Rotary Club of Great Missenden

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Charity Cycle Ride - THE TEAM
Lands End to John O'Groats Sponsored Cycle Ride, for NSPCC, July - Aug 2004



Brief details of team members are given below ... and each of the seven cyclists will cycle all the way (1,000 miles). It is not a relay! Some have given reasons as to what inspired them to take on this challenge.

Part of the team at a briefing at Great Missenden Rotary Club - from L to R: Gavin Plews, Derek Lewton, Simon Plews, John Shipley and Kathy Hunter.


Home (Cycle)

The team

Route map and daily targets

Daily Plans

Daily reports

Your donations

Your Comments and Questions & Answers




1. Gavin Plews - Rotarian from Club, President for 2004-05. Keen cyclist, used to cycle to work.

2. Kathy Hunter - Rotarian from Club, Past President. Always keen on fitness.

3. Simon Plews - Son of Gavin Plews

4. Derek Lewton - Former Colleague of Gavin Plews from Mars (Masterfoods)

5. Jim Grufferty  - Former Colleague of Gavin Plews from Mars (Masterfoods)

6. John Shipley - A friend of Gavin Plews from Prestwood

7. Erik Nauta - A Dutch friend of Simon Plews. They met up in Australia and like a challenge.

Supporting Team:

1. Alan Jones - Rotarian from Club, Past President.

2. Belinda Plews - Daughter of Gavin Plews

3. Mandy [replacing Steve Woodbridge - Boy friend of Belinda]


Gavin Plews:
Recently retired as a Project Manager for Masterfoods (Mars bars etc) and have become President of the Rotary Club of Gt.Misssenden for the next 12 months. Looking for inspirational ideas to raise money for charity - I hit upon the idea of cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats, and have succeeded in persuading some friends, relatives and colleagues to join me. It seemed a good idea at the time, but with just a week to go I'm questioning my sanity, and so is my bottom!

Two of my three children are accompanying me either on the ride, or as support vehicle driver.

My interests include sailing and skiing, and I have been involved in various organisations as school governor, scouts, residents association, school parent teacher association over the years. My interest in Rotary started about seven years ago when I realised what could be achieved by so few, and just how fulfilling membership was to be on a personal level.

My wife Jenny, a nurse in the local community, is not looking forward to my almost 3 week absence, but declined the offer to join us on the ride!



Kathy Hunter:
I live in Little Kingshill and have been a member of Great Missenden Rotary for seven years: having been Club President in 2000, I was keen to support Gavin in his year as President.

I enjoy a physical challenge so agreed without hesitation when Gavin invited me to do the cycle. I have to say that I have hesitated quite a bit about that agreement since then!

I have a young daughter and have supported the NSPCC personally before, so the choice of charity appealed to me - as youngsters cannot have too many places to turn if they are at risk, in danger or scared. Our work within Rotary shows us this aspect of our own communities on many occasions - so I feel it is up to us to act to change this where we can.

I work part-time as a Fitness Instructor - working with the local Leisure centres and also within the NHS, my particular areas of interest being the provision of exercise opportunities within areas such as Mental Health and other specialised groups.

This has been no small undertaking for me - just the logistics of trying to train , work and balance family responsibilities has been a challenge! I am still very nervous about certain aspects of the ride but once we get going, I am sure the adventure will be a great one - it certainly will be a fantastic way to see the countryside!



Simon Plews:
 I'm 24 years old and I live and work in High Wycombe. I'm currently employed by 
Software Spectrum, who are based in the Peregrine Business Park on Gomm Road, and who are kindly sponsoring me 500 and supplying the team with T-shirts and water bottles for the ride.

Having recently returned from a year-long round the world trip, it was only going to be a matter of time before my cravings for adventure kicked in again! So when Dad told me that he was planning this voyage I leapt at the chance and signed up straight away. Coincidentally, I had been speaking to my Dutch friend, Erik, whilst in Australia about the possibility of arranging some kind of adventure when we got back to help adjust back to normal life! As soon as I heard about this opportunity I got in touch with Erik and sold the idea to him...and he hasn't forgiven me since!

