Lands End to John O’Groats 6-21st August 2011
Eight nervous but intrepid riders met at a small campsite a few miles from Lands End on the 6th August 2011. After some chat and getting to know each other, we headed out for our first group meal.
After a good night’s sleep, we made the short journey to Lands End for our photos at the famous sign. The weather seemed to be against us but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits (just yet!). Our Lands End to John O’Groats cycle was underway.
The first few days were led by the ever-reliable Luke ‘Tour-de-France’ Maskew. As is expected in the first stages of such an epic journey, there was very little time to ‘find ones legs’ as we passed straight into the undulating but quaint south west of England.
There was a range of fitness and ability throughout the group however we stuck together.
A big test was the brutal hill coming out of Bath (you know which one we’re talking about!).
It made a grown man weep (that was Danny by the way), and it will no doubt stick in everyone’s minds for a few years to come.
Soon after we were joined by Shane ‘Mr-Fixit’ Leavesley, who was on hand for some well-needed bike maintenance/construction. We said our goodbyes to Luke (who incidentally took a flight straight out to France to test himself on some of the famous alpine climbs on the continent) and pushed on ever-northwards.
The group was soon moving extremely efficiently, partly due to Steve’s new cog!
As we moved into the north of England, we passed through stunning scenery and tackled one of the challenging climbs of the trip, ascending to the village of Shap. There were plenty of nerves before undertaking this climb, but they really needn’t have been as they all powered up it in no time. It was all worth it for the downhill! (Don’t tell Caroline, but we believe Ben reached 40mph on this stretch!).
We were soon crossing the border into Scotland and as some were getting further away from home, others were getting nearer. By this time we had two established ‘point-men/women’ in Nina and Ben, who were doing a fantastic job of pulling the group along.
After some stunning scenery through Edinburgh and the Forth Road Bridge, it was time to enter the formidable Cairngorm National Park. Again there were plenty of nerves throughout the group but we pushed on relentlessly. It was here that Ben claimed his ‘King of the Mountains’ title as we have unconfirmed reports that he pipped Shane ‘Pink-Bianchi-top’ Leavesley to the summit of the biggest climb. Well done Ben, better luck next time Shane!
After a gruelling two days crossing the Cairngorms, it was relatively plain sailing through the stunningly isolated highlands and past the beautiful beaches along the north coast of Scotland.
We reached it! Many, many, many photos were taken.
A fantastic job by everyone, we completed the Lands End to John O’Groats Cycle, well done!
Some fell behind, some surged ahead, some walked, some swore and moaned (Steve!), but we all made it in the end! A big thank you to More Adventure who made it all possible.We hope you’re all still cycling!
Check out LEJOG if you would like to find out more about our upcoming End to End cycle trips.