It was good to be back in the saddle on my new bicycle – Saxon Warrior V – for a short cycle ride to Cheddar Reservoir and back today. Nearly five weeks since I was knocked off my old bike by a motorist, the old bones are rather fragile after the accident on May 4th – but they are on the mend.

Walking is a problem as my right heel is still painful, but cycling – gently of course – is fine as you don’t use your ankles to pedal. I still have a dodgy shoulder which means Linda is doing all the heavy duty work like cutting the hedge and lugging sacks of compost around – so some benefits! (Only joking Linda.) Seriously, I have some x-rays at Taunton Musgrove Hospital soon and then after that I’m hoping I will be getting much better as the recovery continues – which is mostly taking it easy although I can type so work is not too restricted.

We were supposed to be on holiday this week in France but that got canned thanks to the motorist who drove into the back of me at 40mph on the A38 just south of Gloucester on May 4th, 2024, on a sunny afternoon – clearly not looking at where she was going. The details are with the police and insurance company – the driver did stop – and I was helped by a kind lady who as a physio stopped the bleeding, called the ambulance and cut off my jacket and top to attend to my wounds. I was knocked out so don’t recall anything at all until I was in the hospital about an hour later.

Several friends (and complete strangers) have criticised me for not wearing a helmet at the time – although most of the injuries are fractures to my shoulder, neck, back, ribs and hip as my heel and shoulder took the full force of the car’s bonnet and bumper. My sisters Kath and Sally have bought me a new bike – Saxon Warrior V – a Raleigh tourer from Halfords – old school style and most certainly not an e-bike – the type of which I strongly disapprove of! So huge thanks to them and to my older sister Alex who has sent me a voucher with which to equip my velocipede. In fact everyone has been so kind sending me messages – so thanks to all – at least if I had died I would have had a reasonable turn out for the funeral. Although Linda didn’t think this was funny.

My plan to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats this summer is still on – maybe July or August depending on my recovery and newspaper deadlines. Initially the idea was simple – to do it as a friend had done it – so I copied my pal Neil from school – as I thought it was a good idea to see England and Scotland by bike. Since then I’ve read up on the route, watched various videos and even bought a map. And once I had made my mind up to do it self supporting and camping and wild camping I also decided to raise some cash for charity. I once ran a marathon in the early 1980s and it was the thought of not letting people down with the sponsorship that kept me going – so it’s a sort of incentive to finish.

The sponsorships links are for Bath:

And for Axbridge:

In Bath I was very impressed with the Food Bank and the youth mentoring service ( while in Axbridge I support the carnival – it’s on Saturday 21 Spetember at 2pm this year as it is a fun community event – and of course the food bank goes without saying.

I’ve been told by many people – nearly all are motorists who don’t cycle – that it is dangerous to cycle on roads – and even illegal on main roads and duel-carriageways – which is not true. Everyone from horse riders, cyclists, pedestrians, parents and pushchairs, dog walkers and farmers herding livestock have a right to use the King’s Highways – it’s motorists who must take these other road users into account and not make excuses for driving without due care and attention. There – I said it.

Land’s End to John O’Groats is a daunting ride – I expect to do it in about two weeks or so – carrying everything from my clothes and a cooking stove and food to a tent and sleeping bag – plus medicinal gin. So I won’t be going very fast and in Scotland it will be mostly wild camping as there are fewer proper camp sites with showers and toilets – but my sister Kath who lives in Scotland said she will ‘shadow me’ in case I need a spare tent or an extra coat if it rains non-stop.

In the meantime before I decide I’m ready I will be good and rest and aim to be mended by sometime in early July – some eight weeks after the crash. It’s good to be alive – and a near death experience makes you appreciate this fact.

Harry Mottram

When I was 19 I cycled to Scotland to take part in an archaeoligcal dig. See for an account of the ride during the summer of the drought