Catha's Seat

Friday, 21 September 2012

What's it all for?

Rather selfishly, this trip is for me! To quench my thirst for touring, to build my confidence by travelling alone, to gain perspective by meeting people from different places and to find time to think about the bigger picture.

However, I would like to use the opportunity to raise awareness about the work of Spokes East Kent Cycle Campaign. My mum was a dedicated cycle campaigner. She surveyed the optimum cycle route between Ashford and Canterbury with Sheila Webb around 20 years ago and the remaining links are now finally under construction. More detail here

The cycle route offers a safe alternative to the exceedingly dangerous A28; connecting Ashford, Canterbury and the villages between them. This is expected to promote sustainable transport activity in the area as well as provide a beautiful path for walkers and cyclists.

Although the cycle route itself does not require financial support, as it will be built by the Council, we would like to build a seat along the route with a fantastic view over Chilham, with a plaque in memory of Mum and her work. A similar seat has been installed by Sheila on the stretch between Chartham and Canterbury as shown in the picture below.

As the seats are hand made out of solid green oak they cost around £5,000. It will provide a rest stop and great views for generations to come. 

If you are into cycling, walking, good views, sustainable transport or all of the above I would be exceedingly grateful for any support that you can provide to make this happen. I thought we could do this in the form of a game! Please make a pledge of whatever you can afford by commenting on this post (with your name) or sending me an email. At the same time tell me what you think the total mileage and average speed on the speedometer will be when I arrive in Istanbul. The 2 winners will receive a Turkish speciality from Istanbul! 

No money will be taken when you make the pledge, but when we are ready to place the order on the bench I will get back in touch and ask if you are still able fulfil your pledge. We will keep everyone updated with progress of the project and organise a trip to see it when it has been built. So everyone's donations are recognised I will also float the idea of having donor's names on a plaque as well.


  1. Hi Nick - Tamsin here!

    You must be very proud of your Mum. What a wonderful thing to have done and I really want to support you in having a seat installed!

    I think it will be a 100 miles and possibly 10-11MPH... And I would like to pledge £25 please!

    Good luck and have a great adventure! xxx

  2. Hi Nick!

    I pledge £10.

    I'm a bit confused by your route - the coming back to London and zero days - but anyway, i think your total mileage will be 2600 miles and average speed of 7mph.

    Lots of luck! Veronica

  3. Many, many thanks for your kind pledges TC and Veronica (Is that Veronica Barnett or Veronica Powers there?)

    The zero days are when I'm having a day off or travelling off the bike. I'm having a day off today with my friend Bastian in Wiesbaden!

    The coming back to London is because we have tickets for Radiohead on the Monday!! So I'm coming back from Lausanne on the train. Crazy I know - but Eliza says that seeing Radiohead is one of her life goals and so I bought tickets back in January and had to plan it in somehow!

    Also I have a week off with Eliza in Italy - taking the train around! Phew!

    Thanks again