Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Friday, 8 January 2010

5.00am Friday morning. January 8th 2010 Escape! {possibly}

Well I'm up early and am answering emails. BBC Wildlife have been in touch and Leica have donated a jacket. Wonderful people have sent messages and I'd like to take this opportunity to give a massive thank you to those people who have sponsored me. It appears that the link to the charities Just Giving sites are nt working and I'll fix that asap. Thank you so much everyone.

Going to try to get to Slough via the canal network towards Rickmansworth. Won't be able to cycle but I can push 'Sid' - the bike. The roads yesterday had frozen ice and snow along the edges and the slushy tarmac was the domain of the traffic. I would be suicidal to cycle.

A fabulous couple Maddy and Richie rescued me yesterday and put me up for the night. I'm using their computer  at the moment and hope I haven't woken them up. Maddy is a teaching assistant at a local Primary school, taking care of a particularly difficult child. She went to a Rudolph Steiner school in Wales. Richie unfortunately a Liverpool fan [!] is a fascinating man. Such diverse interests, modern art and music, travel and life; great to meet them both and obviously very grateful for the bed and food.

By the way, if you see my  route and can offer accommodation, or any help, then please email me at  or text me on 07988754090.

Right now to try and get a couple of hours sleep before setting off for the big push!

Love to you all,


PS sorry no birds mentioned  - haven't seen many recently. Cormorant following the frozen canal the best yesterday.


  1. Even the coldest winter in 30 years can't keep a good twitcher down Gary! Looking forward to catching up at WWT Barnes. We are following your progress closely and will do our best to rally further support. I have your 50p winnings in my pocket. I'm not sure which is more difficult, cycling around the country for a year or an Australian paying up for an Ashes defeat!
    Hang on in there Gary, your toughest obstacle will melt away soon enough, and there are months of warm, wonderful warbling ahead. This is an amazing feat, for some great charities and we congratulate you for your commitment and resilience.

    Stephen & Jen

  2. I just received your comment on my blog today. Thank you! i have never tried Twitter, and although registered on Facebook, tend not to update very often. However, I will add you to my blog contacts, and will be following your tour with great interest. I'm watching the news right now, and see that you are facing very challenging weather. Be safe first, enjoy the adventure, and hang in there. I greatly admire your courage and concern for the environment and the wildlife in it.