A SCHEME to develop a stretch of towpath along the River Lee in Tottenham has been completed.
Since late March, the Canal and River Trust has been rebuilding the towpath between Tottenham Lock, off Ferry Lane, and Stonebridge Lock upstream, to make it better for cyclists, pedestrians and anglers.
Now the Â£305,000 project, which has been funded by Transport for London, is complete and an official unveiling of the revamped footpath will take place tomorrow afternoon.
The cash came from TfLâ€™s Cycling on Greenways Programme, and was backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson as a way of improving biking in the capital.
Business leaders welcomed the improvements to the three-quarters-of-a-mile stretch of towpath.
Brian Fender, chairman of the Canal and River Trustâ€™s London Waterway Partnership, said: â€œItâ€™s a fantastic place for local people to come and relax and it deserves to be treasured.
â€œThe towpath improvements weâ€™ve carried out will make it more accessible and we hope to see more people than ever enjoying their time spent by the water, whether they be feeding the ducks, travelling to work or messing about on boats.â€�
David Rowe, head of borough projects and programmes at TfL said: â€œWe are pleased to see the completion of the works to make the Tottenham towpath a safer and more accessible route for cyclists and walkers of all ages and abilities.
â€œWe are happy to continue supporting the Canal and River Trust in helping to meet the Mayorâ€™s objectives to encourage more use of Londonâ€™s canals and to help breathe fresh life into our public spaces.â€�
And Michael Polledri, chairman of Lee Valley Estates, said: â€œThe resurfacing and realigning works carried out to the towpaths in Tottenham are yet another example of the excellent community initiatives that the Canal and River Trust is embarking upon.â€�
In a recent British television advertisement for the mouthwash Corsodyl, an attractive model is filmed in modish, sepia tones getting ready for a night out. Suddenly she starts bleeding from her eye and the voiceover says: “We wouldn’t ignore blood from any other part of our body so why do we ignore it from our gums?”
The model then spits a mouthful of bloody toothpaste into the sink and the narrator explains that spitting blood is an early sign of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. The spot finishes with the model looking in the mirror and revealing that a tooth is missing. In other parts of the campaign, the product even uses the tagline “Corsodyl: for people who spit blood when they brush their teeth”.
Chris Hirst, chief executive of Grey London, the agency behind Corsodyl’s campaign, says the idea was to be honest about the product without being sensationalist. “The ad deals with an unpleasant subject – and the image jolts you,” he explains. “But I think it’s OK. The blood is relevant to what the product does, it’s not breaking a social taboo, and it’s not shock for shock’s sake. So you don’t feel short-changed or tricked.”
The campaign’s in-your-face bluntness is in sharp contrast to what consumers have come to expect in marketing campaigns for products that deal with sensitive issues. From feminine sanitary products to toilet paper, the traditional response from companies has been to largely ignore the product and concentrate on showing people having lots of fun while using it. The item itself is only ever shown in a clinical, laboratory-type environment. But recently, some advertisers have started pushing the “yuck” envelope both by using humour and by being frank.
In 1999, Zovirax, the cold-sore cream, launched a long-running campaign featuring a woman wearing a motorcycle helmet to go swimming, to visit the gym and so on. The campaign was humorous and in some of the ads a cold sore was even shown – although it did appear to be a rather toned-down, television-friendly sore.
More recently, in 2010, Kotex, the female hygiene products company, took aim at traditional tampon advertising with an ad that had a woman sarcastically discussing her menstrual cycle: “How do I feel about my period? I love it . . . ” The slot concludes by asking: “Why are tampon ads so ridiculous?”
Last year Bodyform, another female hygiene products maker whose ads famously show women skydiving, mountain biking and horse riding during their menstrual cycle, sent itself up in a well-received viral ad. In response to a Facebook post by a male consumer who claimed the cheery, active commercials had deceived him, the company released a spot featuring a fictitious chief executive who admits that it has not been completely honest because “some people simply can’t handle the truth”. It has been viewed more than 3.8m times on YouTube.
Tanya Hamilton-Smith, business director of JWT, the advertising agency whose clients include Kimberly-Clark, the US-based personal care corporation, says dealing with somewhat unsavoury products is nothing new. “We have a lot of products like these and are continually faced with ‘icky’ subjects,” she says.
