Cycling John O’Groats to Lands End

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In May 2013 I set out to cycle end to end, from John O’Groats to Lands End.

I firmly believe that challenges such as this are completed in the mind. Or if you’re anything like me, the mind has to find a way of overcoming what the body can just about cope with.

I completed the cycling in 15 days, although there were at least 3 half days within that so you could easily complete it in a fortnight off work. I used a couple of bank holidays to my advantage and completed the 15 days cycling over the course of 3 weeks, enabling me to enjoy some long weekends away en-route.

There is no official end to end route, and I took a slightly more circuitous approach heading out and over the Isle of Arran and then back through the forest of Galloway, rather than the more direct route via Glasgow. The cycle route from Fort William to Oban was one of the best bits of the trip, but the two days which followed were undoubtedly the toughest.

In contrast the section from Windermere to Bath was comparatively easy (i.e. flat), before it got considerably tougher again in Devon and Cornwall.

What follows are the original blog posts from the trip.

Continue reading …

Index

Preparation

Kitted out and ready to ride

Things you would rather not know about the Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness

20 miles with a bloke called Tim, and a slight change of plan

Day 1 – John O’Groats to Inverness

Day 2 – Ness to Nevis and my nemesis rears its head

Day 3 – Fort William to Tarbert with only one brake

Day 4 – Tarbert to Ayr and the battle of Arran

Day 5 – Ayr to Dumfries and tasting defeat in the Forest of Galloway

Day 6 – Dumfries to Windermere and thoughts on cycling earworms

Day 7 – Windermere to Liverpool and the birds-eye of the storm

Day 8 – Liverpool to Shrewsbury and the ferry across the Mersey

Day 9 – Shrewsbury to Gloucester with sun, showers and an injured Armadillo

Day 10 – Gloucester to Bristol and the day I spoke to soon

Day 11 – Bristol to Bath, a day of disused railway lines

Day 12 – Bath to Tiverton and the breakfast hostage

Day 13 – Tiverton to Lostwithiel and fatigue causes forgetfulness

Day 14 – Lostwithiel to Penzance, and the mining trail

Day 15 – Penzance to Lands End (and back again)

Learning to walk again

Ideas for cycling end to end, with the benefit of hindsight

Kit List

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