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Marcus Watson completes 1,400 mile charity bike ride

We speak to Marcus Watson about the challenges, the good times, and the key learnings from his 1,400 bike ride for charity.

After a long 28 days in the saddle, Marcus Watson, director of Ground Control, has completed his epic 1400-mile bike ride for charity.

Setting off on the zig-zag journey on 10 April 2022, Marcus covered the four main corners of mainland Britain. Cycling from Land’s End in the southwest of Cornwall, on to Lowestoft Ness Point in the east, to Ardnamurchan Lighthouse in the west, then to the most northerly point of Britain, Dunnet Head, and finally, he finished at John o’ Groats in the far north of Scotland.

Marcus said: “I am very pleased to have been able to raise £13,000 so far for Alzheimer’s Society. Their incredible work supports the 850,000 people in the UK who are affected by dementia, as well as their families too. I wish I could have raised even more for them — they’re fab people who do fantastic work.”

With 50 miles needing to be ticked off every day, Marcus spent long hours travelling through and enjoying some of Britain’s most extraordinary landscapes on a daily basis.

Crossing Britain, in the way Marcus did, proved to be a mixture of challenging and enjoyable. He explained: “Some parts of the journey were quite easy, though I would think to myself: ‘I shouldn’t be enjoying this challenge!’

“Going through central London where a combination of good weather, no hills, low traffic (it was a bank holiday weekend) made for a pleasant day.

“But other days were a slog, especially when I was facing headwinds uphill or heavy traffic with frustrated drivers or poor road surfaces over long stretches,” he shared. This was an issue Marcus raised as being particularly significant. During the journey, Marcus noted he was able to experience much of the UK’s cycling infrastructure and found himself feeling surprised by how dangerous and “atrocious” much of it is.”

He elaborated: “With the advent of e-bikes, there is a fantastic opportunity for more people to get out of their cars and lower carbon footprint transport. But people are not going to do this if they feel unsafe.”

“Cycling is a great way to improve neighbourhoods, reduce pollution and help the UK achieve Net Zero. The investment required is significantly less than building new vehicular roads, and I have every confidence this can be done. Some of the best cycling infrastructure I found was in central London, and many of the national cycle routes were pretty decent too. But all too often, they come to an abrupt end into heavy traffic.

“The UK can do so much better than this, and it starts with taking all modes of transportation into account at the design stage. The landscaping industry has a huge part to play here.”

Marcus is hoping to raise his donations even further so as much money as possible can be given to Alzheimer’s Society. To support Marcus and donate, please visit his fundraising page here: Marcus Watson is fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society (justgiving.com).

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