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Lady Bathurst completes Land's End to John O'Groats cycle ride after near miss

By Mike Merritt

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Lady Bathurst arrived at John O'Groats earlier this week. Picture: NFRSA
Lady Bathurst arrived at John O'Groats earlier this week. Picture: NFRSA

An aristocrat has cycled more than 1000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for retired service animals.

Lady Bathurst of Cirencester has so far raised more than £14,500.

The 58-year-old has received backing from actor and comedian Ben Miller, presenter Dr Dawn Harper and the Duchess of York.

Lady Bathurst endured extreme weather and bike crashes on her first five days of cycling.

The National Foundation for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA) was founded by Lady Bathurst last year. It raises money to help support the owners of retired service dogs and horses by paying for equipment, food and medical bills.

Lady Bathurst's charity bike ride nearly ended in disaster after she was almost run over by a car overtaking a lorry.

She was nearly knocked off her £10,000 Porsche e-bike while riding close to the Scottish border.

Her organisation issued a warning to drivers overtaking on country roads following the incident, which also caused her support car to swerve.

Video footage shared by NFRSA showed the former High Sheriff of Gloucestershire waving her arms while in the cycle lane before being taken by surprise by a red vehicle overtaking the large lorry.

She then placed her hand on her heart before coming to a stop and swore moments later, before saying: "My knees are actually shaking."

She continued: "It was literally inches away. I was waving until the bloke was going 'it's that way', and I laughed and just wobbled out."

Referring to herself, she said: "She very nearly was a dead countess, not a cycling countess."

Lady Bathurst wrote later on X, formerly Twitter: "I was riding alone yesterday afternoon, in beautiful Scotland on the NFRSA Charity Bike Ride, when this happened.

"It was unbelievably frightening and shook me up.

"Please, when overtaking on country roads, be aware of what might be on the other side of the road. Thank you."

Now the countess has arrived at her destination in John O'Groats. The NFRSA said in a post:"She did it! Lady B arrived safely at John O’Groats after her 1022 mile bike ride from Land's End, accompanied by her old school friend Alice, and Melissa who flew over from Oklahoma to share this final day.

"She was greeted by her husband, a fabulous crowd, @CotswoldTV and Dounreay dog section who all came to cheer for the last few yards.

"Followed in by the most beautiful rainbow, it was an emotional end to a huge adventure.

"There are so many people to thank, and we will do that over the coming days and weeks. You know who you are.

"There’s been highs, lows, punctures, broken chains, frustrations, navigational issues, near misses, falls, skids, wasp stings, and goodness knows what else along the way – but it’s all been for one reason and one reason only; to raise awareness for our service animals and the work of the NFRSA who look after these heroic animals in their retirement, and to raise funds.

"Please make all those bruises, cuts, sore muscles, and near death experiences worthwhile by popping whatever you can spare into the GoFundMe page, we’re still a little way off our target and it would be amazing if you could help us get over that line.

"Thank you for your amazing support – it’s helped eat up the miles, and blow away the not inconsiderable wind and rain!"

In a Facebook post the Duchess of York said: "What a woman! I am so proud of my friend Lady Bathurst."

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