The final (hopefully) totals are in and they are scary…

Well, I’ve been calculating my route and I think I have a finalish total mileage.

There is good news as the mileage is ‘only’ 903 miles but the sudden realisation is…

I will be climbing 30,600 feet!!!

To put it into perspective, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world is 2,717 feet, Ben Nevis is 4,409 feet so I’ll be climbing 7 of those and Everest is a mere 29,028* feet so I’ll be climbing more than one of those – note to self, maybe I should add an (lightweight) oxygen mask to my kit list??

All my mileage bar last 16 miles (Wick up to John O’Groats) and the return to Wick to catch the train (32 in total) will be in the first 9 days of cycling so I’ll be averaging 98.55 miles and climbing 3,339 feet daily.


* agreed by Nepal and China in 2010


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Mileage discrepancy

It’s been pointed out that the official sign posts show 874 miles but I’m quoting nearer 1100 miles.

874 miles is the shortest route between the points and uses motorways etc.



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Holidays are becoming an excuse…

Well since the last time I’ve been on a 2 week holiday to Portugal with my family and very nice it was too 🙂

Since I got back I’ve been making some real progress in my preparations:

  1. I bought a new rear wheel for my tourer from
  2. I’ve bought a pair of Gatorskins to replace my Schwalbe Marathon pluses because they are half the weight* of my current tyres and “run really well” according to reviews.
  3. I’ve booked the remainder of my holiday year in half day slots so I can get some serious weekly mileages in without impacting on the family too much. So it’s basically Tuesday and Thursday afternoon off and full day ride on the Sunday.
  4. I’ve booked 1st class rail travel Newcastle to Penzance on Cross Country trains for a bargain £58.50 thanks to a very nice lady in Newcastle Central Station booking office.
  5. I’ve booked my 1st night’s accommodation at Land’s End in a new hostel at a very reasonable rate – I’ll put a link to their website when the website is up and running.
  6. I’ve booked 2nd night’s accommodation at which is 5 mins walk outside Okehampton and a very nice looking house although I don’t like the sound of their address Upcott HILL!!!
  7. I had real concerns about my first day’s route which took in the A30 which I believe is a scary road to ride. Thanks to a reply on a touring forum from a Cornish cyclist he provided me with a safer albeit longer route. day 1 mileage has gone from 94 miles to 105 miles but still with the same amount of climbs  😦
  8. Day 3  I’m stopping at an ex-colleagues house in Bristol – Thanks to Chris Harvey for the kind offer.
  9. On Saturday 25th June I’m doing the 107 mile which I’ll be doing on my Madone.
  10. I’ve also made the decision that I may not get accommodation on the day as it’s August so as a last resort I’m taking a frind’s (John Bell) Hunka bivvy bag and may end up sleeping rough – I reiterate that this is after all other options have failed.
  11. My netbook which I’ll be taking a along to complete my blog enroute now has all the software installed that I’ll need so I can upload routes from my Garmin on a daily basis and and any photos I’ve taken during the day.
  12. I’m also experimenting with how little kit I can take to see if I can ditch my panniers and use a drybag (again borrowed from John Bell).
  13. I may also juggle mileages for some of the Scottish Days s I may have been a bit ambitious.
  14. Martin Thomas was going to join me for one of my days but has now gone and booked a holiday:-( Jed Woodhouse is still keen to join me on a day or 2.
  15. I have my ‘list’ of kit to take* which grows 😦
  16. Andrew Charlton created my new Blog header image – thanks again
How much easier would this have been if I’d been doing it supported??
* I appear to be weighing everything now and trying to shave as many grams as possible
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It’s been a while – sorry :-(

Well due to a short family holiday and other commitments I don’t seem to have been getting the time I need to update my blog but here’s a couple of weeks in 1 entry, I hope you enjoy:

As said above I went away with the family for a few days to Ecclefechan (known as ‘the Fech’ locally) which is in SW Scotland – I think it’s like the Lake District but without the cars 🙂
I took my Trek Madone ( with me and planned a couple of cheeky rides but owing to bad weather on one of the days I did just the one but what a nice ride it was in perfect weather.

