Carl Philpott’s Ride Across Britain – The Results

Everyone at Fifth Sense is delighted with the news that trustee Prof Carl Philpott has completed his epic bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, which he did to raise awareness and sponsorship for our charity.

The ride took nine days, finishing late in the afternoon of 17th September – Carl went into work the next day! So far, he has raised in excess of £6000 (plus Gift Aid) and the board of trustees would like to thank him again for all of his hard work and support.

Mr. Philpott managed to fit in some time to sit down with us and answer some questions about what made him decide to undertake this gruelling event, and what he’s going to do next:

1.Why did you decide to do this particular challenge? Since Fifth Sense’s inception I had wanted to do a major fundraising event; in 2015 I started getting into road cycling after buying a new bike on the cycle to work scheme. At the same time my friend entered the Deloitte RAB and inspired me to want to take on that challenge.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about the training? It was a slow build up after Christmas with a minimum of 1 sportive per month (70-100 mile events) –  Northamptonshire (Feb), York Vale (Mar), Tour de Broads (Apr), Peak District (May), Norwich 100 (June), Suffolk Spinner (July), Norwich Cycle Club 100 (August). During July I also took to the hills of Somerset (Cheddar Gorge, Mendips) and Malvern.

In between that I used my turbo trainer at home twice a week and did the Ride Across Britain route virtually as far as Fort William. I also took the long route to work when cycling in and even did things like cycling to the chip shop for a take away after a 15 mile detour! I used the Strava phone app to track my progress and monitor mileage – during August I tried to cycle 5-7 days/week even if only 10-20 miles each.

3. What was the toughest part of the ride? Four key bits – coming off the Mendip hills in biblical rain followed by a puncture 3 miles from base camp (day 2), Carlisle to Hamilton into a headwind on a seemingly unending straight road (day 6), cycling 128 miles over the Highlands to Fort William (day 7) and then finding the motivation to get in the saddle again the next day, and finally the northern coast towards John O’Groats – not easy, lots of ups and downs that sapped us when we thought we were on the home straight!

4. What were the highlights/best bits of the ride? Cheddar Gorge, Scottish Highlands, the view of the Dornoch Firth as we descended towards it, but the beauty of the Shropshire countryside and the Wye Valley were my favourites.

5. Would you do it again? Yes, but not in 2017! I quite fancy doing the opposite diagonal from Dover.

6. Are you planning any more adventures that Fifth Sense members could sponsor you for? Not yet, but am sure to think of something in due course! The donation page will be open until December, so if you’d like to contribute, you can do so here:




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