The Lands End to John O'Groats thread

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  • Great write-up, Pompey.....fascinating stuff!

  • I'm thinking about doing JOGLE fixed/brakeless this Summer. I did London to Cornwall last year on a TT bike so I know the hills in the SW are tough but I reckon it should be OK - does anyone have experience of this??

  • having ridden quite a lot in cornwall (my mum lives on the lizard) i wouldn't recommend brakeless. a lot of the hills are 25% and super windy and narrow, not to mention that locals drive pretty fast on them!

    although you could probably avoid a lot of the hills, but to do so would involve riding on busier roads, which would be a shame as the lanes in cornwall are spectacular.

  • I did JOGLE with some mates in 2012, brilliant 9 days..

  • I did LEJOG solo last summer. Bought a road bike specifically for it (sorry for selling out lol!). I wild camped and stayed at friends places so worked out very cheap - although a lot more challenging. Midges in Scotland were definitely the worst thing about the experience. Slept on the cliffs of Land's End and John o'Groats as well as next to Thirlmere in the Lake District and on the side of the road in the Highlands. Took me 9 days of riding + 3 rest days + 1 day riding 133 miles back to Inverness to catch my coach home lol!! I've actually just self-published a 20,000 word zine/book about it too if anyone's interested in supporting a kid with a dream ~

  • Hello - I'm doing this in a few weeks, taking a slightly scenic (and hilly) route - couldn't get my head around cycling close to so many places I've wanted to see for ages, but not actually seeing them. So detouring via Cheddar Gorge, Wye Valley, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District, Glencoe etc. approx. 1100 miles, in 11-12 days, still planning routes now… which leads me to a request for favourite roads/favourites bits if road/recommended hills/bits to avoid etc. My route will look something like the below, I’d love to hear if anyone had any ‘must ride’ stretches or bits of countryside to see… or basically anything particularly unmissable on route. If anyone can suggest any sort of vaguely pleasant route between Sheffield and into the Yorkshire Dales I’d be very grateful!

    In return, here are a couple of my favourite bits of road. Two down in Oxfordshire/Cotswolds (which is where my folks live – absolutely stunning place to cycle, if anyone wants any suggested routes there, or to come on a ride, give me a shout) and one up in Scotland where my GF’s mum lives. Another stunning place to ride, on road or off.

    Roman Road from Burford
    Ditchley Park/fields of Oil Seed Rape
    Over the hill from Edinburgh

  • owl
    I put this in the Rides/Routes thread too in case you miss it...

    If you're aiming for a hill or two on your LEJoG, Presteigne and The Bog should be in there somewhere... Shropshire/Welsh borders way

    And Carlisle to Edinburgh is lovely over the Moorfoot hills.

    Aim for Hesket Newmarket in the northern Lakes... Stunning pub/library/internet caff/postoffice/ brewery in the middle of the village (and next to a decent B&B!)

    I did A9 to Helmsdale and then northwest over the Strath, 37 miles of nothing. Stunning cycling but for cattle grids. Think it's on your map above - N/S road just west of JoG

    Oh, and if I have one regret from my ride, it's not detouring to Lizard/Dounreay points to cover North and South, as well as west. I grew up near Lowestoft so have no desire to cycle there again!

  • Hi Owl,

    Don't know if this helps but here is the route I did from Penrith to Peebles­62910. This was by far the best day for me and I probably the best riding I've ever done in the UK. The scenery after crossing the border was incredible and the road (I think it was the B709) is great fun and really varied.

  • That's the one over the Moorfoots. Stunning road and decent surface too!

    There's a weird buddhist centre in the middle of nowhere but oddly enough has a caff doing really good cake!

  • Ha, I almost forgot about that place. I was with a group and we have to wait for everyone to turn up so we must have been there for about 3 hours. Strange place but really nice. Definitely worth a stop if you're nearby I'd say. The food was good.

  • Cheers for this! Really appreciate it. I'm planning on going very close to Presteigne, but not through/up it - what would you recommend as the best approach? Going up/along Hay Bluff the day before which looks lovely.

