Author Topic: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)  (Read 7905 times)

Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2017, 05:53:45 pm »
Well done, Adamski!


Graeme

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2017, 06:04:17 pm »
Brilliant riding αdαmsκι!
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

αdαmsκι

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2017, 07:43:12 pm »
Today was amazing. I really enjoyed the ride to Lairg, avoiding some of the main road around the Falls off Shin (not that it was busy) by going on the B road. This followed the river and seemed to be only used by people fishing.

From Larig I had sunshine & massive blue skies across to the Crask Inn. Sutherland was showing itself off and I knew I was very lucky. The mountains here just stand out above the flat basement and look like the hills a child would draw.

I stopped at the Crask Inn and realised quite how strong the wind was the that was blowing me northwards. The Crask was quite (it wasn't even 11am), but the coffee & fruit scone were magnificent.

The Strathnavar Valley was a blur due to the tailwind & me getting carried away. The rain clouds were chasing but they weren't catching me; one slightly downhill 10km section was ridden at an average of over 40 km/hr  :o The views of Ben klibreck kept being hidden, but I stayed dried.

From Bettyhill I slowed down a bit as the road bounced up & down to Thruso & I chatted to a few other cyclists, all heading to the same place.

John O'Groats was a bit of a let down with people having their photo taken by the sign. Well done on driving here, I'm sure it was tough. I rode out to Duncansby Head Lighthouse, only a few kilometres away but far more peaceful & a better place to reflect on my ride.

Tomorrow I have 25km to Wick train station & a weather warning to contend with, Scotland never allows one to become complacent.

https://www.relive.cc/view/g13623325334
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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αdαmsκι

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2017, 07:51:45 pm »
PS: Thanks to Bianchi Boy for suggesting the Seaview Hotel in John o' Groats, which is where I'm currently drinking beer and waiting for my dinner.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #54 on: August 17, 2017, 09:20:18 pm »
Well done adamski!!! I am envious, not having ridden 'properly' since LEL! Enjoy your beers, and make sure to seek further 'refreshment' on the train journey home!!  8)

Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2017, 10:06:18 pm »


John O'Groats was a bit of a let down with people having their photo taken by the sign. Well done on driving here, I'm sure it was tough.


You say that, but when I finished my E2E in 06, all pleased with myself and smug, I got chatting to two pedestrians sitting by the sign.

Yes, pedestrians.  ;)

Anyway, well done, great ride, and there's beers waiting for you here in my van fridge  :P


αdαmsκι

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2017, 10:09:30 pm »
Enjoy your beers

This is opposite the Seaview hotel where I'm staying https://www.johnogroatsbrewery.co.uk  :thumbsup:

BTW, you have done Crackpot, 999, LEL and Mille Pennine so a rest and time at home probably is no bad  thing
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2017, 11:37:45 pm »
I'm envious even more still!!!

Damn, back on 'house duty' now, picking up from my cycling hiatus this season...

αdαmsκι

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #58 on: August 19, 2017, 02:39:55 pm »
I'm now back in London. Here's a quick review for anyone thinking about doing this ride, which I can only recomend. It's a brilliant way to see Great Britain and doing it as seven ~200 km days gives plenty of time off the bike in the evening.

Day 1: Penzance to Land's End, back to Penzance and on to Uplowman, near Tiverton 240 km
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/16799291

I got the sleeper train to Penzance, which arrived just before 8am. As the ride starts in Land's End I had to ride from Penzance to the start, then turn around and ride back again, which is why this day ended up being so long.  Everyone says riding in Cornwall and Devon is tough going; I now understand why. I managed around 3,700 m of climbing for this day, which is a rude way to start a seven day tour. From Truro I was on the A390, apart from when there was an obvious minor road to take, but on the whole that was fine and actually allowed me to make some progress because riding the lanes in Cornwall and Devon is slow. Highlight had to be this road sign:



Day 2: Uplowman to Woofferton 227 km
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/16799300

As I spent the first night in a B&B (Brambles, which I would recommend) it meant I didn't get away particular early for Day 2. The first part of the day was spent riding more small lanes to dodge the A38. I know some people are happy to ride this road, but I preferred the slower, hillier, lanes. I picked up the Strawberry Line around Axbridge, which would have been fine had it not be closed and the diversion took my along awful paths and through fields. I joined the Strawberry Line properly after Winscombe and it was great.  Riding to the Avon Bridge was great, it was a bit crap afterwards including some awful NCN sections:



After the Severn Bridge I was on familar roads from rides such as Brevet Cymru, Elenith and Bryan Chapman and wizzed along to Woofferton. Well once I'd huffed and puffed my way from Monmouth up to the top of Llancloudy.

