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How to plan a LEJOG route

iclestuiclestu Posts: 503
edited July 2012 in Tour & expedition
Just as it sounds really.

I'm gonna be doing an unsupported solo LEJOG in Aug. Want a leisurely (when i say leisurely I mean the pace, not hill avoidance!) scenic route on roads - not fussed about how long it takes really (within reason).

Mostly doing it for the fun of cycling and for the experience so not sure i have any real burning desire to see/pass through a certain place.

Where do i start?

Draw a line on the map of mainland Britain and break it down into smaller chunks or start googling for other ppls routes to follow/adapt? How do I find the best roads and avoid the nasties?
FCN 7: Dawes Galaxy Ultra 2012 - sofa-like comfort to eat up the miles

Reserve: 2010 Boardman CX Pro

Posts

  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Not used it, but this probably isn't a bad place to start...
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • How to plan a LEJOG route.

    Most people start planning about a year in advance
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    How to plan a LEJOG route.

    Most people start planning about a year in advance

    A year? It's a road ride through the UK, not an off-road expedition through the Andes.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    How to plan a LEJOG route.

    Most people start planning about a year in advance

    Really?

    I announced that i was doing the ride eight weeks before I did it.

    I didn't do anything about route planning apart from buying a large scale motoring atlas the week before I set off. The actual route planning was initiated three days before I left Land's End and only covered as far as Porlock. The rest of the route planning was done on the hoof.

    Training, if it could be called that was an Audax ride per weekend for four consecutive weekends - all of them without the cycle camping payload that I took on the LEJOG ride.

    I took planning a bit more seriously when I did JOGLE - I booked a train to get to Thurso and had a packing list for the panniers. Initial route planning was done on the train.
  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    iclestu wrote:
    Just as it sounds really.

    Where do i start?

    Draw a line on the map of mainland Britain and break it down into smaller chunks or start googling for other ppls routes to follow/adapt? How do I find the best roads and avoid the nasties?

    Go to the CTC forums on the CTC web site www.ctc.org.uk where there's a dedicated forum for LEJOG. Likewise with the Cycle chat web site www.cyclechat.co.uk.

    Spend some time reading the messages posted there and you'll have the answers to most of the questions.

    I used a Phillips motoring atlas and tore out the pages that covered the area that I was going to ride through. Drawing straight lines between key points then selecting the roads nearest to the lines is a good place to start. You will read about lots of dire warnings about various roads - I've ridden them all and can't reconcile the warnings with my own experiences of non events on them all.
  • Ness1Ness1 Posts: 12
    I cycled LEJOG unsupported with my 7 year old son last year. I used Land's End to John O'Groats The Great British Bike Adventure by Phil Horsley to help with my route planning. I also bought a road atlas (removed the pages that were not on the route to reduce weight). The book has lots of route options, the majority of them are on minor roads which I find easier to use with a 7 year old. I went through the roure and wrote page numbers n for the road atlas. I also put details of where we camped or B&B each night on each page. We ended up doing 1055miles over 3 weeks. Cycling unsupported with a 7 year old meant we did it at quite a lesuirely pace, not doing much more than 50 miles a day. It was an amazing experiencing, we travelled through some fantastic scenery and came face to face with a huge variety of wild life, including a magnificent stag deer who we startled and he stood frozen about a meter in front of us!

    I had a route planned, but revised it several times whilst on the journey. It became a teatime ritual - pitch the tent, grab a shower, find a pub, write a postcard to post home, review the days route and plan the next days route with a pint. Most pubs were happy for me to charge my phone.

    I recommend riding up the Wye and Dore valleys and crossing to Arran to avoid Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    If you would like me to post detail of our route, I would be happy to do so.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

    Paris to London this year for me and my now 8 year old!
  • Ness1 wrote:
    I cycled LEJOG unsupported with my 7 year old son last year. I used Land's End to John O'Groats The Great British Bike Adventure by Phil Horsley to help with my route planning. I also bought a road atlas (removed the pages that were not on the route to reduce weight). The book has lots of route options, the majority of them are on minor roads which I find easier to use with a 7 year old. I went through the roure and wrote page numbers n for the road atlas. I also put details of where we camped or B&B each night on each page. We ended up doing 1055miles over 3 weeks. Cycling unsupported with a 7 year old meant we did it at quite a lesuirely pace, not doing much more than 50 miles a day. It was an amazing experiencing, we travelled through some fantastic scenery and came face to face with a huge variety of wild life, including a magnificent stag deer who we startled and he stood frozen about a meter in front of us!

    I had a route planned, but revised it several times whilst on the journey. It became a teatime ritual - pitch the tent, grab a shower, find a pub, write a postcard to post home, review the days route and plan the next days route with a pint. Most pubs were happy for me to charge my phone.

    I recommend riding up the Wye and Dore valleys and crossing to Arran to avoid Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    If you would like me to post detail of our route, I would be happy to do so.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

    Paris to London this year for me and my now 8 year old!

