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Lands End To John O'Groats for weekend 30 milers

Col36Col36 Posts: 9
edited April 2018 in Road general
Hello,

One of my bucket list goals is to cycle Lands End to John O'Groats. I'm currently happy doing 30+ miles around with a few smallish hills around hampshire (1700ft of elevation on last ride) and the odd 60 mile point to point.

I'm a bit of a fair weather cyclist so will do a mix of indoor Zwift sessions and outdoors on the weekends.

I'd like to do Land Ends to John O'Groats maybe next year or year after.

How does one increase fitness to tackle Lands End to John O'Groats?

Posts

  • Your basic fitness probably OK(only you know for sure) but obvious thing would be to steadily increase mileage so do some 50/75/100/150 mile rides. Pacing be key though, don't go off too fast.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,703
    if you are a fair weather cyclist, LEJOG is the last ride I would think of doing.

    You will for sure find bad weather at some point, could persist for days.

    You will probably find atrocious weather at some point in Scotland, it could be miles from anywhere.

    If you still want to do it, then you probably want to begin to get used to riding in bad weather and see what kind of clothes work for you and which one don't. Other people advice might not necessarily work for you and the most expensive waterproof out there might not work for you either
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 3,677
    Interesting take Ugo!

    I am hopefully about to get a bit of gardening leave and LEJOG is on my agenda, although I do like a good ride in the rain, albeit with somewhere to dry out at the end. Fortunately I won't have to be too specific on dates.
  • Col36Col36 Posts: 9
    Thanks Ugo.

    So, a lot of winter riding for me this year, to get my clothing sorted out. I currently have fairly slick Gatorskin tyres would I need tyres with a bit more tread?
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,199
    None of my road tyres came with tread to begin with, and they are fine.
    Some protection is probably worthwhile, and large section for comfort.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
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  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,703
    Col36 wrote:
    Thanks Ugo.

    So, a lot of winter riding for me this year, to get my clothing sorted out. I currently have fairly slick Gatorskin tyres would I need tyres with a bit more tread?

    I don't think tyres should be high on your agenda. As long as they are in good nick, reasonably robust and of a reputable brand, they will all do.

    For what it's worth, I think something like Schwalbe Durano will do the job very well for not too much money. Gatorskins are fine too.
  • Key question here is how long do you plan to take to complete?

    As an example if you can do it over 3 weeks and if the weather is really bad just sit it out for a day or two then it is possibly achievable based on what you have told us but if you are planning on doing it over a week or ten days then I would say you have a way to go to up your mileage and you would need to ride through whatever is thrown at you from the weather gods!!!

    Would also recommend doing back to back rides as part of you training. If you are planning to ride 100 miles a day then I would target doing 3 x 100 mile rides on consecutive days so that you build stamina and get used to the miles and recovery required!!!
  • It won't be flat, so 100 miles with a fair bit of elevation may be an eye or censored opener for you.
  • chippykchippyk Posts: 529
    Would also recommend doing back to back rides as part of you training. If you are planning to ride 100 miles a day then I would target doing 3 x 100 mile rides on consecutive days so that you build stamina and get used to the miles and recovery required!!!

    This.
    It’s one thing to knock out a long ride, it’s another to do it again the next day. And the next day again.
  • Col36Col36 Posts: 9
    In one of the online blogs they completed LEJOG in 14 days, mostly around 70 miles per day.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I think you'd be better off just riding more and put the plans on hold. It's about 1000 miles or so and not always the nicest roads. You do need to choose the route carefully.

    If you liked cycling enough to want to do the LEJOG I'm sure you'd be doing more than 30 mile rides at the weekend.

    As schoolkids we planned a 50M plus adventure and that soon took us to over 100 milers.

    It's a hell of a long way unless you're used to a fair distance.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 13,863
    Why not go on a trip somewhere warm?
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 777
    I haven't done it, although the idea does hold some appeal. I've read some of the routes aren't great - I think the shortest is around 1000 miles, but that would be mainly A and B roads and missing some nicer parts. I think the companies that organise it tend to go these routes. More appealing routes with less busy roads add about 200 miles. If you can manage 80 miles a day then you are looking at over 12 days continuous riding for the shortest route...you may have a mechanical (or two) you may have a couple of days of lousy weather, you may find a great place to stop and want to spend more than the minimum time there.

    I'm not great at long distances day after day, I would look at doing 30 miles a day for three days, and build from that. We're all different though so you may find it is easier for you.

    I did a 24 hour event a few years ago, starting at 5 am. It was a reasonable start to the day but the rain came on around 10 am and lasted for an hour, really heavy. My shoes didn't dry out, and riding through the night at about 6 degrees with cold and wet feet was very unpleasant. Will you be able to dry kit overnight, or can you take a second pair of shoes (in particular) should this happen to you?

    Would heading north to south be better? More favourable wind conditions? Better weather (hopefully!) the further into it you get?
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 811
    plenty of people have done it over on audaxuk and maybe a few audaxes of 100/200/300 is the way to go. 30 miles fine but slogging up thro' Lancashire in the rain towards Cumbria is not inspiring. Likewise do you go up the A82 out of Glasgow? that is a grim road. time of year will make a difference and will you have any support or are you going solo?
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Gatorskins are fine too.

    WHAT??? :shock:

    That's you struck off my xmas card list :lol:
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  • millemanmilleman Posts: 181
    I have done LEJOG twice on a 14 day supported trip with two different companies, it’s a fantastic trip and all I would say is do it!.
    Had one wet morning on the first trip and probably 2-3 days mixed weather on the second, don’t let the chance of rain put you off.
    I
    Doing Dover to Durness this year for a change but will definitely do LEJOG again.
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    This looks like a good one (randomly grabbed from RideWithGPS)

    https://ridewithgps.com/trips/6123333

    1000 miles, not especially direct. It's not clear how many days the ride took this guy. Definitely on my bucket list.

    I commute across the Severn Bridge every day and often meet LEJOGers. Most complain what an anti-climax crossing the bridge is (noise / traffic / what's so great about a view of the Forest of Dean and a defunct nuclear power station anyway). You have been warned... :wink:
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,903
    davep1 wrote:
    Would heading north to south be better? More favourable wind conditions?

    But the wind generally comes from the South West :wink:

    As training, try to spend as much time in the saddle as you possibly can. You won't want to be going fast, spending hours a day on a bike is painful in itself.

    On the route, I would personally prefer to take the west coast out to Glencoe than the A9 to aviemore. Considering putting my spare room on Air B&B for LEJOG riders with the amount that come through moffat, let me know if you need a room!
  • millemanmilleman Posts: 181
    I would avoid the roads around Glencoe, just too busy in summer.

    One of the tour guides I did it with said they used to use that route but changed it due to safety fears, they used to start that day very early, send riders in pairs and wearing hi-vis clothing but it was always a bit dodgy he thought.

    Most people use the Glenshee road and go over the Lecht the next day, that’s a beast of a climb!
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,903
    Wasn't too bad the few times I've been up there but fair point. The route along loch ness was very busy actually
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