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Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 6 Dec 2017, 10:52am
by Halchemy
CTC Tours (which are part of Cycling UK) have spaces on the May and September LEJoG tours. The tours are aimed at those who wish to do it in comfort with a bit of luxury along the way. This version of the tour has been run some twenty times, so is well tested.

Dates are 18 May - 6 June and 7 - 26 September The itinerary, info and booking forms for May and September are available at http://www.ctctours.co.uk and more detail at http://www.2cycle2.co.uk/

The tour uses good quality hotels, including a couple of 4 star establishments and almost all evening meals and breakfasts are included and we bus people back down to Inverness from JoG.

The tours are fully supported with a van to carry your luggage and assist you during the day. Group size is usually around 16 - 18 persons.

The route is very scenic but, as you probably know, hilly. There is no flat route from LE to JoG!

Average distance per day is about 65 miles. Longest day is about 80 miles.

Included in the cost, we loan Garmin GPS units to tour members, who have found these to be the easiest way to navigate.

We have a rest day at Stirling before the Scottish Highlands and 18 days on the road, allowing a more gentle pace than the 10 or 14 day tours of some companies.

Again full details and the booking forms can be found at http://www.ctctours.co.uk and more detail at http://www.2cycle2.co.uk/

CTC Tours are open to members of Cycling UK and national organisations that are ECF members.

You do not need to be British or live in the UK to be a member, there will usually be at least one or two visitors from abroad on the ride.

Cost in 2018 is £2195 per person.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 18 Dec 2017, 1:11pm
by Halchemy
Update:

At the 26 February 2018 there are about three places available on the May LEJoG tour and seven spaces available on the September LEJoG tour.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 28 Dec 2017, 11:47am
by Gearoidmuar
I've done this tour with Chris four times, the most of anyone, I think. The fact that I have is a testament to its organisation, its challenges, to the nice folks who participate and to the tour itself.
It's not easy, but if you're fit enough when you start, it's not awfully difficult either. Pacing is important and stopping fairly frequently is recommended. It's not all beautiful, and if it were, it would be tedious, but there are some fabulous sights and places on it.
Lands End itself is very impressive, Mousehole, Penzance, Exmoor, Dartmoor, Somerset Levels, Weston Super Mare, Avonmouth Bridge, Severn Bridge, Chepstow, Ross-on-Wye, Ludlow and the fantastic Ironbridge. Then you have the Peak District with Monsal Head etc., the Yorkshire Dales (typo Moors was what I typed first, strangely), Cumbria etc etc etc. The Scottish bit is actually not as hilly as England and the last few days there are wonderful. Bettyhill is a particular favourite of mine.
The accommodation is excellent and the food very good throughout. Up to 20 do it and there's great company.
One thing. Don't start it thinking you'll ride yourself in. You won't unless you're an exceptional athlete. However, as long as you're not far too heavy, with a fair bit of training you should be fine. I did it the first two times at 15.12 and it was a struggle. I lost weight and have done it twice at 13.00. A lot easier.
I've done dozens of bike tours in my time but finishing this has given me, and everyone who has done so, a big kick every time.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 28 Dec 2017, 2:11pm
by Chris LS
I can wholeheartedly second all the above. I rode the same tour in September 2017. It was my biggest cycling challenge to date as regards distance and terrain. However I am not super fit and you don't need to be. I rode as many miles as I could possibly fit in from early spring until a couple of weeks before the tour when I reverted to shorter easier miles. It is a ride for more experienced touring cyclists , with determination it is achievable. A significant part of the challenge is mental strength, determination and keeping your motivation going, all of which are just as important as physical ability. All that aside it is a fantastic experience to see the whole length of the country from your bicycle. Arriving in John O' Groats gives you a massive sense of achievement and you will have memories to last a lifetime. Riding with other people also helps you along the way. Chris Ellison our tour leader and driver gave good support. During the ride he was always available, but not intrusive, allowing you space to get on with covering the distance. His nightly after dinner briefing gave you information for each following day.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 28 Dec 2017, 3:23pm
by Paulatic
Gearoidmuar wrote:I., the Yorkshire Moors, Cumbria etc etc etc. .

Jings ! That day must have been a huge detour. :P

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 28 Dec 2017, 5:24pm
by markowings
My wife and I undertook LEJOG in September, 2016, with Chris Ellison as our guide, director, and facilitator. First of all, it was wonderful, mostly directly due to Chris. Secondly, it will remain perhaps the best and most memorable of many tandem trips we have done. We will remember it fondly, and will do it again if we can find the time. Thank you Chris! We recommend you without reservation. Our suggestion: experience LEJOG with Chris - you will love it! Cheers! Mark and Chris Owings Bellingham, Washington USA

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 28 Dec 2017, 6:53pm
by Whippet
I also recommend doing LEJOG with Chris. My main objective was to enjoy the tour and see as much of our beautiful country as possible during my LEJOG. The CTC / Cycling UK tour fitted the bill perfectly. The daily distance is just right for enjoyable touring while at the same time giving you some challenging hills ( with spectacular views ).

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 28 Dec 2017, 8:17pm
by Gearoidmuar
Sorry about typos. Don't know where Yorkshire Moors came from though I've been there once. Berryhill was a typo for Bettyhill. I touchtype.
Anyway, everyone got the idea!