    Carlisle - Edinburgh/Peebles puts me in two minds. I've ridden quite a bit around Peebles (my gf comes from up there) so I know it's lovely, but I want to get up to Loch Lomand/Glencoe/Trossachs as directly as possible, which probably means staying East after the Lakes. Is this a big mistake? I don't really know what the riding up the West is like, guess will be relatively close to the M6 at most times... Hmmm.

  • Cheers, as above /\ this is really giving me pause for thought. Especially as I could stay with my gf's mum in Peebles. I'll have to play with some maps tonight and see where it leaves me. Thanks for the route, looks great.

  • Presteigne... We came up through Monmouth single track road all the way to the Neals Yard dairy at Dorstone. Turned right, Eardisley, Kington, Titley, Rodd and into Presteigne. Then follow the sign for the cemetary!
    Bedstone, Kempton, Totterton and on up The Bog

    Very quiet roads but some steep stuff (and I tend to avoid that - I was on a Moulton and they do hills as poorly as me!)

    Further up, we did
    Gars tang, Lancaster canal, Silverdale, Milnthorpe, Ambleside, Grasmere, back of Thirlmere, B5322 then over Mungrisdale to Hesket as a day
    Hesket, Carlise, Gretna, Langholm, Innerleithen as a day
    Innerleithen - Perth
    Brora (via Nidd bay ferry)
    However, getting to Garstang from a night near Malpas wars a bit grim via Warrington, Orrell and Preston and being Lancahire, it rained

    Good luck - I enjoyed the planning a load as well as the ride

  • Just finished Jogle with 2 mates, we did just over 1600km in 10days and hit up cairngorms national park and dartmoor along the way. Saw some amazing places, but the Cairngorms is defo worth the detour if you have the time, we then rode down to Edinburgh via Perth. I would highly recommend Kirkby longs dale just inside the English border, some nice climbs into there-there is a hotel called the copper kettle in town which was old school and really nice. Would also highly recommend Dartmoor.

  • @lightbluejosh would love to see your route for this.

  • Currently planning a solo LEJOG tour. Does anyone have experience with camping along the way?

    Would prefer to camp than stay in b&b/hotels.

  • Campsites or wild camping?

  • "Sweary" Dave Barter (author or Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder, Great British Bike Rides, The Year) is attempting a "CX" LEJOG over ~14 days...

    Spot Tracker here:­f03d5611902b7df4d


  • I would prefer to wild camp. Info on proper campsites would also be helpul.

  • I finally did my long-planned JogLe, only 3 years later than originally intended, and with the bike that I got for it almost worn out. This was supported by Mrs Earthloop in a small camper van that we bought with this in mind. Two weeks of leave booked, planing to follow a 1400k route and attempt about 200k per day in the mornings with 4am starts, and lounge about and maybe do a bit of walking in the afternoons, and then have a camper van holiday for the second week of leave if I finish on schedule.

    That plan lasted until we arrived in Scotland on Saturday, after which "let's see how fast you can finish it, maybe you'll have time to go back again, then we can park the van in a whisky distillery car park and get blootered afterwards" started to seem like a good idea.

    So, jump on the bike on Sunday morning, and off I go down the A99. Excited to finally be doing it, adrenaline, I put in a fairly fast first 200k, and start to think about maybe getting in 500k for the day. Then a slowdown - I was burning sugar faster than the 10g/hour I'd been taking on, no problem: eat some gels and then at around the 300k mark bump the dosage up to 20g/hour for the remainder. A slight mixup with the dosage had me continuing on 3g/hour instead of 20, bonked hard at 325km, done (in) for the day. Eat a proper dinner and plenty of sugar.­50

    Day 2: I wake up, and everything hurts. I want to stop. I make a deal with myself: I'll stop, but I should have a gentle recovery ride to aid healing, just a few hours of very easy riding, might as well ride along the route as anywhere else. In this way I con myself into carrying on. So off I head, everything still hurting, and setting a nice gentle pace. Things start to hurt less, then I settle in, aches all faded away. The scenery is beautiful. A bit of a dodgy moment when an oncoming van comes around a corner on my side of the road a skids with a nasty skiddy noise as it struggles to get back over and avoid hitting me. I start to feel a bit meh around noon, eating some real food at lunchtime helps a lot, and I finish the day on 390km even after accidentally going over Kirkstone Pass due to a lack of attention to hills when planning the route. But there's lots to do with bike/equipment logistics, and I don't get to bed until midnight.­49

