Dr Hadwen Trust
Lands End to John O'Groats by Bicycle
July 2006 - David Hembrow and Terry ClarkWe did it! We cycled the full length of Mainland Britain, from South-West Cornwall to North-East Scotland, a distance of over 1000 miles.
Lands End John O'Groats
It started as a plan for a birthday celebration - we both had our 40th birthday in 2006 and wanted to do something to remember, something out of the ordinary. We're both keen cyclists, and so a bike ride had to be part of it.
"Lets go for a bike ride" grew into this, the longest ride that is possible in the UK without going round in circles. It's something that we've both said we'd do sometime, and we decided that this year the sometime had arrived.
We raised over 1100 pounds for the Dr Hadwen Trust, a charity dedicated to finding alternatives to animal experiments. It is a cause that benefits human lives while avoiding animal suffering, and we're proud to have been able to support this cause.
About Dr Hadwen Trust
Route Plan and Schedule
The Dr Hadwen Trust is a registered charity dedicated to finding alternatives to the use of animal experiments.
The charity achieves this by funding and promoting research of the highest quality into many illnesses, to create and develop new replacement methods that can save animals and advance the understanding of human illnesses.
Millions of animals continue to be used in research and testing. Cats, dogs, rabbits, mice and other animals, no different from those we care for as pets, are used in experiments which can involve brain damage, lethal infections or heart attacks. These animals feel pain and fear just as we do.
As well as causing pain and suffering, animal testing is often scientifically unsatisfactory because differences between people and animals can give rise to misleading results.
We all want medical research to succeed in finding cures and treatments for human health problems. But we also believe that causing suffering to animals in experiments is unacceptable in a civilised society. Many are unhappy that this important research should result in the suffering of animals, and some go as far as to campaign for this testing to be stopped. But most people do not want to obstruct research as they want the best possible medical care for them and their loved ones.
But what if there was a way to advance and improve the quality of medical research and avoid the painful and lethal animal testing? Wouldn't that be a great step forward? That is what Dr Hadwen Trust is working to achieve!
The trust has
already had great success,
and has developed new
non-animal research techniques that have saved thousands of animals and
made a real contribution to the fight against human illness. Much
detailed information including the many success stories can be found on
David's birthday is March, and Terry's is September, so we chose to go in July when it'd hopefully not rain too much. We set off on 1st July 2006 and both completed the ride within 2 weeks.
We started off together but David finished on 13th July and Terry finished one day later on 14th July.
We tried to do as many miles as possible on the Sustrans National Cycle Network. Unfortunately apart from a few isolated stretches this proved to be impractical, as cycling facilities in the UK have a long way to go before they are practical for covering large distances at sensible speeds. Very often we tried to use off-road towpaths and other routes only to find them too bumpy, narrow and slow, and often diverted back onto the roads.
We debated about whether to start at John O Groats and ride South.
The argument for starting at John O'Groats is that we would get the most awkward public transport trip out of the way, and have an easy trip back from Lands End.
But with the prevailing wind being from the South-West it makes more sense to start at Lands End. In practice we didn't see much of this promised tailwind, it's just pot luck. But it's certain that going North avoids having the glare of the sun in your eyes. It was also good to save the spectacular scenery of the highlands until the end.
We've been good friends for over 20 years, are both keen cyclists and vegetarians (David is vegan). We've made a few long-ish cycle journeys in Britain and the Netherlands before but this was a new challenge. More details about us can be found on our personal home pages below.
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Journal / BLOG of our ride by Eliza Hembrow
Dr Hadwen Trust Website
BBC Article - Animal Efforts Need Bigger Push
BBC Article - Monkey Brain Research, the Case Against
BUAV - British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection
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