Alistair Cope will tow his canoe until he reaches water on 700 mile trip

What's the next challenge when you've circumnavigated the British coastline by bike? For Alistair Cope, it's the PAPETE: Pedal and Paddle Edinburgh to Exmouth.

The 55 year old owner of Velo Vintage has designed a route of around 700 miles, which he will undertake on his red Pashley, towing a specially made lightweight canoe. When he arrives at water, he'll load his bike in the canoe and travel that way instead.

It's an unsupported journey and Alistair will carry everything he needs, including camping equipment, in his canoe, made by Flaxlands.

There'll be around 300 miles on water with 111 locks to negotiate and 390 miles on land that takes in part of the North York Moor. 

Alistair said: “It will take about 4 weeks as although I can really press on when cycling, canoeing this style of boat is quite slow.

"They’re going to be long days, but I am crossing most of middle England on water, so it should be fascinating”.

Alistair’s route takes in Edinburgh, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, Doncaster, Nottingham, Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Gloucester, Exeter and Exmouth. He is due to start on Saturday 17th August and finish on Saturday 14th September 2013.

Alistair is raising funds for three charities. Headway Devon and Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education  will get 90% of the donations. He is also raising funds for Blesma and 10% will be allocated to this charity that help men and women who have lost limbs and the use of limbs or the loss of eyesight in the service of our country.

You can donate and follow Alistair’s progress via his website or get in touch to offer a bed, a shower or a slice of cake if he happens to be coming near you.




After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.