    Day 3: A bit of a late start. My nutrition is more or less sorted out at this point, 20g/hour of maltodextrin and 5g/hour of whey protein, supplemented with chorizo sausages, salted almonds, a tub of double cream for breakfast and a bit of mayonnaise. Overall nutrition strategy: anything too slow to get out of the way gets eaten. It seems to be pretty much working for me, but van logistics need some work to eliminate time consuming post-ride fannying about, so a fairly early finish 12km off route because we need a proper campsite. 298 km for the day.­90

    Day 4: Maybe it's cumulative tiredness, but the unrelenting steep hills of the Devon lanes finish me off. I stop a bit early, wrecked after 257 km. Did not set an alarm for the morning.­52

    Day 5: only 187 km to go, but knackered. 0 km.

    Day 6: It's a lovely morning, but I'm still knackered. Now it's late morning. In the interests of getting the damn thing done, I abandon the planned route through the lanes of Devon and Cornwall, and hoon down the A30 instead. I was a little sad to be missing out on really seeing any of Cornwall, but part of the A30 near Bodmin was closed to cyclists, and the alternative route was nicely signposted and lovely. Maybe that was just luck, or all of Cornwall is that nice to ride, or the diversion people consulted someone who actually rides a bike. The combination of a day and a morning off and flatter riding have me feeling much better, despite getting my first and only puncture on this leg. We decide to try an a-road route back the other way. I'm keen to turn around and head straight back today (I recon it'll be mentally easier to get going the next day if I've already started the return leg) but Mrs Earthloop persuades me not to. 148km and JogLe done :)­47

    Day 7: we decide to take another non-riding day, because Mrs Earthloop is horrified by the amount of time I spend fannying about with the bike at the end of the ride, so a review of procedures is in order. I also need to google a fast a-road route - I find Lee Fancourt's LeJogLe record attempt route and decide to give that a whirl.

    Day 8 (LeJog day 1): a slightly late start because the camp site is 5 km from Lands End so I have to ride to the start first. New procedures seem to be working well, Mrs Earthloop is set up in a campsite in good time and I know well in advance where and when I'm stopping, and I manage to get off the bike and into bed in fairly quickly. This was a good day, and the pace felt sustainable. 397km in the bag:­87

    Day 9 (LeJog day 2): Up and off in fairly good time, the legs are hurting again and I'm no-longer falling for the recovery ride story, but never mind, I'll just continue slowly. This time part of the pain is in and around the right knee and ankle; the sites of old injuries that have kept me off the bike for many weeks in the past. I worry that this may be the end. Taking it very very easy from the start, no standing climbs (for which my gooch does not thank me) and hoping for a reversal. All muscle aches gone after a couple of hours, there's nothing going on but dull aches in right knee and ankle. Then following a brief stop to re-apply gooch cream, a sharp stabbing pain at the front of the right knee, so that's me done. LeJog: abort. Feel a bit sad.­55

    Aftermath: we meandered back up to Edinburgh in the van, did a lot of walking, tried some whisky but didn't get blootered in the car park, had very nice haggis dishes in places we discovered via our new good food place finding strategy: go into a pub that obviously doesn't serve food, ask the bar-person if they serve food, look a bit sad at the answer, then ask them to recommend somewhere that does.

    My knee and ankle aren't quite right yet, but they're far better than the worst they've ever been and I'm commuting to work (gently) 3 days a week already, so I'm hopeful for a reasonably fast recovery.

    Next up: a lap of Iceland in 2017:

  • enjoyed reading that, nice one!

  • Congrats Nick, good to see you back riding the huge distances again. Got any pics?

  • great pic !!

  • I'm thinking of doing the Deloitte one with a friend this year, for charity, but may also be going on a week long cycling holiday to Nice or Mallorca not long after.

    What sort of toll does this kind of ride take In your body and how long should I leave afterwards before another big week?

    I know it's a very general question, but it would be good to know how people felt after doing this kind of thing for the first time.

    Previous trips have been 7 days of 100km+ hilly rides in Mallorca etc and have never felt like I needed time off after. In fact I smashed my 10mile pb after a week in Nice.

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The Lands End to John O'Groats thread

Posted by Avatar for h2o @h2o