New Blog – This Year’s Challenge

Some of you who followed our LEJOG blog, may be interested in following this year’s Raid Alpine challenge via a new blog: The Ramblings of a Cyclopath 

You will need to re-enter your email address on the new blog to continue to follow our story.

Thank you for your interest.

One Year On

To find out what The Cyclopaths are up to exactly one year on from reaching John O’Groats, follow this link and subscribe to receive our email updates……

Boston 2019

 

Personal Reflections

By Chris Johns (Support Team)

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I personally don’t think that any trip that The Bike Bus has been involved in prior to this Lejog has given me more motivation, encouragement, inspiration and self-belief. It sounds odd for me (the support van driver) to be saying that I have taken some great lessons away from a Land’s End to John O’Groats trip.  But I genuinely have; the dedication, humour, immense effort and hours of organising that have been involved from the cycling team have blown my mind.  It’s a huge challenge, and along with cycling 70 – 80 miles per day, each cyclist has under gone their own daily mental battles.

There were occasions on the trip that my co-pilot (Chris G) and I have marvelled at the team’s stamina, the sheer grit & determination of everyone.

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We were truly in awe of the cyclists and have a lot of respect for anyone that has the courage to undertake a challenge like this, to complete this challenge with health issues as some of these riders have is amazing.

See The Bike Bus for more information about our cycling services.

 

Personal Reflections

By Caroline Broekman

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Reflections on LEJOG
What an experience. I still cannot believe that we have covered the length of the country ON A BICYCLE!

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Our experiences have all been very different – some people’s favourite days were other’s worst. We have seen the best of our country – winding through the countryside and along canal paths – some of which were more cyclable than others. We managed to negotiate the industrial heartlands without seeing too much traffic as we ducked down to paths on disused railway lines and followed various waterways and other cycle tracks. The lake district was not kind as we were hit with an unexpected very cold, wet day which taught us so much about preparedness – or lack of it in our case.

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Scotland was breathtaking and the paths were good – there was only one day when we had to negotiate some miles on the dreaded A9 trunk road. The final day was my favourite – not because it was the last day but because the forecast was poor yet the sun won through after a few short miles, the scenery was stunning as we rode along a river valley from the East coast to the North coast and the roads were well surfaced and relatively traffic-free – so whizzing up and down them was immense fun.

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I feel so privileged to have been part of such a great team. We have all worked together to make this trip the success that it has been.

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Our support team of Chris and Chris were absolutely indispensable and went above and beyond expectation on a daily basis to ensure that as many of us as possible completed every day and ultimately the whole challenge. As a team we had our share of accidents and incidents and our thoughts are with Christine who was unable to complete the challenge. Many of us are already talking about joining her when she is able to ride the remainder of her challenge.

 

Personal Reflections

By Claire McBride

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Ten days post-Lejog …

So, Lejog … I am pretty sure it happened, but even now, I have to think twice. Did we really cycle 1,053 miles over 14 days? And have an amazing journey along the way? We did. And let’s not forget about the 55,595 feet that we climbed over that time too … I certainly won’t. On a bike, hills are my thing, but the Devon/Cornwall climbs left me wobbling.

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I still can’t quite believe that we made it, and that for two weeks, we got up early, day after day, to sit on a little sliver of a bike saddle. But we did, and it was awesome, I loved every minute … and with hindsight, even those minutes (ok, maybe a few hours!) when it was raining, cold, wet, utterly miserable and many of us were quite literally shaking. One day in particular, from Kendal, was tough, and I have the most immense respect for those who went back to pick up where they left off, as well as the two people who went back to support them. I would have loved to do that, but in my heart, I knew I did not have the resilience to go through those difficult 12 miles again. Kudos, big time.

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-20 at 08.40.25There were so many special moments … too many to put down in a post like this. They will stay with me forever. What an awesome team, with a truly inspirational leader and her other half, and the route planner … as well as the totally amazing support guys, Chris and Chris, and every single wonderful person I got to know along the way (especially good was seeing Tom and Derek in Pitlochry/Aviemore). This is up there as one of my top times in life. I loved the challenge, the team spirit and the adventure … and am already thinking about what to do next!

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Thank you Cycolpaths and everyone who helped us and joined in along the way. On the last day, a fellow cyclist came alongside me, and said exactly what I was thinking at that moment: ‘Claire, I don’t want this day to end’. It did, as they always do, but what a wonderful day that was.”

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Kendal to Carlise Revisited

A brief summary of Monday Sept 3rd – Kendal to Carlisle – by Karen Tiffin

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Pete and I joined the LEJOG Cyclopaths for 1 day and what a day! We departed from Kendal in the pouring rain and the group was quickly split up after some confusion over which side of the river to follow. I ended up in the front group, which Marianne described as the ‘mountain goats’. The first 10 miles were brutal – I growled and swore up the inclines and imagined the stunning scenery that was surely there, somewhere behind the clouds. It was still raining. We passed a farm with some furiously barking sheepdogs, which roughly translated to ‘what on earth are you mad humans doing?’ My calves started to cramp and Nigel (hero no. 1) nursed me up to Shap, despite the pain he was obviously in himself. It was still raining. We could get up some speed now and I hung onto Marianne’s back wheel like my life depended on it for the next 10 miles, until we stopped for a snack under some trees. Nigel and Hiro joined us. As we set off again my sodden shorts got stuck under my saddle and the next thing I knew I was on the floor! I looked up to see Hiro (hero no. 2), a vision of yellow, standing over me. With divine like strength he lifted the bike off me. He did some remedial repairs to my mis-shapen handlebars and off we went again. It was still raining. After another 10 miles we reached an oasis called Sainsburys – onlookers stared in disbelief as we sat shaking and stuffing hot food into our frozen bodies. This was fun! Marianne (hero no. 3) gave me some dry clothes to put on and we set off again. Unbelievably the group got split up at the first set of traffic lights! That’s probably because it was still raining. So, as a group of five, we forged on to Carlisle. This was where Pete and I left the Cyclopaths – to continue their epic journey to Scotland – what a wonderful and truly selfless and inspirational group of people they are. They are all heroes.