Ecclefechan, Langholm, Eskdale Muir, Lockerbie loop

During the ride I tagged along with a couple of roadies who were finishing their ride at Langholm. They explained I really should visit the Buddist retreat (Sammye Ling’s Buddist temple) and have lunch which I did and I must say it was a great shout even though it was a bit bizarre in the middle of Scotland.



Sammye Lings Buddist Retreat

Sammye Lings Buddist Retreat

Sammye Lings Buddist Retreat

Sammye Lings Buddist Retreat

My next ride of note (again on the Trek) was home to The cyclist cafe at Elsdon return.
Elsdon Cyclist Cafe return

Again great weather and quite a hilly course including the climb of the Winter’s Gibbet (Google it)

The Winters Gibbet

Cyclist Cafe - Elsdon


And I’ve saved the best to last:
One of my friends, Spike Reid was doing Lejog (also mainly solo) but was happy for people to join him on Legs so myself and my friend Jed Woodhouse caught the 6-30am train to York (bargain at £6-50) to accompany him on the 100 miles’ish to Newcastle. This time on my Dawes Ultra Galaxy Tourer.

York to Newcastle

I thought I’d better do some maintenance on my tourer the day before and realised I had a buckled back wheel so, as a temporary measure I backed off the brake so it wasn’t catching so in effect I had one brake. I also chose a very scenic but hilly route over the North York moors through Helmsley and dropping down into Stokesley achieving 47.6mph, with 1 brake but totally oblivious to a real problem I had (see below ‘the day after’).
The weather was fair but we had pesky North Easterlies (headwinds) which were strong in places. Anyway, it was a great ride with entertaining company. We stopped for a very sociable lunch at a cyclists cafe in Stokesley and we called in to Aunt-in-laws (Aunty Liz) in Stockton for coffee and cake – both of which helped to fuel us to our final destination the Angel of the North where we took obligatory photos and let Spike continue the last 5 miles over the bridges into Newcastle.
Spike’s now finished his trip. If you want to read Spikes Blog – it’s very entertaining.

Jed Woodhouse - Spike Reid - York Station

Whats that paper thing?


Weeeeeee stop

Apparently it's a veiwpoint

Lunch at Stokesly

Slime fixes the only puncture of the day

Spike with the Angel of the North

Who is Jed trying to kid?

The day after:
I decided I’d have a go at truing the wheel of my tourer only to find the rim had split in 7 places about the size of a postage stamp each – it doesn’t bear thinking baout if that had given way on the descent of the moors. WTB have kindly agreed to replace the rim without charge despite it being outside the warranty period – thanks WTB 🙂

Split rim

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(Provisional) Itinerary – LeJog August 2011

For those that are interested this is what I plan although it is provisional as some days I might not be able to reach the estimated daily mileage – (mileage is best guess)

20/8 Train Newcastle to Penzance 11am – 7pm – ride the last 12 miles to accommodation at Sennen (Lands End)
21/8 Lands End to Okehampton 98 (98) miles, and includes a 14 mile climb so this will be a test
22/8 Okehampton to Bristol 95 (193)
23/8 Bristol to Shrewsbury 110 (303)
24/8 Shrewsbury to Garstang 95 (398)
25/8 Garstang to Carlisle 80 (478) – 10 mile climb over Shap
26/8 Carlisle to Paisley 102 (580) – includes a steady 40 mile climb
27/8 Paisley to Ballachulisch 90 (670) – includes some big climbs past the ski resorts at the end of the day
28/8 Ballachulisch to Fortrose (Black Isle) 96 (766)
29/8 Fortrose to Wick (including ferry) 90 (856)
30/8 Wick to John O’Groats 16 (872) then return to Wick for train to Newcastle (hopefully on same day)

All mileages quoted are as direct as I can make them without using major highways but I suspect over the planning period the distances will have to increase to avoid some ‘obstacles’ so I’m expecting in excess of 1000 miles in total – EEEEK

All routes plotted using bikeroutetoaster

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Training history – Lejog

From now until the big event I will be endeavoring to list how many miles I’ve done during the week and link to some of my longer runs details from the Garmin Connect website.
Here are some examples of the rides I’ve been doing:

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Checkout my Trek Madone 4.7

My Trek Madone 4.7 carbon road bike purchased from

I’ve been asked to upload some photos so here goes:

The selection will include my 2 current bikes (Dawes Ultra Galaxy, Trek Madone 4.7) + various cycling related photos.

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