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 29 Dec 2017, 12:25pm
by ukdodger
I've done this tour three times and might (just might as I was seventy four the last time) someday do it again. I've heard of one man who's done it fifty times. It's a fairly tough ride but not unreasonably so. Going toe to top takes you through different counties and different scenery with each one and you will love Scotland. Personally I think doing it with an organised group is better than alone. You have lots of people you probably have never met and it's fun finding out about each. Some will remain friends thereafter because you share a sometimes tough common experience. With the CTC tour you dont have to worry about booking accommodation and there is a support vehicle with a very helpful and experienced driver. Half the fun of the ride is the Bon Ami between the group. You wont forget those you ride with. Of all the UK tours the LEJoG is by far for me the best one.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 29 Dec 2017, 9:52pm
by lindsay_hill
Cathy and I (from Vancouver, Canada) did this trip with Chris in September 2014 and it's one that we keep going back to in our minds and photo albums. Something about LEJoG that is just special. In our case we also had incredibly benign weather and of course fantastic company. To get a flavour of the humour you get doing this trip read this account of the trip, penned by another participant. http://theapathysquare.blogspot.ca/2014 ... y-way.html . My personal favourite directive from Chris from the side of the road: "Save something for the hilly bits!" (at the top of a particularly horrendous pitch on Strines moor).

When deciding to do this, we were particularly influenced to go with CTC/Chris because of the route, which, in the English part, goes further east through Derbyshire/Yorkshire, and always appeared to use backroads where possible, it was clear a lot of research and experience went into making a route that was wonderful to ride. Chris knows this trip very well, it was well organized, we didn't have any hitches. I can't recommend this trip highly enough.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 30 Dec 2017, 4:50pm
by aggs
Highly recommend this CTC trip Lands End to John O Groats, even my wife enjoyed it!!
A very well paced trip, a perfect route on back roads, Great varied accommodation and plenty of coffee stops!
Sat Nav kept us on the correct road and cycle at your own pace.
Chris is never far away if required and having the van is useful should you need that extra layer or bit of extra water.
A must do trip for any cyclist and via the CTC meet great people as well.
This was out first trip with Chris and we enjoyed it so much we did another of his trips in France.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 31 Dec 2017, 12:53pm
by hughwill69
I'd love to do this- it looks like it's amazingly well run and a joy to cycle. But I don't think I could, despite having 12000 miles under my belt since 2012. The thing is, no matter how much I train, I'm still very poor at going up hills even compared with others of the same age (late 60s) who in theory are much less fit. I can ride for hours on moderately flat courses with a few more difficult hills, but even with 34-36 ratio, I can't ride up more than about 16% (for very short periods) and long steepish hills are very slow and not very pleasant.

As I said when I started the Lejog for Wimps thread, I am so sorry that all the excellent people doing supported Lejogs seem to take the high road whenever possible. I think the response to that other thread appears to have been matched by a silence from them- maybe they think that 'The routes we take have always worked for the people who ride them' so see no reason to change.

Being 68 I'm not about to start a company to do supported Lejogs along the flattest roads available over a lazy 21 days- but if I did, do people think the punters would come flocking?

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 31 Dec 2017, 5:34pm
by Paulatic
hughwill69 wrote:
Being 68 I'm not about to start a company to do supported Lejogs along the flattest roads available over a lazy 21 days- but if I did, do people think the punters would come flocking?


No
No matter how you dress it up there are rivers and watersheds to cross when travelling on roads from one end of the country to the other. Even if you kept to the coast there are hills and certainly couldn’t be done in 21 days. There is no escape from hills and the big question is how much of a detour in miles is worth it to save a couple of hundred feet of climbing?
The prospect of hills wouldn’t and aren’t putting me off doing a LEJOG. If any beat me I’ll just get off and walk I see no shame in that.

Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 31 Dec 2017, 7:30pm
by sbcoombs
hughwill69 wrote:I'd love to do this- it looks like it's amazingly well run and a joy to cycle. But I don't think I could, despite having 12000 miles under my belt since 2012. The thing is, no matter how much I train, I'm still very poor at going up hills even compared with others of the same age (late 60s) who in theory are much less fit. I can ride for hours on moderately flat courses with a few more difficult hills, but even with 34-36 ratio, I can't ride up more than about 16% (for very short periods) and long steepish hills are very slow and not very pleasant.

As I said when I started the Lejog for Wimps thread, I am so sorry that all the excellent people doing supported Lejogs seem to take the high road whenever possible. I think the response to that other thread appears to have been matched by a silence from them- maybe they think that 'The routes we take have always worked for the people who ride them' so see no reason to change.

Being 68 I'm not about to start a company to do supported Lejogs along the flattest roads available over a lazy 21 days- but if I did, do people think the punters would come flocking?


If you struggle with 34/36, why not convert to a triple. This will get you down to 30 on the front, or 22 if you use a MTB crankset. You could climb anything on that gearing mixed with a 36 rear.

Re: Cycling UK (CTC Tours) LEJoGs 2018

Posted: 31 Dec 2017, 8:44pm
by Warin61
sbcoombs wrote:If you struggle with 34/36, why not convert to a triple. This will get you down to 30 on the front, or 22 if you use a MTB crankset. You could climb anything on that gearing mixed with a 36 rear.


Anything? No. Even with a 20/36 I cannot climb anything .. particularly when loaded with 4 packed panniers.