But Patrick Barwise, emeritus professor of management and marketing at London Business School, says the advertising of such products is always a challenge. “One general principle is that all publicity is good publicity. But another is that you avoid negative emotions,” he says. “If you look at charities, they struggle with this all the time. If you make people feel bad, you get their attention, but they may not contribute – so successful campaigns tend to be emotionally positive.”
The tabular content relating to this article is not available to view. Apologies in advance for the inconvenience caused. He adds that even pretesting adverts may not give you a definitive answer. “If you test commercials, you have to ask questions and in doing so, you get people’s interpretations of their reactions. The US tends to be more pro-testing than the UK, where the view is that if no one hates your campaign it’s very unlikely to be a great campaign.”
One of Kimberly-Clark’s brands is the UK toilet paper Andrex whose ads have featured labrador puppies at play since 1972. Recently, it decided to try a different tack in order to speak to a younger audienceand push itself to the top of consumers’ minds. So it launched a campaign called “Scrunch or Fold?” asking consumers if they scrunched or folded their toilet paper after use and inviting them to register their answer in an online poll. “People are becoming more accepting of talking about these products, and even willing to have a bit of fun, although the rise of social media also means they’re far more outspoken,” says Ms Hamilton-Smith.
The Andrex campaign sparked a great deal of debate – but much of it was negative. Helen Edwards, a columnist for Marketing Magazine, described it as “one of the saddest and most insane acts of brand self-harm ever conceived”.
Even the edgy, controversy-friendly media group Vice weighed in, declaring it “the worst advertising campaign ever”.
Jordi Connor, head of planning at Dialogue, a marketing agency, was also critical. “I found it bizarre on a number of levels,” he says. “Andrex has a great brand with great awareness. Then they do something totally out of character. Why do we need to have this discussion?”
So why do brands choose such a blunt approach, especially when they have a successful strategy?
Ms Hamilton-Smith says despite the “negative reaction, there has also been a big positive reaction”. She points out that once many people discovered the online polls, they decided it was fun. “We’ve had a huge level of response and even those who were negative couldn’t help but engage in the debate.”
Kimberly-Clark says the campaign has provided a boost in customer awareness and that early indicators suggest an uplift in sales, including promotions, of 22 per cent.
“Overall we’ve been very pleased with it,” says Carrie Stanley, commercial programme manager for Andrex. Although she admits that “about 10 per cent of the population who skewed towards middle-aged to older men didn’t like the subject matter of the campaign and were very vocal about it”.
Despite this apparent return on investment, Ms Hamilton-Smith adds a note of caution: “There’s a very fine balance with these campaigns – and Scrunch or Fold probably pushed it as far as UK customers are willing to go.”
OLYMPIC Champion Chris Boardman MBE is calling on thousands of Liverpool commuters to get on their bikes.
The cycling legend is meeting with business leaders this week to secure their support in getting the city’s workers on-board with the Liverpool City Cycle Hire Scheme. It aims to offer city workers a cheaper, healthier and more environmentally friendly way of getting to work.
The meeting, at Liverpool Innovation Park, L7, on Wednesday 22 May, will also see discussions over setting up a cycle hire station at the site. It is part of Chris’ role as Champion for the scheme, which launches later this year and is set to be the biggest of its kind in the UK, outside London.
Chris said: “There has been a 20 per cent year on year increase in the number of journeys made by bicycle in Liverpool over the last 3 years, so we know the time is right for a cycle hire scheme for the city. But it’s vital we get businesses on-board because they will be key to the success of the scheme.
“It’s about changing commuters’ mindsets, getting them to think about swapping the car for the bike and showing them that cycling is a cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly way of getting around.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with employers to share my excitement about the scheme and get them involved. I’m confident that they will welcome the plans and the benefits they could bring to businesses in the city.”
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “Chris has been doing some fantastic work as Champion for our cycle hire scheme, and has already connected with our universities, tourism managers and schools.
“It’s great news that he is now working with the business community. If we want to make the scheme a success and build sustainable transport into everyday city life, we need the city’s commuters on-board, and Chris will play an important part in helping us achieve that.”
Lisa Byrne, Managing Director at local firm, Wavertree Electrical Supplies, who are backing the scheme, said: “Business Leaders welcome Liverpool’s Cycle Hire Scheme, as a workforce that regularly cycles to work will be fitter and healthier, both physically and mentally. Research shows cyclists take 15% fewer days off work through illness, increasing productivity and lowering business costs, alongside the positive environmental impact of lowering car use.”