Day 3: Woofferton to Billinge 203 km
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/16799304

I planned to stay with my sister, but the shortest distance from Woofferton to Billinge is only 160km, which is why I headed east to gain an extra 40 km. The A49 through Ludlow and Craven Arms can, I'm told, get pretty busy but at 7am it was pretty empty and fast. The Shropshire hills were beautiful and riding through Cheshire is always really pleasant, tho I discovered Malpas is built on top of what feels like the only hill for miles.



There are only a few ways to cross the Manchester Ship Canal. I opted for the common approach of the Warburton Toll Bridge. There must be better ways to approach this then the A49 between Bartington and Stretton. I rode the narrow pavement; it's not the way I'd take if I repeated the route. The route through north of the ship canal through Culcheth, however, was fine.

Day 4: Billinge to Hoddom Castle 212 km
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/17000986

This was a great day. The sun was shining and the cycle was brilliant, but then I did ride through the centres of Preston and Lancaster before 10 am on a Sunday. The NCN route through Preston is on a sealed railway line and really good. North of Lancaster I essentially followed the A6, but avoided a few bits of it before Kendal where the M6 feeds a lot of traffic onto the A6. The lanes I rode were brilliant (but some, such as Paradise Lane were a bit narrow & overgrown- see Streetview for an example :o). The climb over Shap in the sun was one of the (many) highlights.

There's plenty of accommodation options around Gretna, such as the Days Inn motels at Greta Services and Annandale Water Services or the Lockerbie Truck Stop. I, however, camped in the grounds of Hoddom Castle

Day 5: Hoddom Castle to Aberfeldy 234 km
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/16914184

The weather forecast was for wet, with bit more wet, and finally some rain. I set off in waterproofs and neoprene overshoes. From Hoddom Castle to Moffat it's the same distance to go via Lockerbie or Lochmaben. I went for the latter because I find the B7076 that parallels the M74 real dull, and had ridden it only a week earlier on LEL. Over the Devil's Beef Tub in the mist and the rain was a different experience to the sun I'd had on LEL. I left the LEL route at Broughton to go via Biggar and some more hills.



Getting through the outskirts of Edinburgh was really easy, and I was surprised how little of the Central Belt I saw. I remember riding along seeing signs that Livingstone was something like 5 miles away, which I found hard to believe as I was on my own in the Pentland Hills. Crossing the Forth Road Bridge was great; something I've only done before in a car.



Do not follow my route through Dunfermline. It went up a cobbled pedestrian street and for a tiny bit the wrong way down some one way streets. After Dunfermline I went westwards to Aberfeldy to avoid paralleling the A9 for as long as possible. If one likes climbing it's great: up, down, up, down, up, down including this little ramp. As Bianchi Boy said earlier in the thread, the B934 to Dunning is a brilliant road, no cars, a great surface and it slowly climbs next to a stream. However, between 192 km and 194 km I'd mistakenly plotted myself along a track. I got down it on 23cc tyre up front and 28cc rear tyre, but I'd re-route this section in future.

Day 6: Aberfeldy to Alness 201 km
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/17001526

This started with more hard climbing as I left the Tay Valley, climbed over to the Tummel Valley, then climbed over to the Errochty valley before climbing out of that valley and then descending to join the A9 cyclepath. It was some of the best cycling on the whole ride, empty roads, great views and the perfect morning weather.



The A9 cyclepath was OK, some of it was better than other bits as the surface varied. I did a 20km section and was happy to leave it behind at Dalwhinnie as I went via Laggan (after stopping at the cafe at the Pottery Bunkhouse. From Laggan the road is not too busy because the A9 takes a lot of the traffic. I did get a good soaking somewhere around Kingussie.



After Carrbridge it's back to dodging the A9, but this was a lot better than the section over Drumochter Pass and after Moy I left the A9 behind. The Nairn Valley and Culloden Viaduct were very impressive. From Inverness I went via Conon Bridge, partly to avoid the Cromarty Bridge which I'd heard bad things about, but also to get my distance to above 200 km. The A835 was really busy, far busy than I'd expected but there was a big wide shared pavement that I opted to ride.

The views riding into Alness were fantastic.



Day 7: Alness to John o' Groats 206 km
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/17001528

This was a fantastic day. The ride over the Struie Road from Alness to Bonar Bridge in the morning sunshine was brilliant.