I've always been the type of person that would be outside playing on my bike/skateboard/up a tree or whatever, but have never had real goals in any of the above activities. For me, the cycle ride not only presented us with a good opportunity to raise money for a good cause (all of the proceeds go to the NSPCC), but also presented me with a personal challenge, not only in completing the ride, but in fitting the intense training schedule into everyday working life. Having something to aim for has really motivated me - both to get fit and in other areas of my life too. I'm glad I'm part of this ride and pleased that we are raising money and awareness of an important charity. This is just the first of many exciting adventures to come - suggestions welcome!'  




Derek Lewton: I worked at Masterfoods for 25 years in R & D and Commercial, where I was involved with several projects with Gavin.  I also worked on the start of the Masterfoods ice cream factory in France for three years, an exciting time for all of the family including the birth of my daughter.

I have always wanted to do the Lands End to John OGroats cycle ride, but working was always a convenient reason to put it off.  My retirement in April 04 fitted perfectly with Gavins planned ride, and I was quite happy to be persuaded.  It also assuages the envy I have for my two sons who are both doing exciting activities in their gap years from study.

Commitment was somewhat challenged on those training days when the rain was horizontal, but on balmy days it has been a joy to be out in the Chiltern countryside where I live.

My other interests include skiing, tropical fish, and DIY.  My wife Jean teaches at the local primary school, and will enjoy the peacefulness of her gardening during the school holidays whilst I am away.




Jim Grufferty: Born in Epsom Surrey in 1944, brought up in Co Cork in Ireland. Since graduating from UCC in 1966 I have worked in various parts of the UK before joining Mars as an Electrical Design Engineer where I met and
worked with Gavin. 

I retired in May 04 after thirty one years. Have always been into sport and exercise - boxing and rugby in my youth, then running in the 80s. Ran the London marathon three times with lots of half -marathons etc. 

Biking has always been there since school days in Ireland and this ride has always been an ambition. So, over a few pints with Gavin last year it seemed like a good idea! We shall see, should have more sense now at my age. Training has gone well and I can recommend it for losing weight, back to my marathon weights.




John Shipley: The last time I did a 1,000 mile-trip on my bike, it took three weeks and I was 15 years old - forty-five years later I have to wonder at my sanity!!

Ive always enjoyed cycling and as a teenager in the late 1950s / early 60s I spent much of my free time riding, both locally around my home town of Bristol as well as further away during the holidays to Wales, IoW, Ireland etc. However college, career and family soon filled my time and although I managed the occasional ride, it was not until I retired a few years ago that I decided to start cycling again on a regular / more serious basis.

I worked in the IT industry for 35 years and travelled a great deal something I very much enjoyed, but fortunately it never necessitated a permanent move so I have been able to have a stable home in the Chilterns for 30 years with my wife and family.

Now Im retired. Apart from cycling, Im able to pursue my other hobbies walking, archaeology, family history, golf, etc no time for all the jobs I promised to do! The Chiltern Society has a cycling group and we meet every Tuesday for an off-road or on-road ride, finishing at a pub to put back all the good we might have done. I support  Sustrans the organisation responsible for the National Cycle Network and as a Ranger in waiting, Im waiting for the Princes Risborough to High Wycombe section to be signed.

Im looking forward to the challenge of riding from Lands End to John O Groats with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation but Im sure as a team well make it.




Erik Nauta: I am 34 yrs old. Raised on an island which I currently use to practise. From Haarlem where I live I now cycle every weekend a return to and from the island. It's about 60miles one way.

'Professionally, I'm a financial advisor. I assist people with mortgages -  look for proper banks and arrange all the necassary things. I also help them in actually buying the house occassionally.Especially the English people who find everything a maze in Holland (and they're right).

My motivation to do this ride is because I once saw in a magazine that this trip exists and when I met Simon in Aussie he said he will do it some day. So mix this and it was quite easy to bite the ' bate'. I'm ready to go, my bike is done and I'm very curious how I will feel after we have done this challange.