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Frank Murphy Challenge
Here is a Rough Idea of my Schedule
Day:1 Lands End to Oakhampton 100 miles
Day:2 Oakhampton To Bristol 100Miles
Day:3 Bristol To Shrewsbury 100Miles
I will keep you posted on My Progress during the trip
This comes from Frank Murphy and we wish him a successful and safe journey. It is a tough challenge but then Frank is not a quitter. Hopefully He will keep us informed of his progress and we will bring it to you.
The first call in from Frank tells us that the going is very tough - ‘Pouring rain and ****ing Mountains’ round every corner! He got 80 miles covered the first day which was good considering the conditions. He was glad to get into the BB that first night even though he could not ‘swing a cat’ in the room. The tough going has not dulled his sense of humour anyhow.
Hi Peadar
Day:1:Lands End>Liskeard:80Miles
I arrived in Lands End on Monday morning 18th around 9am. There was a 25 mph wind blowing in off the Atlantic Ocean. After all the photos I got away from Lands End at 10am. I set off on my bike on the A30 in the direction of Penzance, Redruth, Truro, St Austell. Then it started p*****g down with rain and the wind changed and now I was into a big head wind. Anyway I headed for Lostwithiel. Here comes the mountains and what mountains they are. Struggling on in the rain and wind and over these mountains I managed to make Liskeard that evening around 1600hr looking like a lost Duck. I found a B&B, got some to eat and straight to bed for 9pm. - day one completed with 80miles covered.

Day:2:Liskeard>Exeter:50 Miles
I headed off around 9am from Liskeard in the direction of "Dartmoor National Park" going through Gunnislake and Tavistock, crossed the Tavy river out of Cornwall now into Devon, slow going over these mountains entering the Dartmoor park around midday. The Dartmoor makes the Wicklow mountains look like babys - nothing prepaired me for Dartmoor. There is not a ditch to be seen, the mountains, wild horses, sheep running everwhere, wind and rain and tourists stopping to take photos - struggling on to a place called "Two-Bridges" and then onto a place called Moretonhampsted. There I picked up a sign for Exeter eventually arriving into Exeter at 1600hr and found a B&B for the night. That evening I meet up with a father &Son who were doing the same cycle and the father said - in "forty years" of cycling that route through the Dartmoor was the toughets ever.

Day:3 Exeter>Gloucester 120 Miles
Departed from Exeter 6am cycling in the direction of Bristol going through Wellington, Taunton, Bridgewater, Weston Super Mare. It rained all the way to Bristol. After Bristol here comes the sun plus the hills are over and a nice flat run on the A38 into Gloucester where I meet up with a very good friend Eamond McGurk, who really looked after me for the night. Hope to depart from Gloucester around 10am this morning and head for Ross on Wye and then in the direction of Shrewsbury
Further update to follow
Regards frank
Day:4: Gloucester - Warrington:120 Miles.
Departed from Gloucester at 10am,headed for Ross-On-Wye on A40  'then A49 to Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, along the Welsh Border, Craven Arms, then onto Shrewsbury, the biggest problem I have is the large volume of traffic on this A49, really starting to struggle, my plan is to try and make it to Warrington this evening, anyway I have to keep alert on this road – head on slowly towards Nantwich, Northwich, and eventually arriving  Warrington at 2100hr, I have found a B&B for the night, long day really starting to suffer now with Saddle Sores, Legs are Burning, plus the weather Elements, head winds, rain, and now the Sun has arrived and is starting to burn me as well.

Day:5: Warrington - Penrith:119 Miles
Back on the road at 6am this morning, the traffic around Warrington and Wigan, it is pouring down with rain, have to keep my wits about me here, very easy to get struck with a vehicle, plus I do not want to make a wrong turn and add extra miles to my Journey,
I manage to get out on the A6 direction Preston, Lancaster, taking direction Carnforth, coming through this village I strike a water grate and ended up on my back on the deck in a Bus-Stop, got my self sorted and dusted down,still "chucking it down" with rain, I head for Kendal on the old A6, the elements have changed and here comes a blink of Sun as I head for the "Hill Of Shap" 1140 Feet above Sea Level trough the Cumbrian Mountains, I just peddle here like a "Baby on a Tricycle" as I struggle on up the "Hill of Shap" the wind has really picked up here and the sky just turns Black, I make it up to the top with out stopping - then it is down hill which is "scary" at 40 MPH' straight down into Penrith  – "wrecked" – B&B', Shower and Bed for 2100hr, " no need for the "Dummy" tonight.

