Supplies along the way

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
MarOliKop
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Supplies along the way

Postby MarOliKop » 23 Feb 2019, 4:45am

Hi LEJOG community. I am planning to the LEJOG this June (2019). I have not decided on the route, but have a question about supplies. I know this would be variable from village to village or town to town or store to store, but I am not British and I have no idea about grocery stores in UK.
So the question is: Can I assume to stop at a random grocery store in a small town or village and find for example protein bars, soy milk and energy drinks? I would like to travel light, and maybe this is a stupid question to you, but it could have an impact on my trip. I would hope to replenish on the energy and protein bars on semi daily basis. I would like to avoid carrying my entire food supply from day one. Thank you all in this community for making this planning much easier.

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Spinners
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby Spinners » 23 Feb 2019, 5:58am

Putting aside any specific brands then generally I would say yes. Petrol stations would also be a good option too as whilst we have far fewer than we once did many of those that remain have become mini-grocery stores and quite often are 'the village shop'.

My LEJOG was 16 years ago now but I think it's only after Inverness that such stores/stations really thin out so as long as you keep a couple of emergency protein bars in your saddle bag or panniers you should be OK.

Good luck for June.
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brynpoeth
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby brynpoeth » 23 Feb 2019, 9:49am

Small towns/villages often have food stores that open late, the stuff costs a bit more but one can be done in ten minutes, much better than buying at a huge Super-Store in town or on the edge of the city
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John100
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby John100 » 23 Feb 2019, 2:37pm

Agree should be no problem. Only thing to bear in mind some places in small villages may shut at dinner time or on Sundays. I did LEJOG last summer with the Wimps and there was no problem really - could always find somewhere soon when needed. Were camping and tended to stock up for tea/next day towards end of the days ride. Don't forget garden centres as a good source of food. Even north of Inverness there wasn't a problem. As has been mentioned garages often have quite a lot of bars, drinks and so on. Good luck.

PH
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby PH » 23 Feb 2019, 3:32pm

MarOliKop wrote:So the question is: Can I assume to stop at a random grocery store in a small town or village and find for example protein bars, soy milk and energy drinks?

Depends how restrictive your needs are. I've been in many village stores where you'd be unlikely to find sports energy drinks and protein bars, but none where I couldn't find a suitable to me supply of food and drink.

Vorpal
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby Vorpal » 23 Feb 2019, 3:40pm

It depends...

For snack sorts of things, there is usually *something* within a few miles of anywhere. However.... Doing LEJoG, especially on the Scottish end, you will be going through some fairly remote areas, and it will require planning to match snack needs with availability.

Also, above, it depends what you need. Something like juice, yogurt, and flapjack (oat bars) are available lots of places, but soya milk and protein bars, less so.

For meals, if you want to stop at a pub, restaurant, or tea room, be aware that most such things close in the afternoon, and do not open before 7:00 pm in the evening. So, there is a period each day from around 2:00 or 4:00 pm (this varies somewhat depending on the type of place, and region) until 7:00 pm where it will be impossible to be served a meal.

My advice would be at least somewhat plan meal stops. Furthermore, I would either plan to get snacks an hour ro two in advance, and/or carry an emergency snack in case you don't see something when you need it.

Most of the time, you will be fine with spontaneity, it's just that it's no fun when it doesn't work out.
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Chat Noir
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby Chat Noir » 23 Feb 2019, 7:59pm

No problem in big towns. All small towns and many villages have local stores, such as Co Op, usually open from early until late, 7.00 am until 7.00 pm or later not unusual; fuel stations often have food supplies with surprising variety of foods useful for cycling, which for me means things like flap jack, granola bars, crunchy bars, fruit, etc, as well as supplying hot and cold drinks; and there are more, and more varied, cafes in many locations. Bakers provide an excellent source of good food at the start of a day and as you travel the length of the country the produce will change, reflecting local tastes, one of the joys of a long-distance ride. You won’t often find things like soy milk away from the bigger stores and if you ask for ‘energy drinks’ you might be offered fizzy drinks like Lucozade.

If I’m planning a series of long days where reliable supplies will be important I’ll rough out distances when I’d like a break then use Google maps streetview to see what’s around. Not always completely up to date but provides a good idea and you can double check on the internet whether the place is still open / opening hours when the stop might be critical. Some of the best cafes I’ve been to on recent tours have been found in this way and has meant I haven’t run on empty or got worried about what I’m going to do. Not always salubrious eating outside a fuel station alongside your bike but there are times when needs must and the foods themselves are fine and the staff are invariably cheerful and friendly, most welcome on a multi-day solo ride!

https://cycle.travel/map is the go-to planning tool for many cyclists and shows food shops and café stops, amongst other information. OS maps https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk provide the most comprehensive maps for the whole of the UK. Both of these are available as apps on smartphones, although you have to pay for the OS (I pay a modest annual subscription, brilliant for cycling and walking).

Good luck.
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shadwellrhino
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby shadwellrhino » 24 Feb 2019, 8:36am

Travelling in Scotland from Moffat to Livingstone I cycled 30 miles without seeing a shop. Supplies were also hard to find in Northern Scotland. Note also that it can be difficult to get a meal after 8pm in rural areas. In Moffat which is a reasonable size town we had to ask a restaurant to keep the kitchen open until 8:30pm! However, if you stay overnight in towns or villages you should be able to stock up with food supplies on a daily basis (although energy bars might be hard to find in the very smallest places).

althebike
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby althebike » 24 Feb 2019, 11:29am

I check out my routes on street view , then break the days riding into 3 rides, each one finishing at a place I can replenish supplies or eat. Shops in small villages and small communities will sell what people in small communities and villages eat, it will not be dedicated cycling food. I took some pre packed energy powder sachets and a tube of elecrolyte tablets and it served me well .Other than a change of clothes , I took very little else with me so still considered myself to be travelling light.

