All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Brianjeff50
Posts: 50
Joined: 17 Jul 2019, 1:50pm

All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Brianjeff50 » 27 Jul 2020, 10:02pm

Quite unexpectedly my loose planning for a trip at some point in the future has become focused planning for a trip starting in early September. I'm going solo and with no support crew but I'm cool with that.

The riding I am reasonably okay about - I can do decent daily distances now and can build on these over the next weeks. I'm allowing myself approx 14 days.
The tougher elements to sort are: route, accommodation, kit.
The route is self evidently Number One. There is a mountain of advice on this site - in fact too much to research in such a short time so I need to choose a proven one that I can tweak if needed. I prefer quieter roads but am not afraid of busier ones, I'm not a fan of big hills but will battle up them if I have to and I don't particularly want bumpy paths.
Is this Cycle Travel one a good starting point?
https://cycle.travel/map/journey/146330

Also I've found numerous references to using mickf's route out of Cornwall and 'robs passage' but can't actually pin down what exactly these are. Maybe I'm not looking properly.

I've abandoned earlier thoughts on camping – too hard core for this OAP - so it's B&Bs and the like if I can get them ok. Hence urgency of fixing route.

Kit I've yet to tackle. The obvious question is how to cope with rain days without having to drag too much wet weather stuff around on the dry ones.

User avatar
Redvee
Posts: 2261
Joined: 8 Mar 2010, 8:58pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Redvee » 28 Jul 2020, 1:11am

Brianjeff50 wrote:I'm not a fan of big hills but will battle up them if I have to and I don't particularly want bumpy paths.


That's Cornwall taken off the route then :lol: If you're routing through areas where members are they'll chuck advice at you as to what are good/bad roads etc. I'll cast my eye over the Bristol area route when you've sorted somethig out. Aren't you leaving prep and planning a little late to be going in September?

Brianjeff50
Posts: 50
Joined: 17 Jul 2019, 1:50pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Brianjeff50 » 28 Jul 2020, 6:33am

Redvee wrote:
Brianjeff50 wrote:I'm not a fan of big hills but will battle up them if I have to and I don't particularly want bumpy paths.


Aren't you leaving prep and planning a little late to be going in September?


In a word - yes. That’s why I want to start with an ‘off the shelf’ route if possible like the cycle travel one.
Then I can get on with some overnight sorting.

puffin
Posts: 283
Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 3:29pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby puffin » 28 Jul 2020, 7:07am

Here is my route, its mostly quiet roads with some exceptions and a few too many hills. The software may have recalculated bits when i joined all the days together so if you are still interested i can link to the daily ones. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31517493

Best wishes.

Brianjeff50
Posts: 50
Joined: 17 Jul 2019, 1:50pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Brianjeff50 » 28 Jul 2020, 7:41am

puffin wrote:Here is my route, its mostly quiet roads with some exceptions and a few too many hills. The software may have recalculated bits when i joined all the days together so if you are still interested i can link to the daily ones. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31517493

Best wishes.


Thanks - i know it’s a rush but sometimes if you keep thinking you never get doing!

oldmanonabike
Posts: 1075
Joined: 29 Oct 2012, 10:30pm
Location: Durham

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby oldmanonabike » 28 Jul 2020, 12:16pm

Look up the Wimps lejog it was designed to avoid hills and busy roads where possible.
It follows robs passage and numerous forum members especially MickF contributed.
I'm not getting older,just gaining more experience

whoof
Posts: 2365
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby whoof » 28 Jul 2020, 12:56pm

I ride West Cornwall to Bristol and back a few times a year, the last time 9 days ago.