Day;6:Penrith - Dumfries:50 Miles:
I roll out of Penrith at 10am, easy Day today,  Accommodation has been arranged in the Travelodge in Dumfries, where I am meeting my wife Bernadette, sisters Maura, Amanda & Maria McCluskey.
I make it out of Penrith going direction Carlisle on the A6,straight into a 20MPH wind Blowing South from Scotland, I just put my head down and peddle on - every Meter and every Mile Slowly pass by, it is now" Mind over Matter" this is really testing my leg Power, plus to try and keep my mind focused on the job at hand, I make a quick stop in Carlisle, then struggle on to Longtown, Gretna,  "Scotland" at last – feels like I am getting close to home's, see a sign for the "Stranraer Ferry", tempting, – cycle on through 'Eastriggs, Annan and arrive in Dumfries at last, it has been hard going to make it here, my two legs are now burning with the sun, really sore, I meet up with the ladies and we go for something to eat and a few Beers, bed for 2230, end of day 6.
Tomorrow Sunday heading for Glasgow.

Good Morning Peader, please find further Up-date

Day:7:    Drumfries>Dumparton 90:Miles
I got out Bed at 5am on Sunday Morning, the reason being was to get over the Erskine Bridge which crosses the Clyde River north East of Glasgow, this would mean I would not have to deal with Monday Morning Traffic in Glasgow.
I was on the road at 7am out of Drumfries, heading in the direction of Lockerbie on route A709, after about 4 miles I was greeted with a 2 mile climb over Carthat Hill, then into the Village of Lochmaben, I was checking my Map for Directions because I knew I had to make a left turn in this village to go in the direction of Beattock, to the rescue a man from Scotstown in the name of "wait for it" Malachy McCrudden (dickey) not another one, I must have spent 30 minutes explaining who I was what I was doing, Mal knew all my Cousins around Emyvale, Tydavnet, told me about when he was back home  he would go to "Henry's Bar"Scotstownn he was in Scotland 53 retired, he told me he was now 76 years of Age, we shook hands.
I set off on route B7020 direction Beattock, after about 12 miles came out on route A701 at Beattock, then took direction Abington, this was a 20 Mile  Drag all the way to Abington, the sun was high in the sky at this time
starting to get really baked plus the wind is unbelievable, from Abington I took route B7078 Lesmahagow, Kirkmuirhill, then onto route B7086 direction  Strathaven, East Kilbride, Paisley, Erskine Bridge and Dumbarton,where I meet my Support Team of Bernadette, Maura, Amanda and Marie,  These 90 Miles I would have to say that 70 of these miles, was in my opinion up hill climb, it was very Rough Day, tested in every way.

Day:8:     Dumbarton>Fort-William:95 Miles:
Got out of Bed at 7am -- not fit to move . my legs is completed burned "Red-Raw" even with Factor 20 Sun Cream.
I manage to eat some Breakfast got prepared and was on the road for 9:30am,  was feeling very bad from the day before very Stiff and very Sore, anyway set sail on the A82 for Loch-Lomond, Tarbet, Crianlarich, feeling very weak and Sick, arrived into Crianlarich at 1430, need to try and get some food inside of me -- very weak on the last 2 mile drag into Crianlarich, very  Dangerous on the road, so much Holiday Traffic on the A82, heading north, got
some food, still very sore and weak, another 50Miles to Fort-William, very slow going. my mind started to" play tricks" on me telling me to Stop, Stop,had enough, I Struggled on up and down hill round cornor, I kept telling myself keep turning these peddles, every Inch every Mile, I crawled into Fort-William around 1900hr got a B&B, another very tough day,

