Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thank you

It's been a week now since I finished and it has been none stop since I got back late on Wednesday evening. We went to the cricket to see Scotland versus New Zealand (unfortunetly Scotland lost), a wedding, the Game Fair and since then Emily has had me busy in the garden. Driving back up the road it really brought home how far some of the days were and how high some of the hills were.

The total JoGLE miles was 1031 over 100 hours at an average speed of 10.4 mph. Saw 50 LEJoGers (4 on one bike) and only 3 JoGLErs. No punctures, but one broken spoke, a strained right achilles and ulnar nerve neuropathy in my right hand. At least the injuries aren't serious.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored me;
Dylan and Laura, Sheila and Steve, Samantha and Thomas and Marishka, Kevin, Anne and Robin, Iain and Emma, Angus and Frances, Gareth, Wattie, Phil, Neil and Ann, Karyn and Frank, Brian, Di, Bruce, Duncan, The Stewartry Diabetes Support Group, Emily, The Maersk Charity Committee, Christine, Roger and Meg, John, Gillian, Julie, Jonas, Keith, Scott, Joyce, Carolyn and Kevin, Calum

Thank you for everyones supportive comments during the trip and to the guys at Jogle for Alzheimers, Geoff Preston, Regie and the Smiley Milers for their advice and support. Also for Demijohn for a mention in their Newsletter.

Thanks to Anne and Robin for putting me up for a night especially since they had just moved in and to Henrietta and Duncan for letting me stay at Glenlair and dry out. And thank you especially to Emily for putting up with me planning this trip and having to suffer her own cooking for 2 weeks

Here are some of the best B&Bs I stayed in;
I hope I haven't missed anyone out, but please let me know if I have.

I'm glad I did the trip but am also glad that it is over. I felt a lot older after walking the West Highland Way and now I feel even older. You can cycle the length of the country in less time than myself, but I wanted to see some of it as I went by and would have prefered to explore more. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights);

  • The rain - It rained on all but 2 of the days and even with waterproofs, I would have been drier jumping in a Loch.
  • Achilles strain - My own fault from changing my toe clips 2 days before I left.
  • Energy - It's ridiculous how much energy you need. You might as well strap a bag of Tate and Lyle to your handlebars and use a shovel.
  • Caithness Flow Country - Great scenery and cycling. A bit lonely.
  • East side of Loch Ness - Great cycling on quiet roads.
  • Glen Coe - Great scenery. Traffic a bit busy and some tough climbs.
  • Trossachs and the Campsie Fells - Not my planned route. Great scenery, but a killer hill before Glasgow instead of a nice flat day down Loch Lomond.
  • South of Glasgow - A slooow gradual climb.
  • The sleet/hail on the moor above Dunscore.
  • Having a day off to dry out and see Ems
  • Solway Firth - Fantastic flat cycling.
  • Middle of England - Because of the flatness of the countryside and the hedgerows there wasn't much to see.
  • Devon - A lot hiller than expected.
  • Cornwall - Not as hilly as people make out.
  • The courteous drivers who were in the majority.
  • Meeting great people along the way.

Anyone up for the North Sea Cycle Route next year?

The UK's best range and top brands of Bikes, Clothing and Accessories

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 16 - Newquay to Lands End

Stayed at a very friendly B&B last night (http://freespace.virgin.net/sheila.harper/) and Steve very generously made a donation to my Jogle. They also have a huge collection of rocks, fossils and minerals that would interest all the Geobods that I know.
Cycling was quite good this morning and only had to use the GPS a couple of times. However, 10 miles from Lands End the liquid version of Cornish sunshine decended and for the next 2 hours the rain lashed down. As Bruce mentioned I have very cleverly managed to avoid all the nice weather on this trip.
On my way out of Lands End I passed the Jogler that I saw near Okehampton and after getting into Penzance I bumped into him again. This time we managed to stop and introduce ourselves. His name is Rob from London and started from John O'Groats about the same time as myself. We shared a few stories before he headed off to find his bed for the night and I headed off in search of a celabratory beer.
Tomorrow I head off back up the road to Aberdeenshire. Its a busy weekend as we're off to watch Scotland v New Zealand at cricket on Thursday (no Emma. I'm not wearing fancy dress) and then off to a wedding on Friday. So it may be early next week before I catch up with my final thoughts for the Jogle.
I am sure Ems will be very glad I'm on my way home if only that she can look forward to my cooking again.
p.s. Iain has let me know that 'Tre' in the placenames in Cornwall means town, farm or settlement.