Recently the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, launched his cycling vision for London. His plan is to double bike use over the next ten years. “Mini-Hollands” in the suburbs are promised alongside thousands of additional bike parking spaces. Designated routes criss-crossing the capital are also in the mix. The most eye-catching proposal is to convert a lane of the A40 Westway, a 1960s flyover running between North Kensington and Paddington, into part of a “Crossrail for the bicycle.” This will link west London to Barking via Canary Wharf. Fifty years ago London was building urban motorways. Now its elected leader is converting them into tree-lined cycle paths. This represents a remarkable change in policy. It is about the Mayor’s vision for London as a city as well as lanes and stands for two-wheelers.
Critics will argue that cycling is a minority interest; that Boris is lavishing scarce resources on his pet projects. The real challenge, they will say is in delivering major increases in capacity on the tube, railway and some roads. In Great Britain as whole, cycling accounts for just one percent of so called vehicle miles. Even in London, which in comparative terms is a cycling hotspot, fewer than three people in a hundred use a bike to commute into central London. Yet the mayor is planning to spend around a billion pounds on his strategy. That would buy him the Nine Elms Northern line tube extension, a set of new trains for an underground line or nearly four thousand new Routemasters. It is about four times Transport for Greater Manchester’s total annual budget. Huge sums are already being spent on London’s rail system and investment in other modes is at historical highs. This strategy has to be about more than cycling. It is a catalyst for improving the city.
The Mayor is not alone. Boosting bike use is a priority for leaders of major cities across the globe. New York goes live with its bike hire scheme this month and has recently laid out two hundred miles of lanes. Chicago, a city dominated by motor traffic, has a plan for over six hundred miles of bike routes by 2020. Paris, which led the way with its own hire scheme in 2007, is increasing lanes by over two thirds, to service 65 “biking neighbourhoods”.
Why are city leaders racing to invest in the humble two-wheeler? Along with other mayors, Boris is sending out a popular message about the sort of city he wants to see. London politicians of all persuasions compete with each other to promote pro-pushbike policies. By taming motor traffic, investment can make streets more attractive for shoppers and residents and transform urban space. Despite the headlines, bicycles make better bedfellows for pedestrians than cars. High profile cycleways can be built in one electoral term. They are less likely to irk residents than new roads or bus routes. They may even help to ease the squeeze on the morning tube commute.
In London, driven by population growth, bike use has been on the up for two decades – well before the time of Mayors Ken and Boris. Weary of increasing fares and congestion, younger Londoners in particular, have voted with their wheels. High profile accidents have spurred campaigners into demanding improvements. They can now claim some success.
With London’s population forecast to reach around ten million by 2030, the race is on to boost the capital’s transport infrastructure. The mayor will need to pedal fast to keep up.
‘Ah yeah, this cycling thing is a doddle Just look, as far as the eye can see all we have is this nice flat terrain, silky smooth. Sure we will cruise along these 160-odd or whatever it is kilometres today, cruise I tells ya. Oh. Wait there just a moment Tonto. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. This is bad. This is very bad. What in the name of Bod is that?’
That, my biking buddy, is Sestriere. And that is where, on stage 14, the pain is going to kick in. Yup, after two stages almost as flat as the atmosphere at the Emirates, the organisers of the Giro have put their heads together and decided that what this boys need is some nice clean mountain air and mountain air is what they are going to get, by the bloody bucket load.
Today’s stage starts in Cervere – the land of truffles, hazelnuts, leeks and red turnips – and will warm up with a sprint at Pinerolo – where Eustache Dauger was imprisoned don’t you know? – but energy should really be conserved for what comes after that. Because what comes after that is the small matter of the race to the top of Sestriere located 2035 meters above the level of the sea and while the gradient scarcely peeps its head above the 5% mark this has to be one of the longest climbs on the tour.
“As wild as the Giro can get, this stage finish is “only” 7.2km at 9% on standard roads to cluster of ski lifts of Bardonnechia” says the knowledgeable peeps over at Inner Ring of the category one climb to Monte Jafferau (that 9% is an average figure but the gradient can and does hit 14% in places) and William Fotheringham reckons that it could start to separate the men from the mere men.
