Facebook Page Open for Business

Well, I have a Facebook page now.

Image for LEJOG Facebook PageThis website has been providing a wealth of useful information, resources and tips for budding end to end adventurers for a few years now.

Of course, there are always very specific questions relating to individual rides that the general scope of the site cannot cover. As a result, many people contact me through the website with queries and problems.

Whilst I am more than happy to help I thought it would be good to create an environment in which potential End to Enders can raise issues within a community so that a broader range of opinions can be sought, rather than just my own!

My hope is that the interactive nature of Facebook will mean that people can raise a potential problem and, hopefully, a number of people that have already tackled a similar dilemma will be able to offer advice.

Image for Lands End to John O'Groats Guide Facebook Community

I will also be posting items of interest and hints and tips as they arise, which may not appear on the website.

So, pop over and like the Facebook page to receive notifications.

Why do you want to do that?

Be prepared to face this question.  It is either something people get – or not.  And the trouble is it isn’t always very easy to answer if they don’t get it.

LEJOG Beginning Question Mark

For most people that do it, long distance cycling is about facing a challenge of endurance and endeavour.  Of course, each individual has a mix of other stuff that they get out of it, but at the core is that feeling of satisfaction, of a job well done, on reaching the end.

And at the end, in that warm glow of achievement, we forget the pain and suffering we have endured during the course of the ride.  Those swear words that bounced around our heads halfway up that 20% climb have faded away.  We have forgotten our pledge, ‘never to do this #@NM ride again’, whilst battling against horizontal hail in the teeth of a 40mph headwind.  We are left only with good memories, even if that good memory is, ‘It was a pig of a ride but I finished!’ [and if only 10% of the starters did, even better].

The point is, we can’t remember pain.  Yes, we can remember that we suffered pain but we cannot actually relive it.  So the memory of the pain is weak and soon subsumed.

By way of illustration I can point to my own experiences on my first end to end.  In the aftermath of my ride I was left with the overall feeling that it went much better than I anticipated and was, on the whole, much easier than I thought it would be.  I had ridden steadily each day with a fairly constant energy level and had not suffered much at any point on the ride.  I knew a couple of stretches had been tricky but nothing to have gotten me down.

What I wasn’t aware of is the fact that my wife had been typing up all the text messages I had been sending her (I sent one every two hours or so to show I was still alive) and converting them to blog like emails to send to my work colleagues and sponsors to show how things were going.  And they were copied verbatim.  You can see a transcript in Appendix 2.

I was most surprised to find words like, ‘strain’ and ‘sick’ and ‘tired’ and ‘hard’ and ‘crap’ in my texts.  And they also reminded me that I had felt so bad on day two that I had decided to cut out my slight detour over the Kirkstone Pass (which was to be a highlight challenge) because I was worried it would rekindle the sciatica in my right leg.

The thing is, even with the reality spelt out in black and white before me, I still can’t quite conjure up the memories to go with the texts.  It is all very positive in my memory and that is why I would have no hesitations in doing it all again.  In fact I have.  Twice.

But all of that is hard to explain to somebody who can’t grasp the concept, perhaps because they have never challenged their body and mind in that way.  So, if you get fed up with trying to explain why you are doing it, then do the ride for charity.  Everyone understands that.

Books that will help you complete your End to End CycleLand's End to John O'Groats Route Book Special Offer - image

Three books are available related to this website (including gpx route files) as ebooks or paperbacks. As little as £2.99 each or all three for £5.98.  That’s less than an inner tube or a Costa coffee with a slice of cake.

Where to next?

The most popular pages on the site concern planning your End to End, training for long distance cycling, thinking about the cycling equipment you will need, what you should be eating and drinking whilst cycling and how to create a route for Lands End to John O Groats. Or you can read my own account of cycling End to End to get some idea of what to expect.

Lands End to John O'Groats Cycle Route Guide Image of Man Lifting Page

About the Author

For many years I used my bike solely as a means to get to work and back. This was not largely due to a love of the bike but more born of a hate of buses – brought on by years of nauseating bus rides to and from school.

Slowly I started to appreciate the joy of cycling: the freedom, the adventure, the exhilaration, the … well you know. I began to venture out on the weekends slowly stretching out my distance up to about a maximum of 50-60 miles.

And then came a turning point. My wife signed me up for the 100 mile route of Dartmoor Classic sportif. I trained hard and just about managed to haul my carcass around the course. I had struggled and cursed over the last thirty miles but promptly forgot that after the event. I was now hooked on cycling longer distances. (My wife won’t be please to hear it’s all her fault).

I joined Audax UK (http://www.aukweb.net/and started cycling 200km events local to me. It was whilst cycling one of these that I started talking to someone who was using the event as a training run for an end to end. “What’s and end to end?” I asked. And so the seed was sown.

When I came to plan my end to end I felt completely daunted by the task of planning a route over such a vast distance. I spent quite a lot of time searching for routes on the internet and I bought routes from CTC and purchased a couple of published guides as well.

Ultimately I discovered that somebody else’s route was not my route. So I set about mapping my own route from scratch and creating written route sheets and gpx files for a navigation device. This took a lot of experimenting and research to achieve because there is nowhere that I have found that can give you a complete answer to this problem (until now). To save you untold hours of trawling through web forums I have included a section in the book that tells you, step by step, how to do it for yourself.

I also spent far too much time researching training and nutrition to give me the best possible chance of completing my challenge without collapsing. There is a vast quantity of information out there, much of it conflicting and most of it confusing. I have encapsulated what you need to know in the contexts of training for and riding an end to end within the book so you don’t have to do the leg work yourself.

Lands End to John O’Groats Cycling Guide

Cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats?

Whether cycling Lands End to John O’Groats (or End to End as it or its reverse John O’Groats to Lands End is often known) has been a long term goal or is a new ambition, you are probably looking for some help.

On this website you will find all the advice and help you need to successfully complete your End to End cycle, whether in 5 days, 10 days, 4 weeks or longer. It is based on my experience of cycling End to End 3 times: from bombing down “A” roads in my first uninitiated attempt from John O’Groats to Lands End to a much safer  (and more enjoyable) way using lanes, cycle routes and canal paths wherever possible.

Lands End to John O Groats Home Page - Image of lone cyclist on single lane road

I have tried to cram everything I have learnt about planning, training, equipment, nutrition and route creation for a Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle on this website.

Of course, if you would rather sit back with a paperback, Kindle or PDF, I have published three Lands End to John O’Groats books which contain all the information on the website and much more, including gpx route files. You can find out more about them here.

Land's End to John O'Groats Route Book Special Offer - image

Does this site cover everything I need to know about cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats?

Probably not but it is a very good starting point and will get your mind working on the issues relevant to your cycling adventure.  You should also check out the Lands End to John O’Groats Cycling Guide Facebook page for more information and interaction with other riders who have an interest in cycling Lands End to John O’Groats.

Where to next?

The most popular pages on the site concern planning your End to End, including training for long distance cycling, thinking about the cycling equipment you will need, what you should be eating and drinking whilst cycling and how to create a route for Lands End to John O’Groats. Or you can read my own account of cycling End to End to get some idea of what to expect.

Navigate using the menu or by clicking the helpful chap at the bottom of each page – he will take you to the next suggested page.Lands End to John O'Groats Cycle Route Guide Image of Man Lifting Page

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