Learning to walk again | Cycling John O’Groats to Lands End

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It feels strange now the cycling is done.

Not just mentally, physically too.

Walking uses a different set of muscles and is accompanied by a sense of dizziness.

I just don’t feel at home on 2 legs yet.

I’m spending a few days in St Ives before returning to London. The sun is shining, and there’s a good selection of Cornish ales to try before I get back to work.

The ales aren’t exactly helping me walk straight, but I am getting plenty of practice hiking up and down the big hill my B&B is at the top of.

Hills. You just can’t get away from them in Cornwall.

This journey has been so much more challenging than cycling the Rhine.

On the Rhine trip the relationship between time and distance was straightforward and predictable.

This trip introduced hills, headwind and even hailstorms into the equation.

They make a big difference.

Not just to average speed it is possible to maintain, but to the physical effort required to overcome them.

The cumulative effect has been exhausting, and while the soreness in my legs has passed quite quickly, I’m still a few sleeps away from fully recovering my energy levels.

The first 6 days in particular really pushed me (even harder than I had known it would), as have the last 4 days through Devon and Cornwall.

In contrast I’ll remember the 5 day stretch from Windermere to Bath as the easy bit, although even the easiest of those days would normally be classed as a heavy dose of exercise.

I will post more details on the trip, it’s planning and logistics in the next week or two.

In the meantime people keep asking me how I feel now I’ve done it.

I can sum it up in one word.

Tired.

Bike computer stats:

Ride time: 104h 2m
Distance: 1,061.11 miles
Ave distance per day: 70.74 miles
Ave speed: 10.2 mph
Max speed: 42.5 mph

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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