And here’s your first daily route map!

All maps are subject to confirmation and exclude “Hotel Miles” 😇

Fifteen weeks from today on August 28th #heroJOGLErelay will start in John O’ Groats

Today’s ride is 70.5 miles, climbing 3,730 but descending 3,789 feet from John O’ Groats to Golspie.

Sign up here: http://bit.ly/heroJOGLErelay_registration

Support us here: http://bit.ly/HeroJOGLEGoFundMe

Cue drum roll…

It’s time to start talking about the route: this is the first in a series of 42 posts about the route, we’ll be posting here twice a day now, so do follow up (use the link) or keep an eye on the Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Day 1 of #heroJOGLErelay (28 Aug) – join us: http://bit.ly/heroJOGLErelay_registration

Day 1 information

Rider & Admin: John Burns

This is the first in an occasional series of posts about some of those taking part. We hope you find them of interest, and inspire you to take part or donate to the ride.

John has been instrumental in setting up Hero JOGLE Relay – here he tells his military and veteran story and how it led him to be a strong supporter of Help For Heroes.

I joined the Army Catering Corps in 1990, straight from school, at the age of 16.  I served for 5 and a half years, which included a six month tour of Northern Ireland in 1993.

When I left the forces, I had difficulty adjusting to civilian life and, on occasion, controlling my anger, which would flare up over relatively minor issues. In an attempt to channel some of this pent up aggression, I joined my local rugby club, Old Edwardians.  The physical exercise and camaraderie of a team sport replicated the banter I had experienced during my time in the Armed Forces.

Because of my background, I had always been a supporter of H4H but it wasn’t until I heard about the Big Battlefield Bike Rides through a rugby team mate who was participating, that I started to become even more involved.

In the summer of 2016, I signed up for the BBBR taking place in Arnhem the following year.  As a complete fundraising novice, I then took on what at first seemed the rather daunting task of raising the £3500 target amount.  I started off quite small, with my first fundraising event taking place on a cold, wet morning in my local market, under a gazebo with some collection buckets, but I was pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction from the public and I enjoyed chats with several elderly veterans who wanted to share their experiences with me, which I found very humbling. 

Random Tank memorial en route to Arnhem 2017
Arnhem Oosterbeek Cemetery in 2017

Over time, as my confidence grew, I started coming up with more creative ideas for events, the most popular ones so far being the collections I organised outside the Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham for the annual Army vs Navy rugby match and the 24 hour bikeathon which myself and a group of fellow volunteers took part in, riding a static bike in a local pub in Romford, Essex.  When we were left overnight by the landlords with the full run of the pub, we remained totally focussed and determined, only drinking the coffee machine dry! 

Just another fun Fundraising event!

The generosity of the public never fails to amaze me and having now taken part in three BBBRs, I have always managed to successfully reach target and sometimes go beyond.  I have also made some wonderful friends on this journey, fellow volunteers who give up their time to help out at events and help raise vital funds to support the fantastic work of H4H.

Photos from the start and finish of BBBR19:

iron Mike memorial, Normandy 2019
After 350 miles from Normandy to Paris. Les Invalides

So what is the route?

We’ll be giving you more detailed information in the coming days, but if you want a quick overview of the route, then click here: Hero JOGLE Route to see it in all it’s glory!

The map has multiple layers, so you can see all the places we are visiting (recovery centres, the National Memorial Arboretum…); the locations of the ceremonies we shall be conducting; each of the weeks that take our riders up to the rest days; and so on.

The overnight stop points are just approximations for now – we are planning accommodation and the daily routes will be tweaked to start and finish at the correct location

Everything is now well locked in, and therefore very likely to happen – but all is yet to be confirmed so please wait for our confirmation before making firm travel/accommodation plans.

OK, we should be connected :-)

We want as wide a reach and as many riders as we can get, but as website beginners we don’t know if we’ve done this bit right… 😲

But if we have then this post should hit our twitter and facebook pages.

If they do, then please give us a like, and add this blog to your reading list – we’re going to be publishing some daily updates about the route soon!

En Route

The route has been selected to take in a number of venues along the way. They are:

  • Dunbeath War Memorial – the closest war memorial to the start
  • The grave of WW Thwaites – 31st August 1921 is the last day that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission recognises deaths from the First World War. William Walker Thwaites is one of those men. His grave is the closest to both the route and the 31st August 2021, so we will pay our respects there.
  • Phoenix House – one of the four Help For Heroes Recovery Centres currently closed due to Covid
  • National Memorial Arboretum
  • Stanford – the Defence and National Recovery Centre
  • Desert Rats Memorial
  • Chavasse House – another Help For Heroes Recovery Centre
  • Sanders Draper School – a school named after and saved by the heroics of a pilot who crashed whilst avoiding the school.
  • The Cenotaph
  • The RAF and JFK memorials at Runnymede
  • Brookwood Cemetery – the largest CWGC cemetery in the UK
  • The Tin Hut at Tidworth – where Help For Heroes started
  • Tedworth House another Help For Heroes Recovery Centre
  • Downton – the main offices for Help For Heroes
  • HMS Drake – another Help For Heroes Recovery Centre
  • Trethewey War Memorial – the closest war memorial to Land’s End

Why?

You’ll likely know that Help for Heroes has lost over 30% of its usual fundraising due to the pandemic but has seen an increase in 33% in requests for help. BBBR is a major part of that fundraising, and it’s also a fantastic week, but unfortunately it has been cancelled for the second year in a row.

A bunch of us are organising a JOGLE relay (the long way round!) to raise funds for the charity, and we hope to make it as big as possible, here is the link for the route details, daily miles etc,http://bit.ly/heroJOGLErelayRoute

If you’re interested in joining us for a day, or more here is the link to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/303157751122422

If you just want to stay up to date, the public FB page is https://www.facebook.com/Hero-JOGLE-Relay-106583668191395Thank you, hopefully see some of you on the ride

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