“A warm-up for the Dolomites with the long drag to Sestriere, and the short, steep finish climb. Any favourite struggling here will be out of the reckoning in the next few days; the finish will favour a pure climber,” he argues, before putting his money behind Bradley Wiggins and Ryder Hesjedal Carlos Betancur of Ag2r La Mondiale Team Sky’s Sergio Henao. Will he be right? Well why not stay tuned and find out, eh?
Sure what else would you be doing of a Saturday afternoon?
(Here’s what the stage would have looked like in its original form)
Claiming to be the biggest and most comprehensive compilation of UK motorcycle routes ever, it appears to be just that, with carefully annotated and mapped trips ranging from short afternoon outings to bigger day tours, the length and breadth of Britain.
It includes useful touring tips on how to ride in groups, how long each ride takes, how to plan your route and stay safe. And it’ll fit neatly in your tank bag.
The only aspect Weir doesn’t mention is keeping the noise down; nothing alienates motorcycling faster, among those living near popular routes, than the day-long drone of a “racing” exhaust.
“Things Come Apart” is about stuff—the everyday things that surround us, and to which we rarely give a second thought. But for anyone with a love of Meccano and Haynes manuals, it is the perfect coffee-table book. Photographer Todd McLellan has taken 50 objects—from a Swiss Army penknife (38 components) to a Homelite chain saw (286)—disassembled and photographed them. The resulting pictures are intriguing. £19.95, Thames Hudson FM
Croquet is the sport of queens, at least if Lewis Carroll is to be believed. Turn your tranquil lawn into grudge-match central with the full-size Canterbury croquet set from venerable games-maker Jaques of London. Flamingos not included. £299.99, jaqueslondon.co.uk
Silvia folding rocking chair
Modern takes on a classic can occasionally go very right, as in the case of the Silvia folding rocking chair. A new addition to the garden furniture collection of Odd Limited, it calls to mind long summer afternoons in the countryside sipping Pimm’s and reading Ian Rankin. Though not waterproof, the chairs are light enough to carry inside when the rain does come. In shades of lime, orange or white, who needs the sun? £299, oddlimited.com
If the reputation of American sportswear was built on the Ralphs, the Calvins, the Annes and the Donnas, its gospel of laid-back luxe has in recent years been spread by one J.Crew.
With bright mix-and-don’t-match prints, well-tailored basics and chunky costume jewelry, the brand is the perfect balance of East Coast prep and West Coast cool. Now, it’s trading in bicoastal living for some trans-Atlantic action, hopping the pond with a two-day pop-up shop in London next week—a teaser for the first stand-alone J.Crew store outside of North America, opening on Regent Street in November.
For those who can’t make it to London, there’s no need to panic. The brand has stayed true to its catalog roots with a thriving online business. May 24-25, The Western Transit Shed, London N1C 4AB; j.crew.com
Summer arrived early this year—in the sonic form of Vampire Weekend’s new album, “Modern Vampires of the City.” The cover art, depicting a 1966 cityscape of the smoggiest day in New York history, may make you want to head for the hills. But fun-fueled music inside is the perfect soundtrack for biking on the beach, having a picnic in the park or a backyard barbecue. vampireweekend.com
The Best of Star Trek
“To boldly go where no man has gone before.” Capt. Kirk, part of the opening monologue of the “Star Trek” TV series
“Scotty, beam us up.” Capt. Kirk, “The Gamesters of Triskelion” episode (1968)
“Khaaan!” Capt. Kirk, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982)
“Resistance is futile.” Borg in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” series
“Humans have an amazing capacity for believing what they choose and excluding that which is painful.” Spock, “And the Children Shall Lead” episode (1968)
“Make it so.” Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
“Live long and prosper.” Spock, first said in the 1967 episode “Amok Time” TG
—With contributions from Lucy Benson, Thorsten Gritschke, Helen Kirwan-Taylor, Fiona Matthias and Beth Schepens —Email BigSmallTalk@WSJ.com
The rioters are armed with makeshift weapons such as oil drums, planks, wooden pallets and water bottles which they hurl at the black-clad troops pouring from the rear of white UN Tactica armoured riot vehicles.
As the order is given, the two central vehicles in the line of four suddenly reverse at high speed leaving a gap through whichthe Mobile Force Reserve surge to try to restore order before retreating behind them again.
