Support vehicles and "rules".

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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horizon
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby horizon » 5 Dec 2019, 4:21pm

mattsccm wrote:Doubt it matters one bit. After all it's just a long bike ride with no rules. Going for the record is of course different but I doubt anyone really gives a what ever otherwise.
Just have fun.


That is true. But IMV there is a huge difference between say doing LEJOG totally on your own and having a heated and luxurious motor home support vehicle full of adoring family members catering to your every need and whim. In fact I'm not sure why people do it except to claim they've done LEJOG. I would be much more impressed if they had done a local unsupported cycle camping trip. Ask people what they fear most and it isn't always the cycling: rain, loneliness, punctures, not having accommodation booked feature highly. I accept that the cycling itself is challenging for many (all) people but that is only half the story IMV. Of course, it might not be as enjoyable but I thought that isn't really the point.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

mnichols
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby mnichols » 5 Dec 2019, 5:00pm

Not sure there are any rules, only that you start in Lands End, finish in John O'Groats and do it on a bike

I've done it 3 times and my advice would be don't let other people give you their rules or seek their approval or you will end up riding their challenge. Do want you want to do and how you want to do it.

I did see one Lands End to John O'Groats challenge to which none of the above applied. It was a virtual challenge that people did on an exercise bike in a gym for charity. They just committed to ride the distance. I think there was even a team challenge, so you didn't even have to ride the distance. I don't judge - good for them. They were raising money for a good cause.

Some people will say you have to do it unsupported - that's their rules. Other's might say you have to wild camp - that's their rules. Other's might say you have to do it within a time limit - that's their rules.

On one occasion I did it in 5 days, I had 2 people say that it didn't count. One because I didn't go the Lizard, and a second because I didn't camp. I also have someone comment that they were junk miles because they wouldn't make me faster. So my advice would be do it how you want and enjoy it.

...and good luck

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby ferrit worrier » 5 Dec 2019, 6:05pm

mnichols wrote:Not sure there are any rules, only that you start in Lands End, finish in John O'Groats and do it on a bike

I've done it 3 times and my advice would be don't let other people give you their rules or seek their approval or you will end up riding their challenge. Do want you want to do and how you want to do it.

I did see one Lands End to John O'Groats challenge to which none of the above applied. It was a virtual challenge that people did on an exercise bike in a gym for charity. They just committed to ride the distance. I think there was even a team challenge, so you didn't even have to ride the distance. I don't judge - good for them. They were raising money for a good cause.

Some people will say you have to do it unsupported - that's their rules. Other's might say you have to wild camp - that's their rules. Other's might say you have to do it within a time limit - that's their rules.

On one occasion I did it in 5 days, I had 2 people say that it didn't count. One because I didn't go the Lizard, and a second because I didn't camp. I also have someone comment that they were junk miles because they wouldn't make me faster. So my advice would be do it how you want and enjoy it.

...and good luck


Well said, spot on.
Malc 3 times E2E
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horizon
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby horizon » 5 Dec 2019, 7:43pm

mnichols wrote:Not sure there are any rules, only that you start in Lands End, finish in John O'Groats and do it on a bike

I've done it 3 times and my advice would be don't let other people give you their rules or seek their approval or you will end up riding their challenge. Do want you want to do and how you want to do it.



I'm not sure where the rules thing comes in. All I was doing was pointing up an aspect of long distance cycling that means it involves more than just the cycling. And how you deal with it is, for me, a key part of it. But to say it doesn't matter is a bit different

I certainly wouldn't have started this thread: I don't care how people travel from one end of the country to the other or why they do it. All I do is observe that there's more to cycling than just the cycling and that is half the fun of it. For other people it is different. And there are also sorts of ways that one could say that doing it presented a greater challenge than the other (e.g. in winter, on your own, on a mono-cycle, in 5 days). For my own part, I relate more to the person who does it on their own than those who have a support vehicle but that is my thing. In your own case, may I say, you've done it on your own and in 5 days and not only do I really applaud that but I could never emulate it.

I remember an occasion cycling on the A38 on my way to camp and met another cyclist who noted and was concenred about my generous amount of luggage. He, on the other hand, was carrying nothing more than a water bottle and was on his way to John o'Groats. I asked what he did with stuff that he might need. That, he said was all in the Transit van coming up behind us. That was his way.

Having said that, to claim that you've done LEJOG having just played a board game called LEJOG which involved throwing the dice and moving forward x spaces and suffering various penalties on the way by landing on the wrong space would, I think, be stretching it.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

landsurfer
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby landsurfer » 5 Dec 2019, 7:56pm

LEJOG June / July 2018.
With a bunch of ladies and gents.
And our baby.
My wife and our "looked after child" .. Riley .. aged 7 months .... in our ratty camper van "Hattie"
I cycled just over 600 miles of the full distance as i was the support van driver for a day or too, the vehicle mechanic and doing occasional child care.
One of our party did a great book of the event.
In it he made the comment that i had not completed LEJOG, fair point, I had taken the responsibility to ensure all the others did.
There where 3 camper vans, and a works van as support and overnight safe for the bikes.
(I provided the works support vehicle and the fuel.)