Newquay to Lands End
Distance: 46miles
Rolling time: 4hr 41min
Max: 34mph
Av speed: 9.8mph

JOGLE Miles: 1020


Arrived just after 3pm in the pouring rain

Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 15 - Okehampton to Newquay

Scorchio! The first whole day without rain and the sun here in Newquay is very hot. After the sleepy little villages I've been staying in on this trip, Newquay is quite a shock. It is a full on party town. Though I'll be in bed by 10pm.
Cycling today was hilly this morning in Devon and was much flatter this afternoon in Cornwall. I've been wondering what the significance of 'Tre' at the begining of the place names. Maybe Iain my Cornish friend could enlighten us.
A lot of you have been leaving encouraging comments. It is hard for me to respond to each one, but I do appreciate them. Thank you.
Tomorrow is the last day. I cant believe it. It doesn't seem that long ago that I started planning this adventure, but the last 2 weeks have certainly seemed like a long time.

Okehampton to Newquay
Distance: 64miles
Rolling time: 6hr 25min
Max: 36mph
Av speed: 9.9mph

JOGLE Miles: 984

The UK's best range and top brands of Bikes, Clothing and Accessories

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 14 - Stogumber to Okehampton

Today was quite short, so it was supposed to be like a day off. I took things quite slowly to begin with but was soon introduced to the Devon hills. In Scotland the road builders built the roads around the hills, but down here they have built them straight over the top of every hill sadistically.
Passed lots of cyclists around Crediton who were in a cycle race and lots of them have cheery waves. Also saw my first jogler.
Only 2 more days to go.

Stogumber to Okehampton
Distance: 56miles
Rolling time: 5hr 49min
Max: 34mph
Av speed: 9.6mph

JOGLE Miles: 920

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 13 - Stroud to Stogumber

A big thank you to Anne and Robin for putting me up and feeding me a great risotto last night especially since they have just moved in and with our virtual Skype connection it felt like Ems was there too. Raced down to Bristol on the A38 in record time despite the strong headwind. Bristol was recently named as Englands first cycling city with new funding. Bristol is certainly not the worst city I've cycled through but with the new funding I hope they sort out the huge number of cars that park in the existing cycle lanes.
Today was supposed to be my longest day so I pushed on down the A38. I made good time and at Bridgewater I had finished the backbone of England and started the last part of my journey on the foot. Took the rest of the day slowly as I knew I was nearly there and had a big climb over the Quantock hills (the first place in England to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Stayed and ate at another great pub called the White Horse in Stogumber.

Stroud to Stogumber
Distance: 85miles
Rolling time: 8hr 37min
Max: 36.5mph
Av speed: 9.8mph

JOGLE Miles: 864

Day 12 - Bucknell to Stroud

A great day through rolling countryside and made good time for a change as there was no headwind and the rain was quite light.
Got to Anne and Robins early and had to help put up a wardrobe and my bed as they have just moved in. I helped them install Skype and we had a long video call with Ems - she even got to have a virtual tour of the new house. It was quite bizzare.

Bucknell to Stroud
Distance: 69miles
Rolling time: 6hr 20min
Max: 32mph
Av speed: 10.9mph

JOGLE Miles: 779

The UK's best range and top brands of Bikes, Clothing and Accessories