LEJOG Summary

Posted by: Rob on 07/06/2024


1133.09 mi
1106.96 mi

LEJOG Thoughts

All in all it was a very enjoyable tour. I know I moaned about the weather a bit, but it was fine really. It was wet early on in England, but it was still nice and warm so no real issues. The wetness I experienced in the far north of Scotland was made so much worse by the cold weather.

I guess I got complacent. Last year up in the Hebrides the weather, for the most part, was fantastic. It was probably at the better end of "normal" temperature wise and I should have taken that into consideration rather than just assuming that it was always like that so far up north!. This year I didn't bother with the three things I should have packed that would have made life so much more tolerable over the last two days: A pair of proper full finger gloves, some tights and some overshoes. I will never make this mistake again when heading somewhere that far north!

I should point out, there were times when I had fantastic weather! I was already getting pretty tanned by the time I got to Bristol, so it wasn't all bad! The weather early on in Scotland was amazing. When the weather is like that, The Highlands are right up there in any top places to ride list.

I was happy with the route I took. There's obvioulsy an infinite number of ways of getting from LE to JOG and compiling the ultimate route is an impossible task. People have tried, but I don't think anyone has ever truly succeeded. It's certainly a good idea to more or less follow accpeted cycle routes though.

The best day was definitely the bit after Glasgow through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Stunning scenery. NCN7 past Callander has got to be one of the most scenic routes on the network. It does get a bit boring once you get to the bit alongside the A9 to skirt around The Cairngorms though. The route through the Cairngorms that I did last year is truly epic, but is perhaps a bit much to include in a LEJOG as it would add on a load of distance and a lot of climbing! Fine if you have plenty of time though...

I was extrememly fortunate with the trains to get home. I didn't book in advance - well, I rocked up to Wick station just before the ticket office closed the day before travelling to get tickets and a bike reservation down to Edinburgh and I booked my Edinburgh to London ticket online a few hours beforehand whilst I was on the train from Wick. If anybody else - maybe a couple of cycle tourers also finishing LEJOG - had booked onto the same trains before me, I may well have had a problem! Unfortunately, some of the UK train operators have very poor provisions for bikes on their trains and some of the spaces such as the infamous "Bike cupboard" are actually comical in their useless design.

The overnight train to Penzance was OK. It was very cheap as I booked well in advance, but I'm not sure it has any advantages over getting a train during the day and then camping up right by Land's End so you can start first thing and get cracking. Riding from Penzance down to LE and then turning around and going back again is a bit of a pain. Psychologically at least.

My bike performed admirably as always. It may be getting old, but she's tough as old boots and has taken a serious amount of abuse! All I had to do maintenance wise was relube the chain (multiple times!) after very wet spells, give the tyres some more air a couple of times and replace a rear rack mount bolt after one of them had worked itself loose and fallen out! The other side just needed tightening. Never had that before so something to consider. Better spring washers and/or Loctite in future methinks.

My brake blocks are toast. I was really worried with a couple of days to go, but on closer inspection, although the minimun thickness line had long since been obliterated, there was enough meat left on them to get me home. I did have spares.... But I forgot to pack them! I've done tours twice as long before with very little wear. That's what very wet, steep Cornish and Scottish hills can do!

I've cleaned up all my kit and put it away. All that remains now is to clean my bike. I'm not looking forward to that as it is filthy!

Here's the VeloViewer wheel of my tour:

VeloViewer wheel

So over 1100 miles, no p*nctures and even with the train down to Penzance and the monster journey back from Wick, I still cycled more miles than I rode on the train!

The bottom half of the internet

Currently 0 comments

If you want to post a comment you're gunna need to Login

Register if you don't have an account. It will take seconds! No email required!