Search found 202 matches

by FasterFerret
4 Jan 2020, 6:50pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Must stay places for LEJOG
Replies: 18
Views: 1809

Re: Must stay places for LEJOG

Interestingly, I visited the Velocity Cafe in Inverness thinking it would be a cyclists's hang-out.

The place was packed, but I was the only cyclist in there. Go figure! :?
by FasterFerret
21 Jul 2019, 11:52pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Kit check - 11 days to go (1st August)
Replies: 21
Views: 4931

Re: Kit check - 11 days to go (1st August)

Don't underestimate the amount of chain lube you might need if you get wet weather...
by FasterFerret
21 Jul 2019, 11:47pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Kit check - 11 days to go (1st August)
Replies: 21
Views: 4931

Re: Kit check - 11 days to go (1st August)

Paulatic wrote:Something warm ?


Good suggestion.

I took a relatively cheap down jacket from Decathlon - was light, packed down small, was good for evenings and reassured me that I could stay warm if I had a crash or mechanical and needed to await rescue...
by FasterFerret
21 Jul 2019, 11:44pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Kit check - 11 days to go (1st August)
Replies: 21
Views: 4931

Re: Kit check - 11 days to go (1st August)

Are you not doubling up on a few things here:

plumby wrote:Tools
multi-tool - if this is any good, do you really need the following?

chain tool
very thin screwdriver (removing shards out of tyre if I puncture)
disc brake allen key
saddle bag allen key


Electricals
phone and charger
gps and charger
anker (spare battery)
bike light charger
headphones



Go mini on these:

plumby wrote:Other
sun cream - decant into a small bottle
sunglasses
shower gel small - blag it from the B&B
toothbrush
toothpaste - get some free samples from the dentist - nice and small
contact lenses
anti-chafing cream - you can buy Buttr in sachets - do you need a tub?
mini deodorant - for whose benefit?
nurofen express
glasses
cash - only folding stuff - try to use plastic (or Andriod/Apple pay)
bank cards


I took a small amount of "sports wash" for washing my kit - but I am a bit particular about what/how I wash my riding gear. If you are not bothered then if you can blag getting your kit washed then use whatever is on offer...

I also took some flip flops, the lightest and cheapest I could find. Guess it depends what your riding shoes are, I had road shoes and was happy to get them off at the end of each day.
by FasterFerret
14 Jun 2019, 4:17pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: My 10 day JOGLE route
Replies: 16
Views: 5176

Re: My 10 day JOGLE route

Seems like I got my start and finish mixed up!

Paid for picture at Land's End.

The finger post at JoG is there all the time - just a normal signpost in the visitor car park.
by FasterFerret
14 Jun 2019, 2:13pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: My 10 day JOGLE route
Replies: 16
Views: 5176

Re: My 10 day JOGLE route

plumby wrote:
Random question alert! – how do you get your picture next to the JoG monument? I think I read somewhere that some chap charges a tenner and then takes the sign down and takes it home! Anyone know?


That one I can answer quite quickly, the others might take a bit longer...

Yes, there's a chap there who will take a picture for you - for a cost. As you said, I think it was about a tenner.

I'm usually a bit curmudgeonly on this kind of thing, but I parted with my cash. You do end up with a decent picture, he will personalise the sign for you with name/date/mileage and the like and will also take pic for your on your own phone. If you are doing it for charity mention it and you might get a spare photo to send to your charity.

For me I figured that I had spent enough on the whole venture that another few quid for a decent photo as a momento was worth it.

If you decide against, it's a long way to go back if you change your mind later...
by FasterFerret
13 Jun 2019, 10:23pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: My 10 day JOGLE route
Replies: 16
Views: 5176

Re: My 10 day JOGLE route

plumby wrote:Thanks all this is terrific. What a great forum.

Thanks a million @FasterFerret. You’ve convinced me that I need a shorter first day. Can I ask, what do you mean by a ‘heavy’ road? Any recommendations where to stay? I’m am using Beds For Cyclists but haven’t booked any accommodation yet except for the night before in JoG.



Get used to the term heavy - it's the local vernacular for a road that offers more grip (and resistance to forward momentum) that you would quite like! Seems to be a 'feature' of many Scottish roads. Apparently, something related to how they surface the road for different weather conditions, but funny how the thinking changes immediately you pass through Gretna... You'll get some more of the same if you use the road that parallels the A74M, it's a tar and chip surface (I believe) where the tar seems to have worn or washed away, so you get plenty of resistance on that bit too!

I did find that section South of Bettyhill to also be quite undulating and a little difficult to get into a smooth rhythm - it's certainly not as even a gradient as the RWGPS shows. Definitely worth doing this route, it is very scenic, just passing on my experience.

It is worth noting that there really isn't much (anything!) between Bettyhill and Altnaharra, other than a small campsite on the side of the Loch. There are only a couple of inns/hotels between there and Bonar Bridge. A stop at the Crask Inn is worth it just for the experience, but as with a lot of things that far North, do check the opening hours (days!) before you rely on them. There's a half decent chippy off the main road by the loch in Lairg and a convenience store right next to it. There is also a world-renowned restaurant in Bonar Bridge if you are into that, although it was closed on the day that I was there anyway.

