A vicar and a gardener from Shaldon, who have christened themselves the Peddling Penguins, are taking on an epic challenge to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End next month.

Sue Astbury, a priest working for the Archdeacon of Exeter, and Carla Field, a trained nurse and now a gardener, will begin the 1,130 mile route on 1 May. The intrepid duo hope to complete the route in 20 days to raise funds for Rowcroft Hospice.

Despite only starting to cycle short distances during lockdown, Sue has wanted to tackle the route between the tip and the toe of Great Britain for many years. However, she didn’t want to go alone. So, while on a bike ride with friend Carla, she broached the topic. ‘Carla didn’t take a lot of persuading,’ laughs Sue.

The last year has been spent training through every weather imaginable and poring over giant maps as they planned their adventure. They have decided not to take the traditional Land’s End to John O’Groats route, which would mean the wind is at their back, but instead opted for the reverse option. ‘It just feels like it is more downhill and we will be cycling towards home,’ Sue explains. 

The Peddling Penguins have set an ambitious £2,500 fundraising target for Rowcroft, a charity close to both their hearts, having already smashed their original £1,000 goal. 

You can pledge your support to their adventure via their JustGiving site: https://www.justgiving.com/page/christine-brathwaite-1711020119248