If you are anything like me, thoughts about the cost of preparing for and undertaking your end to end get a low billing [excuse the pun]. Right up until the time it comes to start paying for things! Also, if you are like me, you will not have a pile of cash hanging around to deal with all the associated costs. Further, if you are like me, you won’t have appreciated how much it is going to cost [because riding a bike is free – right!?!]
This is where the money will go (I have included a guesstimate of my costs but these costs are extremely variable):
- Purchase of excellent self help planning guide, travelogue and gpx route guide (3 for 2 on pdf for £5.98 ;¬)
- Travel to the start/from the finish [Plane to start – £100. Petrol for car to airport and from finish £50].
- Accommodation en route [Six nights cheap B&B £180].
- Food/energy bars/drinks etc during ride [£200]
- Equipment – do you need stuff to put on your bike, e.g., lights and bags, stuff to put in bags? [Carradice sqr tour bag £48, Gamin 705 Sat Nav £250]
- New bike(?) – whether you need to persuade yourself or your spouse, this is a good excuse for a new bike, especially if you’re riding for charity (although if it’s your spouse that needs persuading it may be prudent to accidentally spill ink over this section of the book to cover the trail) [Scott CR1 team 2008 £999 – I needed a new bike anyway…honest…no really, I did…and it was for charity after all…]
Training – training costs are for food (energy bars, drinks etc..) on training rides and for the bike parts you might wear out. If you are not used to regularly putting in lots of miles you will be surprised how quickly you start to go through tyres (approx. every 2,000 miles), brake blocks (500 miles – 2,000 miles depending on weather conditions and terrain, chains (1-2,000 miles), cassettes (3-5,000 miles) and cables for brakes and gears. The harsher the weather the faster things will wear out.And you should try and train in all weather conditions. [I did 5,000 miles of training and spent about £200 on parts and £200 on energy bars, drinks etc. I also spent a considerable sum on café meals but haven’t factored them in because they were normal meals that would have been eaten whether I was cycling or not (although probably not in a café)].
- Pre-ride service – you should also budget for a full service at your local bike shop to make sure your chosen stead is up to the job. However, try not to be persuaded that what you really need is a nice new team issue racing bike (unless you want to be persuaded of course [or need the help of professional advice to persuade other (dis)interested parties]). [£80 including boxing and shipping bike to another bike shop in Wick – see section on getting to the John O’Groats/Lands End]
The total cost for me was £2407 but this did include a new bike and sat nav @ £1249. So, having discovered that cycling is not ‘free’ I will work out how much my next adventure is going to cost in the early planning stages and save up for it in advance.
Kickstart your Lands End to John O’Groats planning
Everything you need to know to get you started on your Lands End to John O Groats adventure is contained within these three books: a How To, a detailed account of riding the Google Map route for LEJOG and a ‘safe’ Route Book using GPX files.
Available as electronic or paperback books from 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, including training for long distance cycling, thinking about the cycling equipment you will need, how to look after your bike, 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.