Caldicot estate agent and dad all set for Lejog cycle ride in aid of St David’s Hospice Care

A Caldicot estate agent and his father have completed their training and are setting off from Land’s End next week on a lifetime’s dream trip to cycle the length of the United Kingdom.

Andy Reeks, aged 63 and his estate agent son Nathan, 35, both from Caldicot, are looking to complete the gruelling Land’s End to John O’Groats (Lejog) cycle ride in aid of Newport-based St David’s Hospice Care.

Andy, chairman of Caldicot Running Club, and Nathan, one of the directors of Caldicot-based Nathan James Estate Agents, will set off on Wednesday (July 3) aiming to be in John O’Groats, Caithness, 12 days later.

The duo will be making a special detour to Caldicot on Saturday, July 6, when they will meet supporters outside their estate agents at 10am before powering on with their ride to the far north of Scotland.

The father and son team have been completing 250-miles-a-week training sessions since the turn of the year and have also competed in various road cycle sportif including The Struggle.

Nathan said: “The event, in Yorkshire saw 3,000 start but just 300 finish. The Struggle covers 108 miles and includes 12,000 ft of really steep climbs. It makes The Tumble, at Abergavenny, seem like a speed bump in comparison. It’s regarded as one of the toughest cycle events in the UK.

Dad and I were among the only finishers and it was really hard and in atrocious conditions so I really do think that we’re ready for the Lejog.”

Andy, who with his son has each lost a stone in weight since they took on the challenge said: “I haven’t had a pint since Boxing Day so I’m looking forward to my first one in six months when we arrive at John O’Groats.”

The pair are full of praise for the people that have supported their efforts including Watkins Garage at Llandevenny, Magor, who serviced their support vehicle free of charge and also Jules and Ian of South Wales Bicycles, Newport, who have serviced and set up their bikes for free.

The pair, who are footing the £600 bill for fuel for their support vehicle out of their own pockets, have been given free stop over pitches at Caravan Club sites along the way.

And they are being supported along the way by good friend, local man, Ian Waite.

Nathan said: “We really couldn’t do this trip without Ian’s help and support. He is our ‘life support’ on the trip. Ian will be driving the camper van, cooking and even servicing the bikes each night, ready for the next day’s ride.”

“Lejog is something that Dad and I have talked about doing for many years in the cycle tracks of the great Caldicot cyclist Pauline Strong.

“We are distance runners rather than riders, both with marathons under our belt. So distance cycling is new to us. But we’ve taken it in our stride, and are now comfortable doing 60-mile training rides. We are looking at covering around 100 miles a day on the ride, so we are where we need to be at the moment.

“At the start of the ride are some fairly substantial climbs and we are not looking forward to those hard, early climbs. We are really looking forward to calling back into Caldicot en route, and of course the sight of the first Welcome to Scotland sign will be a huge relief.

“Pride, determination and the fact that we want to raise money for St David’s Hospice Care will keep us going every day. We will complete the ride no matter what. But we want to do it on schedule, and with our fundraising target of £10,000 reached, as we cycle into John O’Groats.

“Carole Waite, a director of the estate agents business, has witnessed first-hand the terrific work that St David’s Hospice Care do in our local communities. We therefore saw this as a natural opportunity to say a big thank you for the work that they did, and to help other families benefit from caring clinical support at a difficult time.”

Beth Harrington, of St David’s Hospice Care, said: “Andy and Nathan are taking on an enormous challenge for us – we’re in awe of them. St David’s Hospice Care is supremely grateful for them choosing to complete the ride in aid of the charity.

“We wish them the very best and look forward to welcoming them both back to St David’s Hospice on their return.”

You can donate in person at Nathan James Estate Agents’ office in Caldicot, or online at