JoGLE on Brompton Folding Bikes
Two Royal Naval Reservist Air Engineering Officers have completed a personal cycling challenge by completing the grueling John O’Groats to Lands’ End (JoGLE) route, that took in the most northerly and southernly points of the UK. And not to be daunted by the main challenge, they also decided to complete the JoGLE on Brompton Folding Bikes.
RNR Commanders Andy Dustan (still serving) and Gary Duffield (recently retired) finished their 1082 mile ride on their Brompton’s, visiting Dunnet Head and The Lizard, after 17 days on the road.
Completing The team, and crucial to their efforts fellow ex-Reservist John Campbell MBE from The Lizard drove the support vehicle and acted as tour manager, providing support, food and afternoon tea for morale.
The duo left a foggy John o’ Groats on 28 May and enjoyed sunny weather and south-westerly winds for much of their time north of the border. The prevailing headwinds made it hard work and is the reason why most end-to-enders complete the long distance journey from south to north.
The daily distance covered ranged between 43 to 81 miles although the 81 mile day had been originally planned as 67 miles; a spur-of-the-moment detour across the old Severn Bridge to visit Wales and subsequent cycle-route closures plus lengthy diversions resulted in the longest day of the challenge.
When the team reached the south-west family and friends took the opportunity to meet them along the route, even accompanying them on some of the flat parts. At Chedzoy in Somerset they were piped away from lunch by a friend who just happened to have his bagpipes in the boot of his car! The locals were amused and even came out to take photographs.
Andy (63) is serving in the RNR Air Branch after 40 years in the Royal Navy, and Gary (66) retired from the RNR a few years ago having completed 45 years across regular and reserve service. Both joined the senior service as ratings before being commissioned as Air Engineer Officers.
Their careers have taken them through the Wessex and Sea Kings as well as time on Sea Harrier Squadrons. John ‘Tour Manager’ Campbell also served in the regulars and reserves for 45 years in the Aircraft Handlers branch. All three served at Royal naval Air Station Culdrose during their time as well as on all the Aircraft Carriers, Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and many shore establishments connected with the Fleet Air Arm.
“We’ve been asked why complete the route on Bromptons,” said Andy. “Well, we are both Brompton owners and back in Somerset we often cycle around 60 miles on the Levels. When I was working in Bath and London with the MOD, it was the only way to get around, and far quicker than a car in traffic.
“The End-to-End trip has been a long-held ambition which we originally planned for 2020 but Lockdown put paid to that and so they we cycled the distance virtually on our exercise bikes. It made us even more determined to do the ride for real when COVID restrictions allowed.”
The team raised money for charity and at the time of writing had raised over £6000 for Cancer Research.