Change your thoughts and you change your world - Norman Vincent Peale.

LEJOG 2011 - Jamie's Poetic Tribute!

What follows below, apart from being an insult to the literary art of poetry, is Jamie's attempt to encapsulate the mood of the trip and pay homage to Len Jukes, the loan of whose van made the trip possible. Read on if you dare!

The Van Man

It was, in a fit of fever,
When Jamie started to blether,
Of a trip, not in boats,
From Land's End to John O'Groats,
But on a tandem - my God would you ever!!

The first try, it ended in Wales,
Amidst the westerly gales,
On a bridge o'er the Severn,
The car went to heaven,
On fire and in smoke, not in the sales!

So this year he tried once again,
To gather some suitable men,
To pedal the distance,
On just one more instance,
To John O'Groats from that ther Land's End.

A guy, good and tall, strong and mean,
And an excellent cycling machine,
He found pilot Nick,
And things started to click,
And best, he really sounded quite keen!

From a cast, that wasn't too many,
He then picked out driver, Kenny,
To willingly strive,
Not to fart whilst he drives,
And not be paid more than a farthing or penny.

All plans now looked like they're in place,
For a long cycle and not for a race,
Till the penny did drop,
With a splash, not a plop,
With no support wheels, the planning's a disgrace!

Much gnashing of teeth then began,
Through all kinds of ideas they ran,
Till Nick's brain it did stir,
And the cogs they did whirr,
"I've got a friend called Len, with a van!"

"There's just a chance he'll quibble or moan,
He might even muster a groan,
But, if I speak to him nice,
And we work out a price,
I'm sure the van he'll willingly loan."

In the end, with no need for persuasion,
Len offered his van for the mission,
With insurance and tax,
All the kit they did pack,
And headed south to the starting position.

The cycle itself went like clockwork,
Nick's legs did most of the bull work,
While Jamie he sat,
On his seat at the back,
Trying hard not to look like a prize Berk!

The weather was kind almost all days,
Neither rain or sun was there always,
But a few major dumps,
Of rain made them mump,
And dry clothes, in the van, in some strange ways.

For 2 weeks they peddled and flustered,
Their energy they constantly bolstered,
With tea, hot in cups,
And even fry ups,
Then, from the van, they'd again boldly muster.

Now young Kenny he did his fair share,
Even though this is probably not fair,
His day was spent picking,
The nags that'd be clicking,
At Ludlow or Chepstow or Ayr!

He also spent much time with the pussy,
Making sure that she was comfy and juicy,
And filling the van,
With doughnuts with jam,
And diesel, to act as the posse!

There really, was only one woopsie,
When the bike went a touch topsie turvey,
It was just a wee crash,
Giving limbs gravel rash,
And Nick turned a little bit woosie!

When all the cycling was over,
And 'twas time to start to recover,
Kenny dived in the sea,
Though extremely icy,
But came out with no trunks and no cover!

But the hero of this tale is The Len Man,
Who gave them the loan of his great van,
Without his fine camper,
They'd have been so much damper,
And colder, and tired and broke, man!

So it's to you Mr Len, if you're listening,
We trust that your halo is glistening,
It's to you that we raise,
Our beers, in your praise,
And, if we could, we'd probably be whistling!

Hurrah, to Len Jukes, the top Van Man,
Who kindly lent us his van, man,
We hope it's not broke,
Or splattered with Coke,
The loan, of the van, was just gran', man!

Jamie Cuthbertson - August 2011