It’s almost exactly a year ago that I had the initial conversation with a few friends about doing a Lands End to John O’Groats cycle. Most of that time has been spent mulling over whether to do it or not, but eventually, the decision was made, and the planning started. The route was mapped out, and the stops settled on. It took a while to decide on accommodation, but even that is dealt with now.
So now it’s just down to trying to fit in as much training as possible before the time. It started with a single ride per weekend – usually on a Sunday morning. I’ve now built up to two rides – of about 30 miles each. Ideally, it would be great to be able to get through 100 – 140 miles per weekend a few times, with a few rides in the evenings after work as well.
Luckily, I’m one of the fitter members of the group, so it’s not likely to be me holding us up too much. But it’s not so much the fitness that’s a problem as the sheer amount of time spent sitting in the saddle – around 5 hours per day. And while it’s a bit of comfort to know that most of the others are suffering at least as much as I am, my aim is to reduce the suffering to a minimum to make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
So, with all that out of the way, here’s a few details for those who are actually interested in this (as opposed to the imagined hordes that are just feigning enthusiasm):
Firstly, here is the approximate route. I say approximate, because a) it seems that Google doesn’t know that the A9 just north-east of Helmsdale (our last night stop, incidentally) keeps going all the way to John O’Groats. And b) because we’re obviously going over the Severn River bridge between Bristol and Chepstow, rather than around via Gloucester. This is because I’ve set Google to avoid highways, but the bridge is part of the M48, and it’s far too much trouble to manually get the route off the motorway all the way up. I also haven’t bothered to put the stops on the map (largely because I don’t know how). They are Bodmin, Tiverton, Chepstow, Shrewsbury, Wigan, Kendal, Langholm, Edinburgh, Pitlochry, Inverness and Helmsdale.
Secondly, here is the link to the fundraising site. We’re raising money for the Mercy Mission Welfare Society, which runs an orphanage in Southern India. One of our number has been working with them (being their UK contact) for years, which makes it a natural choice.
Lastly, for the numerically obsessed, here are some details on the training undertaken. There’s a links to a map there as well.