Flatter bits in the West tend to be off-road trials and canals. Please see possible route below for this section trying to meet remit of not rough, don't mind sections of busier roads. Not aimed at any hills, such as Cheddar, which is very nice and if this is a once in a blue moon passing might be worth going up, but Cornwall and Devon is hilly.
Some reasons for various sections:
Longrock avoids NCN3 coast path which can be riding over sand and rocks.
Bodmin: Avoids untarmacked Camel Trail
Crediton-Cullompton: I used to ride the A396 to Tiverton 7 days a week including a Saturday loop but that was a number of years ago and it's got a lot busier since.
Appledore-Wellington A38: This is rolling and wide, almost all uphill sections have two lanes and not that much traffic as most goes on M5 I rode it both ways recently and was fine.
Wellington Taunton: Not on A38 as mostly just two lanes both directions and busier and few less pleasant than previous section. Can always give it a go and then turn off. Also avoids canal tow paths on NCN 3.
Taunton-Bristol: Avoids canal near Bridgwater and is flat right through to Severn Bridge and also avoids the Strawberry Line, compacted chalk which is very dusty if dry and white paste if wet also (a bit) rougher than roads.
At Easter Compton you need to decide if you want to go via Wales or up to Gloucester.

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/169598

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 49470
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Mick F » 28 Jul 2020, 7:22pm

puffin wrote:Here is my route, its mostly quiet roads with some exceptions and a few too many hills. The software may have recalculated bits when i joined all the days together so if you are still interested i can link to the daily ones. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31517493

Best wishes.
That's about it. :D
Not quite my route, but near enough.

The description of the route.
Sorry, a bit longwinded.
Look at the maps when you read it. :wink:

Chapter One
From LE follow the A30 to Penzance.
You can either go through the town centre or follow the bypass round to the north of the town. Either way, you end up on a roundabout on the A30 and follow this to another big roundabout where you can bear left for Hayle.
Go through the centre of Hayle and come out at another A30 roundabout. Take the second exit signposted Connor Downs. This is the Old A30 and you’ll be getting on and off that until you reach Okehampton.
Go over the Downs, and keep going and through Camborne town centre and into Redruth town centre following the old roads and the route of the Old A30. After Redruth, head for Scorrier and Blackwater again on the Old A30.
At the other end of Blackwater, you come to a roundabout at Three Burrows. Get on the A30. It’s single carriageway mainly and ok to cycle on. In the future, they are going to dual this stretch and I’m going to have to sort out a better cycling route!
You could turn off at Three Burrows onto the A3075 towards Newquay, but I think that’s taking you out of your way. Some folk have gone that way, then worked their way east back along the A392 through Quintrell Downs to pick up my described route.
Follow the A30 to Zelah - turn off the main road and go through the village Old A30 - and out again for a short time back on the A30 turning off left through St Newlyn East.
Cross the A3058 at Gummow’s Shop and cross the A392 at White Cross and go through St Columb Major. At the other end, pop out onto the A39 and head north and this will take you to Wadebridge. You can go down through the town, or stay up on the main road, but either way you will end up north of the town on the A39 heading for Camelford.
A few miles north of Camelford, turn east onto the A395 at Davidstow. Follow this through Hallworthy and over Wilsey Down and find a left turn onto minor roads to go through Tresmeer and Egloskerry. This road will take you to St Stephens just north of Launceston.
As you come out by the church, turn right onto the A388 (staggered junction) then immediately left and drop down into Newport at a mini roundabout opposite a Spar shop. Turn left up the hill a short way, then right. (east)
This road will take you to the north of Launceston on a fairly level road (Launceston town is high up on a hill with a Norman castle to your right). Pop out at a T junction and go right, following this to pop out onto the Old A30 by Launceston rugby ground and turn left.
Cross Polson Bridge over the border into Devon, and keep going.
Go through Lifton Down, Lifton, Tinhay, Portgate, Lewdown, Combebow, past Bridestowe, and climb up to nearly 1,000ft at Sourton where you turn left onto the A386 at a T junction.
Go under the A30 dual carriageway and follow the road past the services and Little Chef etc. Do not go onto the A30 despite the signpost for Okehampton.
Follow the A386 for less than a mile and see a small crossroads. Turn right signposted Meldon. This little road goes down hill and bends to the left and becomes an almost disused part of the Old A30, pop out onto the Old A30 proper, bearing left, and head into Okehampton town.
You are now about 100miles from LE and where most folk stop for their first night.

