FUNDRAISING cyclists Andy and Nathan Reeks have described their elation at completing their nearly 1,000-mile Lands End to John O’Groats journey.

The Caldicot duo pedalled 997 miles across Britain in 11 days in aid of Newport-based St David’s Hospice Care.

Andy, chairman of the Caldicot Running Club and Nathan, one of the directors of Caldicot-based Nathan James Estate Agents, set off on their gruelling ride on Wednesday, July 3, and arrived unscathed and elated at John O’Groats on Sunday, July 14, beating their pre-set goal of 12 days.

But when they called their wives to tell them their good news there was no answer. Friends and family seemed equally disinterested.

Nathan said: “We’d just pedalled the best part of 1,000 miles the length of Britain and our wives didn’t seem the least bit interested - we couldn’t work it out.”


Flummoxed but relaxing at their campsite later the mystery was solved when, unbeknownst to them, backup driver Ian Waite had arranged for the pair's wives Carole and Judith, as well as his wife Gemma, to fly up to Inverness and drive to meet their husbands in Caithness.

Mr Waite, who arranged the flights months before and had sworn everyone, including children, to secrecy, said: “The boys were sitting down at the campsite after their momentous ride, they were pretty fed up. They just couldn’t believe their wives weren’t interested in what they had achieved.

"Just then the girls arrived at the site. The look on Andy and Nathan’s faces when they saw Carole, Judith and Gemma was absolutely priceless.”

The riders said the challenge was tougher than they had initially imagined.

“The first two days in Cornwall and Devon were the most challenging in terms of physical effort and the heat," said Nathan.

"It was 30 degrees but the people along the way were just fantastic.”

Andy said: “I’m not the fastest rider but we always stayed together.

“The best thing was that we didn’t have one break down, not even a tyre puncture.”

The father and son said taking on the challenge had been a lifetime’s ambition, and were thankful that everything had gone smoothly.

The pair visited Newport-based St David’s Hospice Care St David’s Hospice Care hospice in Malpas to hand over the £6,627.54 they raised.

Mr Waite said: “It was a privilege to have played my part in what was a truly epic achievement from Andy and Nathan Reeks.”

Bethan Harrington, of St David’s Hospice Care, said: “Andy and Nathan were determined from the word go to complete this mammoth challenge for St David’s Hospice Care.

"We’re in awe of their truly phenomenal achievement. The fantastic amount of money they raised will be used to help us continue to provide care throughout our community.”

Although the duo have now completed their journey, donations can still be made in person at Nathan James Estate Agents’ office, or online using their Just Giving page at