I stopped at a nice cottage (Airbnb) in Ardgay, lovely place and very nice landlady, getting used to LEJOGLErs (Strawberry Cottage I think it was called).

I guess the summary of my advice (and experience) on choosing the distance for each day is to ask yourself: is that mileage is 'do-able' even if you have all things against you - wind, rain, mechanical, fatigue. I had all of those on the way from Edinburgh to Penrith, a beast of a day with about 13 hours on the road. I was never going to quit, but it was a lesson for me that there's a difference between what you can do on a one-off long-day in good conditions and what the same feels like if the gods are against you.
by FasterFerret
9 Jun 2019, 11:19am
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: My 10 day JOGLE route
Replies: 16
Views: 5176

Re: My 10 day JOGLE route

Looks like an interesting route.

A couple of things from me...

That is a massive first day! I did JOG to Bonar Bridge for my first day and that was enough of a day one for me. I went via Dunnet Head so it was a tad over 100 miles for my first day.

I did do a 135-mile day (Edinburgh to Penrith) so I do have an idea of what that is like, but you really have got a lot of ascent in your first day.

The road from Bettyhill to Altnaharra is beautiful, but it is a 'heavy' road and I found my progress to be a bit slower than expected. I also had a strong (15mph) headwind so the descent that I was looking forward to - down to Bonar Bridge from the Crask Inn - actually felt like I was riding on the flat.

Again, the road over the top to Evanton is a great choice, very scenic, but (as is shown by your RWGS elevation profile) it's a pretty stiff ascent. Are you sure you will be up for that after the 110 miles it will have taken you to get there? And, I guess more importantly, are you sure you can knock this day off in good time to get to your accommodation, eat rest and be sufficiently recovered for another fairly big day for day 2?

Second point, on reflection I would have put my longer days 'in the middle' when things are flatter (or at least the biggest hills can be avoided). Which makes me question the need to make your detour to Leicester. To my mind, this is the kind of thing that seems like a good idea from the armchair but is potentially something that will get into your head when you realise that you are going off route and adding extra miles... (your day 6 link is not working BTW).

On day 3 you might get a flatter route going to the East of the M90, dropping south from Loch Leven. I went that way down to Delgety Bay and suspect it to be flatter (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28283592)

As with all these things, your mileage may vary, it's your route and you know what you can and can't do.
by FasterFerret
3 May 2019, 8:57pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: First JOGLE in May 2019
Replies: 30
Views: 13787

Re: First JOGLE in May 2019

Best of luck!

Looking forward to hearing how you get on.
by FasterFerret
30 Apr 2019, 3:11pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Mick F route fast but safe.
Replies: 128
Views: 24669

Re: Mick F route fast but safe.

I probably went a bit lighter than most...

Bike
SKS Raceblades
Helmet
Skull cap
Technical sports/"baseball" cap - good for keeping the rain out of your eyes!
Sunglasses
cycling shoes (SPD-R, no walking in those!)
Waterproof jacket (Goretex cycling specific)
2 x 500ml drinks bottles
Small Bike lights (Lezyne Zecto Drive F/R)
cafe lock (I chose B&Bs that said that they would take my bike in overnight)

Apidura Saddle Pack (11ltr)
Topeak Fuel tank (med)

Multi-tool
mini pump + 2 x c02 cartridges (both fixed to the frame)
Chain link
2 x tubes
packet Zefal of instant patches
Oil (decanted into 10ml needle tip bottles - eBay)
Bottom cream (Chamois Butt’r sachets)
50ml sun cream (unused!)
Washing liquid (sports wash into 50ml bottle - eBay)
Toothpaste (free samples from the dentist) and brush
I relied on towels and soap from the B&Bs

Phone charger & Phone charging battery & cables (Anker PowerCore 13000 Power Bank - to power Go-Pro [hours of footage that I probably will never watch again...] and charge phone and Garmin)

**edit**

I made sure/was lucky that I had lights that could be charged from the same charger as I used for my phone, so I just took one 4 port phone charger which charged everything I had overnight.

Don't underestimate how quickly your phone battery gets used up if you are using it for nav and mapping - I had the powerbank in my top tube bag with a cable going straight to the phone. I also used the powerbank to top up the Garmin when I stopped for lunch.

**edit**


1 pair of standard bib shorts, 1 pair of Castelli Nanoflex Bib Shorts (water repellent)
1 short sleeve normal jersey, 1 Castelli Gaba short sleeve
Nanoflex Leg Warmers, Nanoflex Arm Warmers (water repellent)
2 pairs of good quality cycling socks.
1 toe warmers/covers


For evening use
1 tech t-shirt
1 pair of lightweight walking trs
Lightest flip flops I could find
1 down jacket (FORCLAZ TREK500 - Decathlon special)
Just enough to waddle down to the local COOP if needed, but most of the time I picked up final provisions en-route.


