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.

Riding a Bike is Cheaper Than This!

This car had been sat in the public car park next to our office for a few weeks now.  The local traffic warden is clearly keen to teach the driver a well-deserved lesson for not paying for parking by plastering his windscreen with so many tickets that they won’t be able to drive off even if they do ever turn up.

I wonder at what stage the rather officious official will start to think a bit more laterally and check whether the car has been reported stolen.  Or perhaps lost?  Maybe the owner got so smashed that they forgot where they parked their car.  Or even which town they were in.

Maybe they are lying in a coma in hospital somewhere.

Perhaps they are dead?

Come to think of it I didn’t look through the windows (although, in fairness, it was difficult with all the stickers in the way).  Perhaps the owner went for a nap on the back seat and had a heart attack or a brain haemorrhage or something!  No, I’m sure I would have noticed the stench of decay; it has been there a few weeks.

What Happened to My Bike?!!

One day a cyclist chained their beloved bike to the rails outside Plymouth bus station.  For some reason they didn’t come back to claim it.  If you have read my post about a car becoming obscured by parking tickets near the office you might draw the same conclusions here, that the owner might be scratching his head wondering where he left it, in a coma or dead.

Whatever his condition he probably won’t want it back now anyway.  In an effort to reduce the weight of the bike and improve its performance the local populace has been pimping it.  Over a period of a few days they have removed all the unnecessary and weighty items like: tyres, inner tubes, wheels, gears, saddle, seat post, handlebars, stem, pedals, cranks, brakes and even cables.

All that remains, without the enterprise of removing the lock, is the forks.  I wonder how long they will last?

There and back again…by electric car

Jonathan Porterfield, from Orkney, and Chris Ramsey, who lives in Aberdeen arrived back in John O’Groats on Thursday 23rd September after completing an epic double end to end in a claimed record time.

The pair were attempting to traverse the length of the country, twice, in under 48 hours, using only the existing public rapid charge infrastructure.  Sadly they missed this target with the first leg, from John O’Groats to Lands End, being completed in 28 hours and 38 minutes and the return in 27 hours and 46 minutes.

It is believed that the quicker of these two times is still a record and the duo have duly submitted an application to Guinness World Records.

Well done lads but gets some balls and try it by bike next time.

The bare facts of end to end

If you think the idea of cycling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats is daunting then how about running the distance.

Not tough enough for you?

Okay, how about doing it bare foot?

That is exactly what Aleks Kashefi, 37, from Buxton, Derbyshire has achieved, completing the journey on 3rd September.

Mr Kashefi, who only took up running three years ago, decided to run bare foot, “To add a bit of interest and to make it more of a challenge.”

As much of the route as possible was run off road, which you would have thought would make the distance shorter, being able to cut across country but Mr Kashefi covered a total of 1,160-miles on the route he took, a chunk more than the average cycle route of about 900-950 miles.

Scooting from end to end

I thought it was tough cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats but Russell Smith from London completed the trip in August on a scooter.  No, not one of those with an engine, a real scoot along one.

Russell completed his 975 mile route (with over 14,000 metres of vertical ascent) in 21 days, averaging a little over 46 miles a day and believes he has set two world records, one for the longest distance travelled on a 16 inch wheel scooter and one for the longest distance in 24 hours.

Iconic Climb on A9 Due to Change

The steep hairpin climb at Berriedale Braes on the A9 is the last really major effort that those heading north have to face before John O’Groats.  Its hairpin bend and then relentless slog up past the cemetery will be indelibly burnt into the memory of anyone who has completed the route.  But it looks like that might all change.

It appears that the hairpin bend causes more problems for trucks than cyclists and a new route has been proposed.  You will note that the new route (see below) is slightly longer but consequently might help to take the sting out of the climb.

When the changes will take place is unclear and the local authority has been accused of dragging its heels over the plan.

Incidentally, when I last cycled through in 2014 there were traffic lights before the hairpin, which were a complete pain.