The pattern of advance and consolidate is repeated until a final push sees the mob flee and disperse.
On other occasions petrol bombs and bricks have rained down on the soldiers – men and women mainly from the West Midlands and South Staffordshire – but bounced harmlessly off their protective gear.
The drills are a vital part of the training needed to hone their skills of the 58 Territorial Army members of the 4th Battalion Mercian Regiment (4Mercian) who have been drafted in by the
United Nations to keep the peace on the divided sunshine island of Cyprus as part of a force established almost 50 years ago to end the bloodshed between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
They are one of the first TA units to be chosen for the role and have been tasked with dashing to bring order to potential border flash points.
The mission comes at a crucial time as Reservist forces prepare to take on extra responsibility following substantial reductions in the strength of the Regular Army.
It also serves as graphic illustrations of the constantly changing face of world affairs with yesterday’s enemy becoming today’s friend with Argentinian and British troops standing shoulder to shoulder on the peace line.
Soldiers from the two nations who went to war over the Falklands Islands now keep the peace on the green and blue lines that separate Greek and Turkish-controlled territory on the Mediterranean island.
Lieutenant Colonel Dominic Wilford, 44, who has 25 years experience in the regular army and was Commanding Officer of 4Mercian as they underwent pre-deployment training, said:
“When I was at school we were putting Argentinians to the sword and now we are all pals working together under the same UN blue beret.”
Major Paul Walkley, a 42-year-old father of two from South Staffordshire who leads the 4Mercian unit, explained: “The training has to be really kinetic because it is aimed at instilling a ruthless level of professionalism to ensure that everybody responds proportionally to any disorder we encounter.
“They have got to get so used to petrol bombs exploding at their feet and bricks hitting their visor that they do not over react if, and when, it happens for real.
“This is an important deployment for us and it is vital that we all get it right.”
The British and Argentinian troops are joined by soldiers from Hungary and Slovakia on the mission and are operating in 10 armoured personnel carriers that are based at the former RAF Nicosia airfield.
Lt Col Wilford added: “We were allowed to organise all our own training for this which is unusual and an enormous feather in our cap. It speaks volumes for the standard of the soldiers and the quality of training they are given here.
“We were inundated with volunteers. There are guys who want to go on an operational tour and get a medal on their chest but sure as hell do not want to get shot at.
“Then there are those blokes who have been to Afghanistan, been shot at once or twice and think that if they go back to that place their time might be up.
“The UN deployment caters for both these groups since it gives them a six month tour where they might get shot at, although that is highly unlikely.”
4Mercian have had troops seconded to regularly army battalions serving in Afghanistan for the past 10 years and recently had 37 of its soldiers on the front line with The Rifles.
Lt Col Wilford concluded: “We will be serving alongside soldiers from the regular armies of other nations. The powers that be have looked at our track record, standards of training and levels of fitness and operational deployment and decided we can make a good job of this. We will not let them down.”
Corporal Alex Perryman, aged 27, who lives with his partner in Harvington and works at Worcester Autos in Kidderminster is among the 4Mercian soldiers on Cyprus.
He has previously been on three tours of duty in Afghanistan and was blown up twice during the last of these while embedded with 1st Battalion The Rifles in Nahr-e Saraj South during the summer of last year.
Amazingly he escaped without a scratch on both occasions despite being within six feet of a bomb exploded by a command wire as he passed on patrol. He recalled: “One minute I was walking and the next I was on my backside. I remember being knocked off my feet and seeing the crater with smoke coming out of it.
“It is just part of the job and your training kicks in. I was deaf for a couple of hours but back on patrol the same day. A few months later another Improvised Explosive Device went off while we were on patrol and the blast took several of us off our feet.
“This is a UN peace keeping mission and so a very different type of tour. It will be a question of reacting to escalating situations and stopping them becoming a full blown riot. Each tour has its own sort of challenges but I am confident we will cope with everything that this one can throw at us.”
The unit has been trained to deal with a full-scale riot in the worst-case scenario but in reality there has been no violence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots for a long time and positive noises are being made about political negotiations for the first time in half a decade but there are still occasional protests on key anniversaries that could flare up.
Meanwhile the troops are put through their paces in the punishing Mediterranean heat – up to 40C – so they can cope with even a worst case scenario.
