Search found 8 matches

by kennycr
7 Aug 2013, 11:55pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Berridale braes
Replies: 53
Views: 81411

Re: Berridale braes

I've done it both ways. North to south in 1985 when it seemed pretty tough, but I wasn't as fit in those days. Did LEJoG in 2011 and I reckon Berridale was the toughest single hill on the route, although there were longer ones, especially in the West of England. Shap and the Devil's Beeftub seemed like a bit of a slog too.

I was dreading Dunbeath on the LEJoG, having been there 26 years earlier, but I agree that the new road makes it a lot easier now.

None of them are easy!
by kennycr
15 Feb 2013, 7:30pm
Forum: Touring & Expedition
Topic: Quietest route Edinburgh to Lancaster
Replies: 8
Views: 1182

Re: Quietest route Edinburgh to Lancaster

Take the A70 to Carnwath, head for Biggar, Moffat, Lockerbie then Carlisle and follow the A6.

Did it in reverse on my 2011 LEJoG and it was pretty quiet.
by kennycr
17 Nov 2011, 12:37pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Food advice sought
Replies: 28
Views: 3402

Re: Food advice sought

I did a solo (for half the route), unsupported LeJog in June using B&Bs and staying with friends (and at home one night - it is on the route!), and for me it was the experience of a lifetime.

Yes to a big breakfast of cereal, porridge, toast and as much bacon, eggs, sausages etc. as you can cram in, along with fruit juice, coffee and whatever else is on the table. Yes also to having plenty of water on board and as many biscuits/chocolate that you think you'll need to get to the end of the day. I also did the 'couple of pints, a big pub meal and an early night' thing, but it wasn't always possible. I nearly got into big trouble at the end of a long day into Kendal and I was lucky to find the last B&B on the road out of town, about three or four miles away. If that had been full it would have been another 15 miles and I'm not sure I had that in my legs at that time. A lucky escape! The problem was I couldn't get anything substantial to eat there and when I got up the following morning I thought someone had cut my legs off. Even after a substantial (and excellent) breakfast, the run over Shap to Carlisle then Lockerbie turned out to be the worst of the whole route and I can only put it down to not feeding the muscles the night before.

I never made the same mistake again and the rest of the journey was fairly straightforward (not easy!). There were hard days, mainly due to bad weather in Scotland, but if I was to give the most vital pieces of advice to anyone trying it for the first time, they would be:

1. Travel light (which I did, thankfully).
2. Eat as much as you can - in the main that's what I did, and I still managed to lose 12 lbs.
3. Look after your backside (having kids in their late teens, I never realised I would need Sudocreme again, but it did the trick).
4. It's not a race.
Above all, travel safely and don't take any risks. One of them is bound to go wrong.

KC
by kennycr
31 Jul 2011, 1:59pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Finally a date set! 15th August
Replies: 5
Views: 688

Re: Finally a date set! 15th August

Good luck.

Tips from my self-supported trip in June, staying at BnBs and with friends on the route:

1. Travel light. I only had a Carradice saddle bag and if it didn't fit in it didn't go. Everything was dry too, even in the heaviest of rain.

2. It's not a race. One day i did only 15 miles because the weather was terrible and the roads were dangerous.

3. Look after your backside from day 1, using Sudocreme or similar to keep sores at bay. I cottoned on to this on day 7.

4. Eat well, before, during and, especially, after each day's cycling. One night I decided I could survive without anything substantial until breakfast, The following day was the worst I've ever felt on a bike.

5. Sleep a lot. I averaged about 9-10 hours a night.

6. Make sure your bike has plenty of gears and don't be afraid to use them. I never walked up a single hill on the route, and I'm not exactly Lance Armstrong.

7. Use as many B roads as you can, although this might slow you down a bit (see 2 above). Some of the most enjoyable parts were very minor roads that I just happened to stumble upon but that fitted roughly into my route.

8. Never, ever run out of water. I didn't, but I have in the past and it ain't nice.

9. Never forget that you're doing it for enjoyment.

10. Don't take any risks that have even the slightest chance of spoiling your trip.

Have a great trip.

Kenny
by kennycr
29 Jul 2011, 12:45pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Urgent advice needed for saddle sores!
Replies: 15
Views: 3623

Re: Urgent advice needed for saddle sores!

I recently did a 14-day LEJOG on a Brooks B17 saddle that had previously done around 800 miles, so it was reasonably well broken in. By about day five, however, the saddle sores were fairly painful and were starting to detract from my overall enjoyment of the run. I hadn't used anything on them at that time, which may not have been a great idea in hindsight!

After day seven I was staying at a friend's house and she suggested I try some Sudocreme that she still had lying around from when her kids were young. She gave me a small tub to take with me and I can honestly say that after about two more days of applying it before and after the ride, I had barely any problems. By the time I I guess we are all different so it may not work for everyone, but I found Sudocreme to be a real life-saver.

Kenny
by kennycr
27 Jun 2011, 7:10pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Unsupported charity LEJoG starting this week
Replies: 5
Views: 686

Re: Unsupported charity LEJoG starting this week

Well, I made it!

Almost exactly 14 days in the end. Not a lot of flat bits in Cornwall, and not a lot of dry bits in Scotland, but it really was a journey of a lifetime and one that I would heartily recommend to anyone even thinking remotely about it. If an overweight 47 year-old can manage it, I'd guess that most able-bodied people can with a bit of training and determination.

Thanks to my mate, Ron, for keeping me going from Lockerbie to John o' Groats. There were times when it would have been easy to give in, notably when leaving a cafe in Helmsdale still soaked and freezing, to be faced with one of the hardest climbs of the route, then Berriedale! I'll never forget the sight of the Orkneys in the distance as I came over the last hill into JoG. Priceless!

Now, what next?.....

Kenny
by kennycr
9 Jun 2011, 10:57am
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Unsupported charity LEJoG starting this week
Replies: 5
Views: 686

Re: Unsupported charity LEJoG starting this week

Thanks Mick.

Any good suggestions for B&B in Wadebridge/Padstow and Crediton would be welcome if anyone has them.

Thanks

Kenny
by kennycr
9 Jun 2011, 12:09am
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Unsupported charity LEJoG starting this week
Replies: 5
Views: 686

Unsupported charity LEJoG starting this week

I'll be setting off on a journey to fulfil a lifetime's ambition on Friday 10 June, leaving Lands End around lunchtime and heading to John O' Groats, hopefully by 22 June. I'll be staying at B&Bs and with friends on the route, but I will be carrying all my own gear. Perhaps not the most ambitious challenge ever outlined on here, but for a 47 year-old bloke weighing in at around 105 Kg, who went for more than five years without touching a bike, it promises to present plenty of hurdles along the way.

I'll be raising money for three great charities, so if anyone would like to support them please visit My page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KennethCrookston

You can keep up-to-date with my progress by following me on Twitter @BB1887 or on http://www.facebook.com/british.bandsman. If anyone wants to join me along the way then please feel free. Just don't expect Lance Armstrong or Chris Hoy!

Hope to see some of you on the road.

Kenny