LEJOG Blogs

Devon Coast 2 Coast

Alison’s Perspective

It was no easy task, organising 24 people to cycle the Devon Coat 2 Coast over a weekend. Most of us managed to get to the hotel for supper on Friday evening and most of us managed to get directly back home on Sunday evening although one couple who shall remain nameless, managed an hour and a half detour via Cornwall by mistake!

An eclectic group of ‘cyclists’. Eleven of us were very experienced at cycling together, having cycled the 500km through Vietnam and Cambodia together in November. ¬†How fantastic it was to cycle together again. The criteria for the others joining the group was simple:

  1. To know at least one person in the group
  2. To own a bicycle or be able to borrow one
  3. To commit to a hilly hundred mile cycle over two days

Please note, there was no requirement to cycle regularly or have reached any particular level of competence!

We were transferred from the beautiful Bovey Castle to Ilfracombe on Saturday morning, where we would begin our 72 hilly mile cycle back to the hotel. Transferring 24 people, bikes and kit took longer than anticipated so we were under time pressure right from the start.

5fb8c111-6cb1-4b83-bf2f-648cacd04190Despite the atrocious weather forecasts all week, the sun shone all day and the conditions were perfect. Thankfully this glorious weather remained for the entire weekend.

The hardest hill were during the last 12 miles which took us off the C2C route and back to the hotel. A number of us were beat at 60 miles and were very grateful to those who transported us back to the hotel at that point. The hardy ones amongst us completed the whole, hilly 72 miles and still managed to party on Saturday night!

Hilly, hot and hard work, everyone gave their all and many achieved personal bests, made new friends and loved the camaraderie. Very unfortunately Ric hit a pothole during the afternoon and came off his bike. Thank goodness for helmets (his was badly broken), a good medical team (at last count: 9 doctors, 4 nurses, a midwife, a vet, a dentist, a dental nurse, a podiatrist and a physio – where are the orthopaedic surgeons when you need one?!), the help of a few locals and lashings of stoicism. Despite being badly shaken, enduring a fractured elbow and shattered thumb he still managed to enjoy Saturday evening before being chauffeured back to Gloucestershire for Sunday morning for the medical attention he needed. Impressive surgery to realign his fractured elbow followed and Ric is now recovering well at home.

Sunday for the rest of us started with some impressive, long, hard hills over Dartmoor.

36 miles today, with a welcome descent to Plymouth for the last few miles.

Great learning for those of us doing LEJOG but more about that later……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday

Jackie’s birthday today, so her, Caroline and I cycle to Miserden Garden Cafe for lunch. A few hills to challenge us over 23 miles but beautiful weather again and the countryside and views were just stunning. Ever prepared, Caroline even brought candles for the cake. How could she possibly know we would eat cake?!

This is the last cycle for there three of us before we cycle the Devon Coast 2 Coast when we need to do three times the distance and five times the hills!! Its going to be a long weekend………..

 

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Hills, Hills and More Hills……

We started off with a cycle up Cleeve Hill in beautiful sunshine and 20 miles later, finished with a cycle back over Cleeve Hill from the other side. Another first but we did it with a smile and a fair amount of huffing and puffing!

Not content with one hilly cycle, a glutton for punishment, I went out for another hilly one the following day. Leckhampton Hill, Withington Hill and Chedworth Hills all within the first 15 miles, followed by almost every other conceivable hill in Gloucestershire. Northleach was not on our route but somehow we ended up there. A brief bacon sandwich stop and a few more hills on the route home……

 

Spring has Sprung

After many months of cold, wet, windy training rides, spring has sprung and we have enjoyed some wonderful spring cycles in our beautiful (but hilly) Gloucestershire countryside.

It’s been wonderful not to have painfully cold fingers and toes and to bask in some warm spring sunshine. We loved this 40 mile cycle along glorious Gloucestershire countryside on quiet roads. A lunch break in the Secret Garden in Tewkesbury, overlooking the river and an amble back home afterwards, stopping to enjoy the riverside en route!

 

LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’Groats) Planning

Hard at work planning a route for LEJOG.

Not an easy task:

  • LEJOG or JOGLE?
  • Hundreds of route options
  • 18 people from four locations in two countries
  • 18 bikes
  • 16 hotels
  • 320 hotel rooms
  • 1,000 miles
  • Average 72miles/day
  • Average 3,150ft elevation/day
  • Support vehicle / luggage transfers
  • Food, food and more food……..
  • Training plans

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Great British Springtime

The Great British springtime has thrown almost every conceivable weather our way for our training rides last week. Not quite the 20″ of snow that the Boston Cyclopaths are experiencing but enough to challenge us all. Last week we cycled in glorious sunshine, torrential rain, giant hailstones, gale force winds and in some areas there was still snow. It has been too cold for comfort but spring is springing and we are looking forward to some warmer training rides. The weather man has promised sunshine and highs of 11 degrees tomorrow so we’ll hold him to that………