Day:9:  Fort-William>Dingwall:75 Miles
Had a good night sleep, Good Breakfast, not feeling Bad this Morning, Legs starting to Heal from the sun, put on Plenty of After Sun, plus a very "Cold-Bath" the night before. I got on the road for 1030am, Direction Spean
Bridge, Fort-Augustus, Drumnadrochit, Cycling on the west side Shore of "Loch-Ness, again strong head wind blowing from the north east, take direction Beauly, Dingwall, Scotland is Beautifully, really out of the Mad World up here, I take my time and just take a look around me, stopping along the route and meeting all sorts of Fantastic people, Doctors, Teachers, Shop Keepers, Students all types of the Human-race out Cycling, walking, running, hill-climing, going about their Business, exchange Stories along the way, Telling you to keep going, how well you are doing -- this all helps keep you positive.
I arrive into Dingwall at 1800hr where I meet my support crew, Maura has once again found a great B&B this woman never stops. Amanda had to fly back home this Morning from Inverness to East Midland for
a Conference in Loughbourough College on international Politics, then it was onto Brussels for Friday for this woman,

Today Wednesday I hope to strike out for Wick
A B & B for Frank. The bicycle was not allowed inn!!
Mountains Frank, Dartmoor? This just looks like Bragan, potholes and all. Where the H*** are you, Frank?

I met these Cyclist on Tuesday Morning at Spean-Bridge, heading South to
Lands End, They are all from Uttoxeter Midlands, Super-Guys - doing it for the hell
of it.

One of the many road signs along the way,

Hi peader.      Last Chapter
Day:10: Dingwall>John O'Groats:117 Miles

After a good night sleep in Dingwall I got on the road around 1030am, I set of in the direction of Wick which is 91 mile's from Dingwall, as I headed up the A9 in the direction of Wick I was starting feeling good my average speed
with a tail wind was around 20mph, I decided that I would strike for J'O'G and get the job finished, the day was
quite uneventful and oi just keep my head down and kept the pressure on. I arrived into J,O'G at 1930hr on wednesday evening, job completed -- glad it was all over

I have some people to thank for helping me to achieve this cycle challenge --- My wife,Bernadette; Damian; Anita and Sinead Murphy; Maura McGuirk; Amanda Soraghan; Maria McCluskey for supporting during the trip, Emyvale C.C; George Mc Carron from George Cycle Sport; Gerard Sherry; The Lads in Carna Transport, Robert, Paddy, Jim, Conor Holland, Raymond, Paul and Conor Conway, for all there Message of support during the trip; My brothers and sisters, Anna, Treasa, Gerard, Martin and Aiden. I would like to thank everybody who rang and sent me Messages of Support during the cycle -- very much appreciated -- these messages keep me going through a Bad Time during the trip, Peader for getting my message out to everybody through the Emyvale Web Site. For myself this trip has been Physical and sometimes Mentally very trying, but I managed to get through it unharmed, and a stronger person.

I would like top dedicate this cycle trip to a Man that said he was going to meet me in J.O,G, and no doubt he would have, only for his untimely passing away on February 18th 2011
That man is Peter McGuirk Newbliss
From all here --- Well done Frank and congratulations. Thank you for keeping in touch and we felt the tough miles from your descriptions and we rejoice now that you have completed this extreme challenge. You are a ‘good one’.

‘When the cowboy rides into town he ties up his horse at the door and enters the saloon’ - Frank just props the bike at the door and in he goes. Hope you enjoyed what must be a wonderful feeling of having completed the task.
On left we have members of the ‘support group’ - Maura McGurk, Bernadette (wife) and Maria McCluckey

On the right are two ladies who had walked from lands end to john o groats,just finished thursday morning after three months. The others are self explanatory.

This is the Malachy McCrudden who Frank met and refers to in his report.

The Story - from the beginning.
I am setting off on July 18th 2011 from Lands End (Cornwall) to John O'Groats (Scotland). This cycle Route is roughly 1000 mile over some of the toughest terrain in the UK. My aim is to cover 100 miles per day, which will take at least 10 days to complete.

I have been considering taking on this challenge for quite some time now, but never seemed to have the time. In January 2011 my new year’s resolution was to take the challenge on and have been training ever since. After weeks and months of training I am now close to 400 miles per week and feeling strong enough to complete this challenge in the time I have set myself.