Most of us enjoyed this weekend’s London Marathon from the sidelines or the sofa, safe in the knowledge that a 26 mile run will never be a part of our Sunday morning schedule. But for one couple, preparing to take on their own mammoth feat of endurance, this marathon distance may not seem too intimidating. For Phil Davies (Councillor, Birkenhead and Tranmere), and his wife Sheena, are getting ready to cycle a total of 504 miles around the Isle of Skye and the North West Highlands of Scotland, following in the footsteps of Dr Samuel Johnson who undertook the same journey almost 250 years ago.
The couple are cycling to raise money for Get Into Reading, and are hoping to raise at least £1000 from their charity cycle.
Whilst this is certainly a daunting task for Phil Davies and Sheena, when Johnson set off on his tour of the Western Isles in 1773 it was arguably more so. At the time, Scotland was largely regarded as a wild, untamed and unknown place, closely associated in English minds with the Jacobite uprising and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Yet Johnson’s diary, along with those of similarly intrepid travellers, and the massive popularity of Walter Scott’s “Waverley” novels in the early nineteenth century, prompted interest in and curiosity about the Scottish people and the country’s landscape, paving the way for the birth of a massive tourism industry.
Luckily for Phil and Sheena, this industry is still alive and well in Scotland and will hopefully provide them with the comfy beds, the hearty meals and the wee drams of whisky necessary to anyone embarking on such an enormous challenge!
To support Phil and Sheena, please visit their charity giving page and donate whatever you can towards Get Into Reading.