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RickH
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby RickH » 24 Feb 2019, 3:31pm

shadwellrhino wrote:Travelling in Scotland from Moffat to Livingstone I cycled 30 miles without seeing a shop. Supplies were also hard to find in Northern Scotland. Note also that it can be difficult to get a meal after 8pm in rural areas. In Moffat which is a reasonable size town we had to ask a restaurant to keep the kitchen open until 8:30pm! However, if you stay overnight in towns or villages you should be able to stock up with food supplies on a daily basis (although energy bars might be hard to find in the very smallest places).

I can't comment on restaurant times but there is a Co-op (open 7am-10pm 7 days a week) & another little supermarket (that's only open til 9pm) so stocking up/getting food at Moffat shouldn't be problem.

Assuming you mean Livingston (near Edinburgh), & depending which route you took, there's a cafe along the Tweed valley in Broughton that's open 7 days a week.

Alternatively, & I've no personal experience, Abington on the route via Beattock Summit (following the line of the motorway & railway line) appears to have some shops (Abington General Store for instance).

Jamesh
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby Jamesh » 24 Feb 2019, 5:32pm

Are you sure you want protein bars and energy drinks / bars as a regular food source. Unless your doing it very fast say 6 days or under I would think that proper food is a better bet.

Up until the north of Scotland shops cafes and restaurants are in regular supply after that one needs to be more self sufficient.

When in June are you doing it?
How many days?
Lejog or jogle?
I'm doing it in 8 days late June.
Might see you at some point!

Cheers James

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Paulatic
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby Paulatic » 24 Feb 2019, 6:06pm

RickH wrote:
shadwellrhino wrote:Travelling in Scotland from Moffat to Livingstone I cycled 30 miles without seeing a shop. Supplies were also hard to find in Northern Scotland. Note also that it can be difficult to get a meal after 8pm in rural areas. In Moffat which is a reasonable size town we had to ask a restaurant to keep the kitchen open until 8:30pm! However, if you stay overnight in towns or villages you should be able to stock up with food supplies on a daily basis (although energy bars might be hard to find in the very smallest places).

I can't comment on restaurant times but there is a Co-op (open 7am-10pm 7 days a week) & another little supermarket (that's only open til 9pm) so stocking up/getting food at Moffat shouldn't be problem.

Assuming you mean Livingston (near Edinburgh), & depending which route you took, there's a cafe along the Tweed valley in Broughton that's open 7 days a week.

Alternatively, & I've no personal experience, Abington on the route via Beattock Summit (following the line of the motorway & railway line) appears to have some shops (Abington General Store for instance).


Restaurant times are true. I’m always amazed how late some pubs serve meals in England.
There’s also a shop at Broughton @24mls
Going the other way @15mls there’s a shop in Crawford, another shop/ cafe in Abington and of course full Mway services.
It’s possible you might go via St Mary’s Loch in which case it’s 30 ml to Innerleithen or 34 to Selkirk with only a cafe at the Loch @15mls.
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mfpnl
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby mfpnl » 24 Feb 2019, 6:53pm

I did a leisurely, self-supported LEJOG (SUSTRANS/Cicerone) a couple of years ago with my son and there was only one day in three weeks of riding when we struggled to find food in the evening (A wet monday night in Newton-in-Bowland). We soon got into a routine which consisted of:

Breakfast: Home brewed, industrial strength coffee (using our trusty Zyliss cafetiere mugs) and a few cereal bars;

Lunch: Usually grabbed a "meal deal" from Co-op/Spar/Tesco etc. We'd get a pasta salad, flapjack and a sugary drink for less than £3

Evening Meal: Pub meal/malt-based rehydrants - but we always carried a back-up meal in case that didn't happen.

Our 'reserve/back-up' meal was a small jar of pesto and a bag of fresh pasta (quicker to cook than dried). You mention soy milk. Soy milk (and other nut/oat-based alternatives) are now widely available. I use these products all the time at home - but TBH, I wouldn't bother carrying it on a cycle tour - that's why we take breakfast bars. No need for milk and no washing up.

Jamesh
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby Jamesh » 24 Feb 2019, 7:46pm

Make a big load of flapjack (my go to energy food) and post it in Jiffy bags to b+b enroute. (They might think your Wiggins!)
Great boost food without feeling synthetic and processed!

Cheers James

charliepolecat
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Re: Supplies along the way

Postby charliepolecat » 25 Feb 2019, 8:32pm

Make a big load of flapjack (my go to energy food)


I found this flapjack recipe on the web (BBC recipe)

Any good?

Ingredients
• 175g/6oz butter
• 175g/6oz golden syrup
• 175g/6oz muscovado sugar
• 350g/12oz porridge oats
• ½ unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only (optional)
• pinch ground ginger (optional)
Recipe tips
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2 and line a 20cm/8in square baking tin with baking paper.
2. Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat. Dip a brush in the butter and brush the baking tin with a little bit of it. Add the golden syrup and sugar to the butter and heat gently. Once the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the porridge oats, lemon zest and ginger.
3. Pack the mixture into the baking tin and squash down. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
4. Once cooked, remove from the oven, leave to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a chopping board and cut into squares.
5. These flapjacks are delicious in a packed lunch or as a grab-and-go breakfast.