They went through six months of graduated preparation back home before flying out to Cyprus to start their deployment earlier this year.
The 58 soldiers are divided into two troops and are on fortnightly rotation between being on standby with the Mobile Force Reserve and guarding and security duties.
The tour proved so attractive that 179 soldiers from the battalion applied. Major Walkley said: “The competition for selection was intense and as a result we have now our best soldiers who all really want to be here.
“Our primary role is to provide the public order capability. Although disorder is unlikely, we need to train for that eventuality. This involves practising baton and shield drills and using the Tactica riot vehicles. The other part of the role is to provide security at vehicle check points.
“This tour is invaluable for us as Reserves as it allows us to practice being commanders, officers and non-commissioned officers, whereas usually we would be attached to a commanding regular Army unit.”
The group is also an experienced one with some soldiers, including Privates as young as 23 on their 5th operational tour, having previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Op TOSCA is a very different type of tour to those hostile theatres with opportunities for cultural visits, beach days and, most importantly, the ability to stay in touch with those at home via phone, Skype and FaceTime on a daily basis. A major revamp of the TA is due to be announced by the Government later this month as part of a defence strategy known as Future Force 2020 with the regular Army cut from 100,000 to 82,000 over the next few years and the TA boosted from around 19,000 trained troops to 30,000.
Lt Col Dominic Wilford confessed: “The plans are highly ambitious and I think there is a 50-50 chance of them succeeding. However that is the view of a parochial infantry officer sitting in the West Midlands and not somebody in London with the full picture.
“It needs the right legislation and the right expenditure over the next decade to make it work, but the world is changing and there are an enormous number of ways for people to spend their spare time. I have got to lure a guy away from mountain biking, Facebook, Twitter, rugby club and the traditional stuff of drinking beer and going around with his pals.
“That has to be done at a time when people think the army is shrinking and we must get the message across that we are still recruiting.”
Lt Col Wilford continued: “The million dollar question is: what do you want the reservist to do? The great attraction for the past 15 years from Bosnia through to Afghanistan, particularly for the infantry, has been operations.
“As our involvement in Afghanistan comes to an end, military reviews show that UK PLC needs to be more involved in working with other nations in areas such as helping with training their military and offering political assistance.”
One theory is that a large TA battalion such as 4Mercian could be split into companies that would take it in turn to be seconded to a regular army battalion for 12 months at a time.
Lt Col Wilford said: “The money helps but I don’t think it will ever be a hook.
“However when you have got the time to spend with them they are as dedicated, motivated and genuinely keen as a regular soldier in the first rushes of his career.”
“I will keep going for these guys as long as my legs will carry me.”
Veteran Angus fundraiser Ian Wren is making that pledge to injured troops ahead of his latest and toughest challenge yet.
The former soldier from Arbroath is preparing to take on a gruelling 350-mile bike ride through France for Help for Heroes.
An impressive total of £3,000 has already been banked through fundraising events and bucket collections but Ian says he will take every penny the local community is willing to give.
The 56-year-old will leave Paris on Tuesday May 28 with 300 other cyclists and complete the journey over six days. Each day the group will stop at battlefield memorial sites around the country to lay wreaths and pay tribute to the fallen.
The trek will take the fundraisers through Compiegne, Amiens, Le Touquet and Calais and then on to Chatham and Blackheath once back in the UK.
It will end at the Cenotaph in London on June 2, when thousands of other Help for Heroes riders from across the UK are expected to converge on the capital.
Ian said: “This is the biggest one yet. Up until now it has been around 130 or 140-mile rides from the likes of Arbroath to Glencoe.
“I am going to be travelling around 70 miles per day. On the last day we are biking from Blackheath into London and meeting up with the rest of the charity riders.
“It is going to be difficult but there are limbless guys who are doing it on handbikes and there is an amputee coming from Canada.”
Help for Heroes has organised for each rider involved in the nationwide Hero Ride to wear a different coloured shirt so the charity’s medal emblem will be visible from the air.
It is hoped the event will raise in excess of £1 million for servicemen and women injured in the line of duty.
Far from resting after the mammoth effort, Ian is already planning a cycle ride through the Mearns over the Cairn o’ Mount and into Aberdeenshire. To make a donation go to www.bmycharity.com/IanWren8452.