In May 92, I travelled North to investigate the course. My companions were John Woodburn and Anne. In four days, we covered the stretch from Kidderminster to John O'Groats. John and I rode almost all of it, with Anne driving my car. Anne thoroughly enjoyed this, and told me afterwards that it was the most pleasant holiday she could remember.

One of the high spots was a scene in a restaurant in Kingussie. The waitress made the disastrous assumption that we were a family group. She was speaking to me, and referred to Anne as "Mum". I found this most amusing. Anne didn't seem to take it in the same spirit! The waitress wasn't so chatty afterwards.

We cycled almost all the way, but, significantly perhaps, didn't bother to ride from Dunbeath to John O'Groats - because there's not much to see/learn.

As it happens, it might have been useful for me to have ridden it rather than driven it, as it would have forced me to experience the bleakness and barrenness of deepest Caithness.