 sleepless hours sorting out the errant website and then 'pumpff' gone in a flash of a memory stick. Don't know why but all the work on redoing my website for next year's bike ride was lost; well changed on the memory stick from 71 megs to 22 kilobytes.

Ah well. read a book instead to get me relaxed. The autobiography of my late wonderful friend Gordon Barnes. Gordon died 3 years ago but before he left us he wrote the story of his life with his wife Perry as a crofter on Fair Isle near the Shetlands. I believe copies are available from the Fair isle Observatory. Reading about the cats again definitely put me a good mood before drifting off to sleep for a couple of hours.

Taught the children in my class a 7 phrase song to help them remember why I'm leaving next year.

Biking Birder 2010 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Wildfowl & Wetland Trust

Asthma UK Cycle round Britain Visit lots of schools


It's all in there; the charities, the places and the distance. 2010 the year of the Big Green Bike Ride.

best wishes to all,

Gary Prescott

Monday, 23 November 2009

Monday 23rd November Back to another school day and Biking Birder 2010 news

A day at school, and fun with a rehearsal of a 1980's musical laced nativity with the children.

Email from Gemma at the RSPB talking about an article in Guardian and a film to be made about the project at school next week. All exciting stuff.

Greenbirding - Bigbying's website have been in touch over next years bike ride and information has been sent to them. I know that they will be covering everything over this side of the pond and I look forward to hearing from the many BIGBY people around the World. My best wishes go out to all of them. Keep it up.

Problems over the website are coming to a close, so it seems. Now its the font and photo size and the page size that need sorted. Still it'll be done asap and then watch things take off, which considering next year's project is a bit of a pun.

Time to go, back to the little caravan I call home. Watching David Attenborough's State of the Planet DVD tonight.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Saturday 21st November 2009

Saturday and I'm at school. Only 40 days to go before I set off on my round the RSPB/WWT trip and I've got to empty the classroom of all my papers, magazines and such like. All to be reused by the children or recycled of course.
Strange to be in school bymyself; listening to my favourite rock music and drinking nettle tea.

Biking Birder 2010 is coming along but another sleepness night thinking about it all.

Sandwell Valley January 1st. I wonder if everyone about to embark on a life-changing mssion feels this way; a mixture of excitement and terror!

Is everything organised - is it thump! Wouldn't be me if it was. Still a problem with my website, hopefully sorted tomorrow and the car batteries so flat it wouldn't start this morning. I'd wanted to get all the school recycling maters, cardboard, plastic etc into it for a visit to the local Tescos recycling centre.

Right back to the music and the papers.

All the best everyone,


Friday, 20 November 2009

20th November 2009 41 days to go

Hello there.

This blog has just opened today and I hope that you will find it and return to see how i'm doing as my project for next year takes shape. Over the next few days I'll tell you a bit about myself but first let me tell you what I'm going to be doing next year.

In 2010, starting on January the First, I am going to cycle to every RSPB and WWT nature reserve; that's over 190 of them from Kent to Cornwall, Shetland to Ireland.

I am going to do this because I am very aware of what the predictions are for climate change and I wish to do my bit to help stop it from happening. The scenarios for our future in the UK is dire, let alone what other parts of the world are going to suffer if we don't all do something about it.

Watch Age of Stupid - the wonderful film now out on DVD and available at all good internet outlets [Amazon for instance] to see what I mean.

OK so I am a birder too. I want to break Chris Mills' record for how many bird species seen in the UK by cycling only.

More details tomorrow.....

Meanwhile if you have any thoughts, advice, etc then please email me at

All the best people...

Gary Prescott The Biking Birder 2010