    Wow! That's quite a trip for a little fella. I'm seriously impressed. What an incredible experience for a 7 year old. Brilliant!
  • Ness1 wrote:
    I cycled LEJOG unsupported with my 7 year old son last year. I used Land's End to John O'Groats The Great British Bike Adventure by Phil Horsley to help with my route planning. I also bought a road atlas (removed the pages that were not on the route to reduce weight). The book has lots of route options, the majority of them are on minor roads which I find easier to use with a 7 year old. I went through the roure and wrote page numbers n for the road atlas. I also put details of where we camped or B&B each night on each page. We ended up doing 1055miles over 3 weeks. Cycling unsupported with a 7 year old meant we did it at quite a lesuirely pace, not doing much more than 50 miles a day. It was an amazing experiencing, we travelled through some fantastic scenery and came face to face with a huge variety of wild life, including a magnificent stag deer who we startled and he stood frozen about a meter in front of us!

    I had a route planned, but revised it several times whilst on the journey. It became a teatime ritual - pitch the tent, grab a shower, find a pub, write a postcard to post home, review the days route and plan the next days route with a pint. Most pubs were happy for me to charge my phone.

    I recommend riding up the Wye and Dore valleys and crossing to Arran to avoid Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    If you would like me to post detail of our route, I would be happy to do so.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

    Paris to London this year for me and my now 8 year old!

    Wow! That's quite a trip for a little fella. I'm seriously impressed. What an incredible experience for a 7 year old. Brilliant!

    Ought of interest; what was most peoples reaction when you told them what you were planning?
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    Ness1 wrote:
    I cycled LEJOG unsupported with my 7 year old son last year. I used Land's End to John O'Groats The Great British Bike Adventure by Phil Horsley to help with my route planning. I also bought a road atlas (removed the pages that were not on the route to reduce weight). The book has lots of route options, the majority of them are on minor roads which I find easier to use with a 7 year old. I went through the roure and wrote page numbers n for the road atlas. I also put details of where we camped or B&B each night on each page. We ended up doing 1055miles over 3 weeks. Cycling unsupported with a 7 year old meant we did it at quite a lesuirely pace, not doing much more than 50 miles a day. It was an amazing experiencing, we travelled through some fantastic scenery and came face to face with a huge variety of wild life, including a magnificent stag deer who we startled and he stood frozen about a meter in front of us!

    I had a route planned, but revised it several times whilst on the journey. It became a teatime ritual - pitch the tent, grab a shower, find a pub, write a postcard to post home, review the days route and plan the next days route with a pint. Most pubs were happy for me to charge my phone.

    I recommend riding up the Wye and Dore valleys and crossing to Arran to avoid Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    If you would like me to post detail of our route, I would be happy to do so.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

    Paris to London this year for me and my now 8 year old!

    That is one of the most awesome family holidays I have ever heard of.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • Ness1Ness1 Posts: 12
    Most people thought I was mad, quite a few told me we wouldn't be able to do it. At the end of the day if it hadn't worked out we could have jumped on a train home. The people we met on our way were impressed. I don't think people started to take us seriously until we had crossed the Scottish border. By the time we got to Dornoch Firth pub land lords were buying me pints and the photographer at John o Groats was very excited!
  • neilrobinsneilrobins Posts: 102
    Is there any advantage to largs/tongue route rather than a9 other than quieter roads? Flatter or better Tarmac?
    Just arrived at censored Bridge and looking at last full day, weather is crappy so views have been non existent, I fancy just blasting upto Thurso for the night then having a full day for JoG and back to Wick? Distance is only a few miles difference.
  • Ness1Ness1 Posts: 12
    neilrobins wrote:
    Is there any advantage to largs/tongue route rather than a9 other than quieter roads? Flatter or better Tarmac?
    Just arrived at censored Bridge and looking at last full day, weather is crappy so views have been non existent, I fancy just blasting upto Thurso for the night then having a full day for JoG and back to Wick? Distance is only a few miles difference.

    We took the A9 route, it really wasn't that busy, there is only one real hill on the A9 north of Dornoch and that is the Berriedale Braes, we walked down and back up as it was very steep and narrow, with hair pin bends on cliff edges. I could have probably cycled up and would have cylced down if I had more faith in my brakes, but didn't want to leave my little one to push by himself on that stretch of road. The road surface last year was fantastic and traffic wise it got a little busy with lorries around lunch time which is usual I think.

    You really don't need a full day at JOG there really is nothing there!

    Enjoy arriving at JOG well done x
  • neilrobinsneilrobins Posts: 102
    Thanks, the locals in the pub said the same (braes being a dodgy area) however they universally agreed the Largs road was the way to go on a bike. Will only hang around JoG for a few mins then head off to Wick to post bike home before the shop shuts then flight home. 11 days to get there and 4 hours to get back....
  • neilrobinsneilrobins Posts: 102
    The lairgs road is fantastic but turn off at Altmaharra and head to Bettyhill rather than on to tongue, it follows the Loch and river and is quiet and reasonably smooth. censored bridge to Bettyhill on this route rated in the top 3 50 mile stretches over the last 10 days. The only downside was the Bettyhill to Thurso road which was straight into a headwind and at a shift change at Doonray so busy for the area. The hills weren't particularly fun either up or down due to head and cross winds
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