Thursday, 26 May 2011

Busy Bee..

'Over the last 2 weeks, I have been a busy man. Having cycled from Manchester to Kent then over to Whitby managing roughly 70 miles a day. Camped out in wet weather and battled with howling head winds. There is no doubt about it- I have put the equipment to the test!'  -Andrew Norris.

Andy has even made friends along the way, He was very excited about meeting Laurence in particular as Laurence is also on a cycling quest for charity to Australia (I am sure if Andy wasn't on a mission already he would have cycled with Laurence for a while!) you can read about Laurence's adventure at

While travelling to Whitby Andy stopped off in Scarborough, where he obtained his Kings Royal Rifle Corp Badge, given to him by Richard who runs a shop next to the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. This badge is one of the many small symbols Andy is collecting for the journey. He is still looking for a Liverpool Pennant or badge that he can present to Spionkop Lodge as a token when he gets there.

After Andy's Radio interview on BBC Merseyside today, He spent the afternoon on the beach with fish and chips taking in the spectacular views. As you can see from the photos, the road ahead is looking like a spectacular adventure and this is just the beginning!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Start Spreadin’ the News

Well ok, he’s not leaving today, but the news is certainly something Andy’s been spreading this week…

Wigan Evening Post – 13/05/2011 (click the picture to zoom in)

the wigan post 2

Andy will also be on BBC Radio Merseyside 95.8FM (click the link to listen live) on Wednesday the 25th @10:30pm.


Thanks very much to those who have already donated. There’s still a long time to go till Andy arrives in Ladysmith, so it’s lovely to see some sponsorship rolling in already. Andy is offering £25 to the sponsor who guesses closest to final mileage, so when you’re sponsoring, let us know what your guess is. If you’re donating via one of the justgiving pages (links at the top-left of this page) then just include your guess in the comments and we’ll collate them from there. If you’ve already donated, send us an email with your guess and we’ll add you to the list too.

Some friends threw a farewell party on Sunday night, so here’s a few pictures from that. Our countdown tells me there’s still another 19 days until the odyssey begins, but from here on it gets pretty serious and Andy’s time will be pretty much all be taken up preparing for the ride. And ours will be dedicated to bringing you the latest news and updates.

Pablo Rodriguez, Kop2Kop news

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Friday, 13 May 2011

Odd Behaviour

Apologies to anyone who’s been having problems getting to the blog or adding comments over the last couple of days. Olaf the gamekeeper in the datacentre here at kop2kop towers was all ready to start thrashing the mice to run faster when we realised the problem was elsewhere.

Turns out Blogger, where this blog is hosted, have been having some issues. You can read more about it at the google blog. So hopefully everything is back to normal now, or soon will be, but if you notice any weirdness (aside from the staff), that’s probably why. If you’ve added any comments recently and they’ve disappeared, they should be back once Blogger get through the backlog.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Be Prepared!

Not without reason is that the scout motto, and that’s exactly what Andy is filling his days with at the moment – cycling several thousand miles is a bit more of an undertaking than cycling to the shops, and there’s quite a bit of planning to be done. So while Andy prepares for his pan-continental odyssey, we’ll be keeping you up to speed on how he’s getting on.

Having worked nights all last week, a lie-in on a Saturday and some time with his Mum and sister in Derby were most welcome, as was the poncho from his Mum, to protect him from the elements, and a couple of glasses of red to protect him from the reality of what he’s let himself in for.

One of the most fundamental things to get right is the weight of the bike and the equipment on it. Comfort and safety are important for Andy’s physical and mental wellbeing while he’s on the road, so there has to be enough comfort at night for him to get a good rest, but without it making the following day’s cycling too much because of carrying too much weight. Starting with the essentials, Andy’s already packed his sleeping bag, headlamp and radio, which share a battery to save on weight. His travelling companions will be a diary and a sudoku book.

Food on the road will be based around a staple of tinned sardines, as they’re low-cost and available throughout Africa, mixed in with what he can eat off the land, and the traveller’s friend, escaped produce bounced from the backs of lorries – While Andy’s legs are cursing the bumpy roads his stomach will likely be rumbling its approval.

When he gets to populated areas he’ll fill up at affordable eateries, more often than not, tucking into a maize-based meal known by variously as pap, or simply maize meal, with either meat gravy or tomato and onion. The rest of the time he’ll be relying on human kindness – which is probably as good a time as any to point out the handy donate button we’ve added, over on the left. Any money donated there goes straight to Andy to fund him while he’s on the road.
Vaccines and malaria treatment sorted all sorted, Andy has also now booked his Eurostar crossing and the Plane over to Africa – both of which give him an added incentive to stay on schedule and avoid having to swim any great distance while towing the bike.

Finally a couple of shout-outs:

Firstly, Congratulations to Laura Watson who has just become a British World Champion for cycling, and also hello to Lynette at Spionkop Lodge in South Africa, where Andy will be finishing his epic ride. Lynette will no doubt be following the blog with interest so she knows roughly when to put the kettle on for Andy’s arrival.

Friday, 6 May 2011

WhirlWind Week!

This has been the most extraordinary week ever!
On Monday, I sat with a good friend and took a trip down memory lane. As we flicked through the photo's of my last cycle down to South Africa, I began to remember all the people that were kind to me along the way, The beauty I have seen, the challenges I took and the feeling of knowing I am going to do it all again in a months time.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a complete Techno Phobia. In fact, I have been referred to as a 'Dinosaur' more than once. The thought of putting this blog together worried me more than any trip. Nevertheless, here it is! I could not have done it without the help and Kindness of good people and friends. Even those I have not met. It has completely overwhelmed me.
I just hope I can complete my Quest and give you as much detail as I can along the way. I hope you enjoy my Journey as Much as I will.
Today I have done a couple of hours cycling. I have taken to leaving the camper at work and using the bicycle to get from place to place. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be stepping up my training and getting myself fit for the road ahead.
I love my new bike!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Long Road Ahead


Leaving from the front gates at Spion Kop in Liverpool  on the 5th June 2011

Eurotunnel to Paris on the 15th June 2011

Cycle down to Nice - Target date 24th June 2011

Fly across the Med to Cairo

Obtain Sudanese Visa from a camp near the Pyramids.

Hit the open road in to Sudan.

Then it's however the wind takes him! Obviously we will be taking routes that are deemed safe, all being well, including a stop off in Nyeri, Kenya, to see the grave of  Robert Baden Powell, who the founded the scouts.  He is also hoping to go through Botswana.

Then once he has entered South Africa, he will take the most direct route to Spion Kop (unless he makes good time! in which case he will visit friends and shoot the breeze on his way down!)

Andy aims to finish his quest at Spion Kop Ladysmith In time for Remembrance day. 11 November 2011.

The bike which will be Andy's travelling companion has been generously donated by upgrade bikes ltd and this was arranged kindly by  OT cycles.