Wednesday, 2 May 2007

The plan

On Saturday 12th May I'll start cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats. The distance on the road is a little under 1000 miles. I plan to take under 2 weeks.

I'm not really fit enough, although everything I've read suggests I don't need to be - it's not a race, and there are only a couple of days in which the climbing is particularly arduous, notably Cornwall. I've been cycling about 8 miles a day to work for the last 6 months, including one very steep hill. It's not much. The most I've ever cycled in one day is 37 miles. I need to average 65-80 miles per day. My main worry is tendonitis, a strain behind the knee that makes cycling impossible.

My bike is a basic Trek 7200 hybrid. Nothing special, although I am encouraged by the fact that someone did it on a penny farthing in the 1870s, in 5 days! And that about 4000 people do it every year now.

I'll be travelling very light. On the same principle as if you buy a big rucksack, you'll fill it up and won't be able to carry it, I'm taking only two panniers and a bar bag. That means two sets of cycling gear, and one of casual for the evening, plus waterproofs. And two big books, as yet undecided.

I'll be staying in Youth Hostels. I'm not particularly precious, and I only need a shower and bed every night, plus a decent meal which I'll eat out. Hopefully most hostels nowadays have internet connections so I can update my blog and catch up on emails.

I'm raising money for Medecins Sans Frontieres (my justgiving page) I wanted to help a charity that does significant work in Africa, and that would be recognisable to anyone who might support me. I think MSF is a very worthy cause, and I urge people to support them by sponsoring me.

Can anyone show me how to create a map of the route?


Anonymous said...

1) put the heavy stuff in the panniers, the light stuff in the bar bag;
2) if you need a bed let us know, but you have to cycle thro' the Mersey tunnel to get to us! A local judge told me it's not as bad as you think.
3) for maps see

paranoidman said...

use a pen and paper - or even coloured pencils if you want to be fancy

Anonymous said...

You need a parrot on one handle bar and a carrot on the other.

quattroken said...

Presumably that would be saddle-post-Giggsian irony

Anonymous said...

Why not attach a paint pump to your front mudguard, and a type of plough to the rear of the bike. With the pump, prime the tyre with paint for application to the road. With the plough, plough up the painted strip of road and store on a spool. Then you have a highly accurate 1:1 map of your exact route.

Anonymous said...

good luck dreams

digitalrob70 said...

"Can anyone show me how to create a map of the route?"

Runny says....

You could try

Here's my first attempt - Land's End to Truro [it even told me it was 34.16 miles, once I'd joined all the markers to make a route, and then saved my map.] Might take a few minutes to get used to its foibles, thoughbut:

Anonymous said...

I calculate you'll be by my place on 17th. Need some method of contacting. A little dubious leaving any details here.

Anonymous said...

That's JDW60 btw