Welcome to the Nelly 2014 website

This is a ride Steve Norman and Shane Johnston are doing in June from Venice to Topsham for the Force Cancer charity in Exeter.

The Ride is the route in reverse that two cyclist’s (Nello Ghezzo and Marc Millon) did in 1997 to raise money for Cancer Research, (read their daily diary at http://www.rideforlife.org.uk/diary.html ). Sadly the following year Nello passed away with cancer, so in his memory Marc and a few friends started the Force Century Cycle Challenge (which was their training route around Exmoor) and has now grown every year, with this year 1,500 cyclists taking part, making it Force’s main fundraising event of the year.

They plan to fly out to Venice on Sunday 8th June,  and then start the epic 1,150 mile challenge on Monday 9th which will include two of the toughest climbs over the Alps, Col du Galibier and Alpe d’ Huez, and then return to complete this year’s Century Challenge now known as the “Nello” on Sunday 29th June.

We’ve been out training a few times now. For details of what we’ve been up to, along with links to GPS files of our rides, please see our training page

Photos of our rides and what we’re up to are on this site and also our flick page (click on any of the photos in the flickr section on the right hand side for the link)



  1. Well we’re at Gatwick. Managed to find the hotel and parking ok, which are only 200m apart, but well over a mile’s walk on main roads and through undergrowth! Having a quiet night with the aid of muscle relaxant (beer) before at 4am start tomorrow. We hope to start riding mid afternoon Sunday

  2. wow!!! hope you have a better day today,it sure sounds like tough going.. Don’t let yesterday take too much time from today. 90 miles is a long haul, is your time difference one hour behind here?
    live mum.xxx

  3. Well done Shane for sticking with it, I feel bad now that I joked that your bike might break! Glad you are meeting nice people and I really enjoy reading your comments. Keep it up and don’t forget to eat lots of ice creams (otherwise why go to Italy?)

  4. Mum: thanks, we’re getting there! Donna: we’ve taken a few wrong turns (and I’m in charge of navigating…) Polly: don’t ruminate about it, it’s happened a few times recently 😦 and I’m having more than my fair share of deserts 🙂

  5. Glad it went better yesterday,that heat must be so draining,but the rest at the end of your ride is worth all the pain with the glorious views. remember.: Some people ,want it to happen,some wish it would happen.others make it happen.
    love mum.xxx

  6. Shane, Steve sounds like a true adventure. Trip of a lifetime. I just hope that the Italians don’t block roundabouts otherwise they will suffer the wrath of Shane. Thinking of you and hoping that you get back on schedule for the Nello. I may need help to push my bike up Dulverton Hill. I love the Family, Girls, Guys comments. keep pedalling xxx

  7. Important update: All of the links have been updated and are now fully working. The key features of the site are:
    ● Click on the large map on the main page to get a live map of our current location and speed (when riding)
    ● Completed days now have the daily reports on them along with links to the planned and actual routes
    ● Upcoming days have the original planned routes on the maps shown. To get the revised planned maps (from hotel door to hotel door) click on the map on that page or the ‘Garmin route’ link
    ● For a link to our uploaded pictures click on any of the images on the bottom right of the screen. This will take you to our Flickr page where all pictures have dates and times along with captions of what/where there are. As with this site you are able to leave comments there also

  8. Thanks everyone, your kind words are helping us keep going. Shaz: I did think about you when writing it and the consequences it would bring! Adrian: Not yet, but we have some big climbs ahead of us, once we’re out of the alps it should get easier….

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