But i did complete LEJOG .. my LEJOG ... not his LEJOG ... or your LEJOG .... I finished MY LEJOG, and Julies and Rileys.
It was the best of times, 14 days of friendship, a band of brothers and sisters.

Rules, for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men ( and women, of course ).
The Road Goes On Forever

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Dec 2019, 8:34pm

Hi,
Is there a board game I can purchase?
Then I can play and have several attempts to win, sounds easier than all that effort :)

I will be making an attempt in 2020, fit or not, I will accept where I will be and be satisfied with just doing it.
On my own there will be no trains or camp sites/lodges, IF I was in a party I would just fit in with them and do what they do.
That means also both ways, If I make Torbay to LE and arrive at JOG then home will be all down hill :) Why not, food to get home will be cheaper than a train :P

Do it anyway you want, you can bet on me each day on the mileage I don't do after the first day :lol:

Edited - P.S. Do they have bus shelters in scotland :?
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
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Tigerbiten
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby Tigerbiten » 5 Dec 2019, 8:51pm

"Rules" are ok ....
But you must be happy with them both when you set off and when you finish.

I went down to London for the queens mum lying in state.
Because of my obvious disability, I was allowed to jump the queue and was in and out within 15 mins.
At the time I was happy with it.
But now looking back I'm not as much because I realise that I missed a lot of the experience/comradeship of the queue.

Doing LEJOG is like that.
The first two times I just left home without any real rules just I needed to visit LE and JoG.
And both times I happily arrived back home after covering +4,000 mile via LE and JoG.
The third time I did it, I needed to set a few rules because I was following the coast around the UK to do it.
So home and back was 6,500 miles.
I only "bent" my own rules a couple of times and I happy with it.
But there's one time that gives me a little niggle of unhappiness because of one "bend".

So it fine if you have a set of "rules" as long as you stick to them.

YMMV ...... :D

mnichols
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby mnichols » 5 Dec 2019, 9:25pm

horizon wrote:All I was doing was pointing up an aspect of long distance cycling that means it involves more than just the cycling. And how you deal with it is, for me, a key part of it. But to say it doesn't matter is a bit different

I certainly wouldn't have started this thread: I don't care how people travel from one end of the country to the other or why they do it. All I do is observe that there's more to cycling than just the cycling and that is half the fun of it. For other people it is different. And there are also sorts of ways that one could say that doing it presented a greater challenge than the other


I meant no disrespect in my response and wasn't responding to anyone else's comment. Truth be told i hadn't read all the thread.

My points were general and not aimed at any one person. They are based on my experiences. What I've learned is: There's always someone that did it faster, went further, did a harder route in worse weather, that was younger/older than you and it's probably a friend of a friend. So don't try to impress anyone other than your Mum. Do it to enjoy it, savour every moment because it will end and do it your way.

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horizon
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby horizon » 5 Dec 2019, 10:37pm

mnichols wrote: So don't try to impress anyone other than your Mum.


:D
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby LittleGreyCat » 6 Dec 2019, 10:12am

The reason that "rules" was in quotes was because this thread was an attempt to asses if there was a view on what a "proper" end-to-end was.

A strange concept, perhaps, but it has elicited plenty of slightly different views which was the main aim.

My main feeling is that I would want to cycle all the miles in one trip (although doing it over several trips, even over several years, seems a valid approach).

A support vehicle is a blessing. I don't feel that having to organise all your own accommodation (perhaps on the fly) is a vital part of the trip; again some see this as the main challenge. This may depend on your cycling strength. If the main challenge is not to have to cycle an extra 10 miles at the end and start of the day and this is the interesting bit, then the legs can probably do it fairly easily.
If just making the pre-booked evening rest stop is going to be very hard work, then additional challenges are likely to be straws for the camel's back.

Possibly an unfair comparison, but is the main challenge real time accommodation selection, or is it just to stick with the bike rain and shine and get the darn thing to the other end of the country?

Some favour the Western side of the country because of the stunning views and perhaps some "real climbs".
Others such as myself favour the Eastern side of the country because it is flatter and after a certain point in the ride each day the main focus is on the next 50 yards of road hoping it is going to be kind to you. Views may turn out to be largely irrelevant for most of the day.