Phone (on Quad lock mount)
Go-Pro
Garmin
Credit card, Debit card and £100 cash in a small ziplock sandwich bag
(no maps for me, everything done on the phone and Garmin)

I was lucky enough to have accumulated most of this stuff over the years, although I did treat myself to the Gortex cycling jacket - glad I did.

Because I pre-planned my route and had booked all my accommodation in advance, I sent myself replacement bits to each place that I stayed. These were things like power bars and replacement washing powder, bum cream sachets, chain oil, toothpaste, disposable razor. Different amounts send to different places depending on whether I felt I would need a shave by then etc. I found a way of sending these so that they weighed just under the cost of a £2.80 large letter stamp.

I got a few soakings and one especially thorough one going through the borders - I left a massive puddle in one cafe that I had taken a break in, but I didn't want for any more kit than I had - experience tells me that if my core is windproof I can be wet and warm as long as I can keep going.

I'm glad I had guards on, even though they weren't full length they certainly helped. The Gabba/Nanoflex kit is helpful for this, expensive, but it is good and usually in a sale somewhere or other.

My main concern was having just enough kit to be able to survive for long enough for someone to arrive if I had a mechanical in the highlands. Thankfully this wasn't tested, but depending on your route it can be pretty remote.

I was lucky (charming? :lol: ) enough to get my kit washed almost every day (b&Bs mostly). Most days it was washed and dry by the following morning.
by FasterFerret
26 Apr 2019, 8:08pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Cicerone Route: A few questions
Replies: 10
Views: 3300

Re: Cicerone Route: A few questions

LukeCrawley wrote:Oops. Should read "I'm not sure why the cafe is the only thing mentioned either but thanks etc"

Don't worry, I figured that's what you meant.

If you are going that way I can also recommend the beautiful remoteness of the road alongside Loch Navar and also the Banana bread in the Crask Inn (and a nice AirB&B in Ardgay). I don't really know the way that Cicerone takes you.

Just bear in mind that there isn't a great deal between Altnaharra and Bettyhill if you do take that route.

Also, it would be a good idea to ring-up places that you might want to stop at to check they will be open on the day and time you might be passing - for those of us used to shops being open all day every day it can be a bit of a culture shock and you certainly don't want to be planning on getting fed only to find that they are closed!
by FasterFerret
25 Apr 2019, 5:51pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Cicerone Route: A few questions
Replies: 10
Views: 3300

Re: Cicerone Route: A few questions

Go to the hotel instead. Great food, reasonably priced and the view is great.

Not sure why the cafe seems to be the only thing mentioned in discussions on places to eat in Bettyhill.
by FasterFerret
21 Apr 2019, 12:59pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Record attempt scheduled
Replies: 916
Views: 68747

Re: Record attempt scheduled

Fair play to him for having another go.

1982john wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:
Project 44 im guessing is just leftover from last year. They need project 43 now!

The twitter feed of Ian is active today while out training.


There was something on Twitter last summer (when he did his second attempt) suggesting that they should change to Project43. I can't remember much of the answer, other than they wanted to keep the name as it was.
by FasterFerret
15 Nov 2018, 9:20am
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Mick F route fast but safe.
Replies: 128
Views: 24669

Re: Mick F route fast but safe.

10 days certainly gives you lots of options and if you can do 10 x 100 mile days you will not have to take the most direct or 'fastest' route.

As has been said above, the fastest route is probably unlikely to be the most pleasant. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Do you plan to have a rest day?

What is your appetite for hills? Country roads?

Is this about just getting from A-B or do you want to enjoy yourself along the way? and if so what does that mean to you?

Different strokes for different folks and all that, but my preference is for quieter roads wherever possible, I don't mind hills, but avoid cycleways in the main because of the bike I have. I found a route that suited me - JOGLE taking in Dunnet Head and Lizard Point as well as JOG and LE. That ended up being 1,003miles, done in 9 days.

If you can give a little more information, people will be able to give you a lot more help.
by FasterFerret
14 Nov 2018, 6:40pm
Forum: Lands End to John O'Groats
Topic: Mick F route fast but safe.
Replies: 128
Views: 24669

Re: Mick F route fast but safe.

charliepolecat wrote:
Really?!


I think you are being deliberately argumentative, but whatever rocks your boat. No doubt someone thinks you are clever.


Mmm, I guess I am being argumentative. Probably because I believe that some routes are simply slower than others. Hills will slow most people down, as will traffic lights, complicated navigation, bad surfaces and exposure to winds, to name but a few.

So, yes I disagree with you - I would love to be able to ride uphill as fast as I can ride on the flat, I would love to be able to cross a major conurbation at the same speed I can cover the same distance on a quiet road, but I can't.

However, I'm not sure that my disagreement with you justifies the personal insults?

I do think that we should be able to hold different opinions - even disagree - and still remain civil.