Riding a long trail presents all kinds of challenges; of weather, fitness, equipment, nutrition, navigation, and no doubt more I shall discover along the way. But to add the challenge, I’ve set myself a tight schedule of visits along route.

These visits will be checkpoints for the ride. You may wish to sponsor me based on the number of them I reach on time, eg, £5 for each, 4 x £5 = £20. You’ll know if I’ve made my checkpoint because there’ll be a photograph of me with each band at their rehearsal. If not, there’ll probably be a picture of me outside of a locked door! Details of how to sponsor me can be found here: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/tptsolo

It is no accident that I planned this for the week leading up to the 162nd British Open competition in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. It is the most prestigious of brass band competitions, with all the best bands in the country competing for the right to etch their name on to the challenge shield. They will all be putting in a full schedule of rehearsals in the build up and I am very grateful to three of the bands on my route to have agreed to host me on this tour.

Start – Southport

30th August, 2pm

Checkpoint 1 – Fairey Band

Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheshire – 31st August, 1pm.

Checkpoint 2 – Black Dyke Band

Queensbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire – 1st September, 7.30pm

Checkpoint 3 – Grimethorpe Colliery band

Grimethorpe, Barnsley, South Yorkshire – 2nd September, 7.15pm

Checkpoint 4 – Smith-Watkins workshop

Sheriff Hutton, York, North Yorkshire – 4th September, 10am

Finish – Hull

4th September – 10pm approx