I am still mulling over the "two bikes" option (given a suitable support vehicle) with one geared and set up for extreme (for me) climbing and the other geared for longer flatter days. This changes the target from getting the darn bike end-to-end to getting me end-to-end with every mile covered on some form of bicycle. Tempting for me because although my N+1 isn't very large, I do select the bike for the weekly group ride based on weather and the proposed route. Again this is something of a luxury, but if I had some kind of major mechanical it would be nice to be able to signal the Team Car and swap bikes, and leave the support crew to get the broken remains to a bike shop for repair. Still smacks a bit of "I say, Jeeves, shall I ride the Titanium, the Carbon, the Aluminium, or the steel bed frame today?". :oops:

However possibly better than having to abandon because the bike developed a fault too major to fix quickly, as this is intended to be a "once in a lifetime" trip and not a yearly commitment. Also noting that if you are planning on doing 40-50 miles per day then bike shuttling logistics are a lot easier than if you are doing 100-150 miles a day when even the most dedicated driver is unlikely to want to drop a bike in for repair then drive a 400-600 mile round trip to pick it up again. :roll:

Conclusion; if I can get a support vehicle then I intend to use it to maximum advantage, probably including carrying at least one spare bike. Yes, my still being restored Dawes Galaxy might get a day or two of glory just because it can. If not I will either book all the way, or book in 2-3 day windows depending on legs and weather. No last minute B&B hunting however much fun it is.

Oh, and for an unsupported ride I will probably carry my emergency bivvy kit just in case I have to sleep in the wild due to unforeseen circumstances. Bus shelters can be your friend, I am told.

mattheus
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby mattheus » 6 Dec 2019, 10:36am

LittleGreyCat wrote:My main feeling is that I would want to cycle all the miles in one trip (although doing it over several trips, even over several years, seems a valid approach).


PIECEMEAL IS ABSOLUTELY FINE!


(assuming you ride from home to the start of each leg and back)

(-;

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horizon
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby horizon » 6 Dec 2019, 10:51am

mattheus wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:My main feeling is that I would want to cycle all the miles in one trip (although doing it over several trips, even over several years, seems a valid approach).


PIECEMEAL IS ABSOLUTELY FINE!





No it's not! :lol: :lol:
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Paulatic
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby Paulatic » 6 Dec 2019, 11:27am

Changing bikes;
I thought long and hard on that one. I passed within a mile of home just over half way. It could have been easy for me to change.
I did wonder about riding with a triple to cope with the first few days hills I’d heard so much about. Then swap to my compact which I knew could cope with Scottish hills. In the end I plumped for the comfiest bike, the CF with a compact setup, and putting a 32 at the back. It turned out it was the right decision as the hills in D&C didn’t turn out to be as bad as I’d worried and being comfy is essential for day after day riding.
Though I did have peace of mind if the bike I was using had developed any fault I’d one sitting waiting to swap to at the half way mark.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

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mnichols
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby mnichols » 6 Dec 2019, 2:20pm

I've taken a spare bike a couple of times on supported trips, and the logic was this. By the time we have bought and carried all the spares to cope with every eventuality that me and my mates might encounter, it was easier to just put an extra bike on the car roof, and then in the event of a mechanical we could either strip the spare bike for parts, or ride that bike whilst the broken bike is being fixed - possibly in the hotel in the evening or at a friendly and obliging LBS enroute.

One bonus was that the chap driving the support car could go for a spin when he got to the hotel. He would sometimes ride back to us and finish the route off, so it was a nice thing for him rather than just drive the car and carry the bags

I also changed bikes on LeJoG when I went past my house, for me this was at end of day 1 near Bristol, but the logic was that I didn't need to carry any luggage on the first day as I was staying at my house in the evening so I took my road bike rather than the tourer

rareposter
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Re: Support vehicles and "rules".

Postby rareposter » 6 Dec 2019, 3:27pm

Yeah, I've got nothing against support vehicles - my comment was more about how it was deployed and to my mind, having it sitting there a few feet behind the rider for the entire day is the worst thing possible.

I appreciate that in some events (like RAAM) and for record attempts it's a necessity but as support for regular touring, it's an extremely inefficient way of doing things. Wrecks the clutch, uses more fuel, acts as a rolling road block thus annoying every other road user and means the driver is potentially sitting there for 8+ hrs crawling along at cycling speed unable to actually do anything else like take a break, buy food or prepare things in advance for the rider (unless of course there's a second person in the vehicle doing logistics).

I've done support driving, ride leading and guiding on several cycle tours inc several LEJOGs and on foreign tours; as a driver, it's your job to be generally "thereabouts" over the course of the day. Not behind any one rider (or group of riders) but just sort of on the road, able to assist as and when. Radios, WhatsApp group chat, phone calls, phone / Garmin tracking can all be used to keep track of individual riders and it may be that you go up and down the same bit of road a couple of times or go off course to a supermarket or go ahead maybe 20+ miles to a restaurant and order in a load of food as an impromptu food stop. That's the efficient and sensible way of doing things and it's nothing to do with "rules"!