A WINSHAM couple have raised more than £5,000 after riding the length and breadth of the country - and conquering Storm Francis on the way.

Simon Hill even completed a three-day ride from Somerset to Penzance to just reach the starting point of his cycling challenge with wife Jude.

Then, on August 24, the pair left Lands End powered by pasties and with growing Atlantic gales at their backs.

Jude said: “The little research that we had done warned us about the difficulties of the Sustrans route in the South West.

“This section was even tougher than we’d imagined. Every downhill was followed by gruelling, sharp uphills - hard work on the legs and spirits.

“Bodmin moor and Exmoor were wet and wild.”

The Hills rode for 45 days spending most nights just sleeping under a campus which Simon carried.

Jude added: “The advantage of cycling unsupported is that it avoids the forward planning, guessing how many miles to be covered each day.

“Our route took us along quiet country lanes, forest tracks, canal paths and side streets. The route was well signposted, especially, thankfully, through towns and cities.

“We camped in recognised campsites but also in the wild, particularly good in Scotland, a few hotels as we worked our way through cities and family stops.”

Simon and Jude averaged around 50 miles per day, increasing as they headed north to the rolling highlands.

Jude said: “We were joined 10 miles short of John o’Groats by one of our sons and his wife. The sun was shining, and for me it was a glorious finale.”

Jude spent 1,202 miles on the Brookes leather saddle, completing an elevation of 54,700 feet, and 49,000 calories of energy used.

However, Simon’sepic journey was still not over, as he turned his handlebars south and completed the journey all the way back to Winsham.

He totalled 2,255 miles, 105,467 feet of elevation, and used 93,945 calories.

Jude added: “The weather was not very kind but the reception we received along the way was wonderful.

“Our aim was to raise awareness of Postpartum Psychosis and everyone that we met showed interest, concern and compassion and promised to talk to others about the condition.

“We have also raised over £5,000 for the charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis - who support mothers, their families and provide training and awareness for health professionals.”

The Hills were inspired to collect cash for APP after one of their daughters suffered from postpartum psychosis after giving birth.

For more on the condition, visit app-network.org.

Or to donate to the Hills, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/ride-for-recovery.