Nick’s Bike Ride

Nick Keeley writes:

Fleet Pond, Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake, has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, when it was the fishery for the Priory at Winchester. In 1954 the pond and its reedbeds, fens and dry heathland was one of the first nature reserves to be granted Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status. Now it is silting up badly because of local developments and is in danger of losing its SSSI status, possibly even disappearing completely. Imagine Fleet without its pond!

Over the next few years Fleet Pond’s Clearwater campaign needs to raise significant amounts of money to stop Fleet Pond silting up and losing its SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) status.  I am asking you to sponsor my bike ride to Liverpool and back this summer. As I will be riding alone, and carrying all my clothing in two panniers on the bike, I don’t need any back-up vehicles so all money raised will go to the Clearwater campaign.

Why to Liverpool?  I have quite a lot of family in Liverpool and two years ago I celebrated my retirement by cycling 250 miles to Liverpool. I was a bit over-ambitious by trying to do over 50 miles a day, regardless of the many hills on the way. This was evident in the last sentences of my diary. ”If I talk about doing this again, please lock me in a pub and throw away the key. Never again, well at least not into a head wind and not over those same hills.” Obviously suffering from memory loss, this winter I decided to do it again, adding a return journey, but at a more modest 40 miles a day.

I plan to go to Liverpool via Reading, Bicester, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Lichfield, then up the Trent Valley, over to Cheshire and by ferry across the Mersey to Liverpool. I will then spend a day or so resting and visiting family. I will ride back through Cheshire to Ironbridge, Evesham, the Cotswolds and finally back to Fleet.  I expect the round trip of about 500 miles to take about two weeks and I will set off sometime in July or August, depending on weather prospects.

Please, therefore, sponsor me. The best way is online via  If you are a UK taxpayer and fill in the Gift Aid declaration a few more pounds can be reclaimed by us from the tax authorities.  This is by far the best way for the Society, as it saves us having to write to people to collect you sponsorship after the ride.

Alternatively, you can send me a cheque, payable to Fleet Pond Society together with your address and email address.  Your cheque will not be cashed until after the ride and will be returned if the ride does not take place.  Your email address will enable me to let you know how the ride goes. Thanks very much.

Nick Keeley, 12 Chestnut Grove, Fleet, GU51 3LW

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