From Bonar Bridge I had planned to follow the main road to Lairg, but then changed my mind and went via Inveran and the Falls of Shin as I figured the small, narrow, B road would be more interesting then the wider, straighter, A road. From Lairg Sutherland was showing herself off in the best possible light.



I stopped, as all cyclists should do, for coffee & scone at the Crask Inn and then got blown along the beautiful Strathnaver Valley faster than the rain clouds. I was overtaken by one car during that 35 km section.



From Bettyhill the road twits, turns, climbs, descends along the coast with views of golden beaches or moorland, but after Thurso it gets flatter and a bit dull. There are other, smaller, roads to take but I just followed the A road. It's pretty quiet and I am not sure what different scenery one would see from any of the other roads.

The ride officially ends at John o' Groats, but it seemed more fitting to ride the extra few kilometres to Duncansby Head and finish the ride there as that's further from Land's End and a more tranquil place to end the journey.





Day 8: John o' Groats to London km

Getting home from John o' Groats was pretty simple. Friday morning I cycled down to Wick, caught the 12:34 train to Inverness, which takes 4½ hours :o, had some Black Isle beer in Inverness and then caught the sleeper to Euston, which left Inverness at 20:45. I reserved the train tickets, and bike space, in advance and from Wick it cost £55 to get back to Euston.

I had a great time on my LEJoG. I know earlier in this thread people were asking why not just do this as x7 DIYs, but as AUK offer this perm it seems only right to use that option. I wouldn't want the perms that are on offer to die because everyone was doing DIYs. I am also aware some people may feel it's wrong to be able to have days off on the LEJoG, but as the rules allow up to three days off the bike I was happy to take to the chance to spend time with family on route. If I had gone down the DIY route I could have had as many days off the bike as I had wish and if someone else opts to take up the x7 200 option but thinks that rest days are immoral then they could just ride for seven straight days.

LEJoG is a great adventure and is one of the things lots of cyclists have on their tick list. It's also an amazing way to see how quickly the landscape across Great Britain changes. Hopefully others will now think about doing LEJoG as seven 200s, or even the Brevet Randonneur which is 1,400 km in 117 hours.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Graeme

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #59 on: August 19, 2017, 04:08:12 pm »
Did you stop at the Falls of Shin gift shop? When I last passed it there was a slightly larger than life model of M. Al-Fayed in a kilt. Lovely story - and I'm with you on the 'it is okay to stop' perspective.
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2017, 08:46:51 pm »
Late to the party...

Well done! Fab!

JB

Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #61 on: August 19, 2017, 10:20:25 pm »
Great info about your ride.  I have used some of it to amend my plans for LEJOG next year.

αdαmsκι

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #62 on: August 20, 2017, 11:53:28 am »
Turns out day 1 across Cornwall and Devon was worthy of 3.75 AAA points and day five from Hoddom to Aberfeldy was worthy of 1.5 AAA points.


Great info about your ride.  I have used some of it to amend my plans for LEJOG next year.
Are you doing this under AUK regulations or just as a tour?
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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αdαmsκι

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #63 on: September 06, 2017, 10:06:46 pm »
I've finally sorted out my photos & put them into a Google album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/7eVZzLcz6GEM3W6s2
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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3peaker

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Re: End to End perm: 7 x 200km Randonneur (aka LEJoG)
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2017, 10:46:36 am »
If I had gone down the DIY route I could have had as many days off the bike as I had wish and if someone else opts to take up the x7 200 option but thinks that rest days are immoral then they could just ride for seven straight days.

LEJoG is a great adventure and is one of the things lots of cyclists have on their tick list. It's also an amazing way to see how quickly the landscape across Great Britain changes. Hopefully others will now think about doing LEJoG as seven 200s, or even the Brevet Randonneur which is 1,400 km in 117 hours.

Back in 1995, after completing PBP on Trike, I was in a team of 3 on a Trans-USA exped, San Francisco-Jacksonville. Talk about changing country Mountains, Yosemite, Desert, Indian Country, New Mexico, R66, Texas, Cotton fields, Florida. Did not cost much as treated as RAF Expedition and 'free' RAF flights both ways across Pond!!! One of the best aspects was to be welcomed by the locals; we used scoff-yourself diners at night for 5000 cal refuel! We crossed USA at AUK pace though had not registered as an Audax, so no points. 27 days total with 2 days off Albequerque and New Orleans 5000km.
SteveP

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