Finding LFGSS

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  • Back in February 2020 my mate and I started planning a bikepacking trip in England and Wales only to have it thoroughly cancelled by Covid. Especially since we live in Oslo, Norway. After three summer bikepacking stints on home soil, the 2020-idea was brought back to life and we are now pretty much set on going to do what we started planning.

    I was getting great input in the Mint Crux thread, and we started building something of a route based on the ideas from @platypus.

    We've set aside eight days including travel the first week of July. Current plan is to fly direct to Manchester Sunday morning and get going right away. Through Wales and end up in London on Saturday, pack our bikes and fly back home on Sunday. Without any detailed research this is the current route:

    Would love to have input from you all. We're super excited about this, and for me personally it's a bit special going to ride in the land of LFGSS, that has been with me since the days of sick fixie skidz.

    These are our previous trips.

    2015: Copenhagen-Prague (Sjur, HP) (AWOL)
    2016: California (HP) (AWOL)
    2019: Gothenburg-Copenhagen (HP) (Crux)
    2020: Norway, Otta-Oslo (HP, Sveinung) (Crux)
    2021: Norway, Jotunheimen rundt (HP, Sveinung, Rune) (Stribe)
    2022: Norway, Hardangervidda rundt (Sveinung, Rune) (Stribe)

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  • You can get a train from manchester into wales direct that will cut out the cheshire boring bit.

  • The route from the English side of the Severn Bridge all the way to Wootton Bassett is spot on.
    I used to ride to Newport regularly from Bath and used part of that route. I have also ridden the Pucklechurch to Wootton Bassett part many times and it covers some nice lanes.

  • For wales, going into north snowdonia could be worth it, I love the cycling there around llanberis especially. Also coming down to south wales the wye Valley from Monmouth to Chepstow is also really nice
    Also second the train out of Manchester, just feels a bit like urban sprawl there with not much to see.

  • Not an expert on your route but I would say:

    1. Part of your Wales route is extremely remote. Should be lovely but make sure you have all the supplies you need.

    2. Depending on what you want from the trip I would go into Bristol instead of just skirting around it. It's a great city, not huge but plenty of choice for a good quality meal, proper coffee, local beer/cider etc. To reward yourselves after some hard cycling in Wales.

  • Your Windsor-London leg is via the boringest trafficest route. Most people riding that way go via Sunbury-on-Thames and Richmond Park.

  • These are all great tips and very much appreciated! We'll get to work on a more detailed v2 of the route based on your comments. Feel free to fork out alternative routes too.

    Is it easy enough to bring the bikes on the train or does it need to be booked in advance? and if we opt to skip the first leg from the airport, is Chester a good starting point?

    We know that wild camping is not allowed. Are there enough campsites to rely on them on the go or should these be planned in advance?

  • That loaded Stribe is so fucking good.

  • We know that wild camping is not allowed.

    I think if you obey the rules of strike camp at sunset, be gone early next morning and leave no trace you should be fine. Plenty of remote spots along the way.

  • Chester would be a good place, or could go as far as Bangor and spend more time in north wales. My gfs family is from there so have a bias haha
    For bikes on a train I’d say it’s best to book ahead just to be safe, it’s not too hard. Just contact the train company (email, live chat, Facebook, WhatsApp, they all seem to do it differently) and then request a couple spots for the train you expect.

    There are quite a few campsites but like eskay said, if you come in late and you leave nothing it’s normally fine. In mid wales you’ll have no issue with that

  • The last bit of really pretty countryside before you get to London is the Chilterns. Although your route joining the Thames at Streatly makes sense in terms of directness and elevation (or lack of) if you have the time and legs I would suggest looking for a route through the small Chilterns lanes just a bit to the north. The LFGSS Hard Day Out rote regularly uses these lanes - see and if you do go that way and are anywhere near the Blue Tin Cafe (Wed-Sat only) it's worth a stop­bar/ .

    Happy to give specific route suggestions through the Chilterns, but plenty of others will have ridden there and will be able to help with specifics too if you do decide on that small detour.

  • Oh nice! So many thoughts!

    If I'm free then I would be very happy to ride with you some days.
    Send me a GPX file of your route and I will edit it to add all the good bits.
    Are you riding hardtail MTB or gravel bike?
    Wild camping in the UK is absolutely fine, leave no trace etc.

  • I will make the argument for cycling from the airport! It might be flat but there are some lovely lanes and villages to be found in Cheshire.

    I reckon you want to go a bit further south to find the nicer countryside. Your route is tracking along the M56 corridor, which is a bit industrial/flat/boring as others have said. I would recommend a mix of using Tatton Park and Sustrans Cycle Route 70 (aka the Cheshire Cycle Way) which does a good job of finding nice lanes. (can find GPX files for it online)

    You'll probably arrive at Terminal 1 (I think, from Oslo). The exits are all on the north side near the railway station. There's cycle lanes connecting onto Thorley Lane and Runger Lane which are quiet enough to cycle. They'll bring you round the airport to where your route currently starts. Head west on your route for a bit. Then dive south through Tatton to Knutsford (worth a quick detour into the center, possible posh lunch stop). Then west to join Sustrans Cycle Route 70 and into Great Budworth then onwards through Delamere Forest to rejoin your route at Bridge Trafford, near Chester.

    It could look at bit like this:­830584088

    some highlights en-route

  • Depending on dates and times etc, I may be able to join you for a bit of the ride (just a few miles to say hi).

  • The train will take you to llandudno . Plenty of cafes . Ride round the orme then its conway castle then inland to Dinorwic slate pleasure/ llanberis pass . Turn right bedgellert portmadog harlech barmouth estuary bridge . After that i can not spell the names .

  • llanberis pass . Turn right bedgellert portmadog harlech barmouth estuary bridge

    ^ This so very much.

  • Probably best via Menai Bridge as well.

  • If you’re going mid wales -> south wales -> Bristol then going Brecon -> hay on wye and the gospel pass before the decent towards Abergavenny absolutely has to be on the list. Also the best way round to do it as the views are great!

  • I'd say either way over Gospel Pass has incredible views but yeah, if you're in the area you don't want to miss it...

  • Fair! I’ve done both Llon Las Cmyru and a tour down the Welsh borders from Chester to Cheltenham and that was the highlight in both cases (even when went and windy)

    Terrible photo from top included to wet the appetite @larsenroad

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  • Agreed - it was an unexpected highlight of a LEJOG that purposefully extended the route to hit as many charming cycling areas as possible...

  • Overwhelming feedback. Thank you all!

    Anyone here is of course more than welcome to tag along for a ride during our trip, or meet us at the pub. Date is more or less set to July 2-9.

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Finding LFGSS

Posted by Avatar for larsenroad @larsenroad