Chapter Two.
Pass through Okehampton town centre through the main junction and up the hill to a left turn at some traffic lights. Go down to a small roundabout and take the second exit up hill. This is the B3215 Appledore Hill.
Keep going, and it the road becomes the A3072 through Bow village and you come out at Copplestone onto the A377 to Crediton and go straight into the town.
At the far end of the town centre, you turn left onto the A3072 again, and this is where some folk go wrong.
If you stay on the A3072, it takes you to Bickleigh to join the A396 for Tiverton, but it’s a hilly road over the Cadbury Hills but there’s an easier route. This is nicknamed “Rob’s Passage” after a chap from Plymouth called Rob described it to me.
As you leave Crediton on the A3072, the road drops down round a long right-hander and passes over a little bridge and between two cottages. Turn right at these cottages, then a short while later, right again and head through Thorverton village. Various little lanes will get you there, all pretty much of a muchness.
Other side of Thorverton you cross the river and turn left at a big pub onto the A396 for Bickleigh. Cross the river over the narrow bridge and carry on to Tiverton.
Bear right at a roundabout under a footbridge still on the A396, and right at the next one onto a minor road past Blundell’s School (posh private skool) and go through Harberton and Sampford Peverell to the A361 dual carriageway. You cross this road over a flyover and sort of cloverleaf and wind back on yourself.
The road is fast and busy, but wide, and before you get off the slipway, you can ride along a layby, and by the time you get to the end of it, you reach a busy roundabout. Total distance on the dual carriageway A361 is only half a mile.
Head straight across the roundabout. It’s a bit fast, but it’s fine if you get a move on. If you have difficulty, get off and cross the road on foot. It’s the M5 Junction 27, so can be a bit hectic.
Straight on is what you want, and it’s the A38. Not too busy because the big traffic is on the M5. Head north for Wellington and turn off through the town centre as it’s the easiest route.
Other end of the town, join the A38 again and head for Taunton. There’s a few different routes you could take through the middle of Taunton, but personally I just follow the signposts for A38 Bridgwater and Bristol.
Continue on the A38 north for Bridgwater and you come out at a crossroads by Morrisons. Turn right at the traffic lights and head north. From Bridgwater, it is 15miles of completely flat road!
Trouble is, there’s a hill at the end of the 15miles, and it’s narrow and busy. I have gone onto the pavement up the hill as it’s away from the narrow lanes of a dual carriageway section.
Carry on to Churchill and turn off left onto the B3133 for Congresbury and join the A370 for Bristol via Flax Burton and Long Ashton.
Join the A3029 at Ashton Gate and cross the River Avon onto the busy A4. Go under the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and through a tunnel, then off right up a steep hill to go past Bristol Zoo.
Mick F. Cornwall

Brianjeff50
Posts: 50
Joined: 17 Jul 2019, 1:50pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Brianjeff50 » 28 Jul 2020, 7:39pm

That’s fantastic - thank you. I can’t grasp a route unless I’m staring at a proper map so I’ll drag out my battered old atlas and start sorting.

Brianjeff50
Posts: 50
Joined: 17 Jul 2019, 1:50pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Brianjeff50 » 28 Jul 2020, 7:44pm

Next big question: kit. Specifically wet weather gear.

I appreciate there will be bad days but I don’t want to drag arctic survival gear around for ten days to see me through four or five cold wet and windy ones.

At present I have a lightweight rain jacket and, er, that’s it. Various long and short sleeve tops and base layers including a brilliant merino which keeps me warm all winter.

What’s the advice?

PaulaT
Posts: 134
Joined: 20 Dec 2018, 6:41pm
Location: Staffordshire

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby PaulaT » 28 Jul 2020, 9:03pm

Brianjeff50 wrote:Next big question: kit. Specifically wet weather gear.

I appreciate there will be bad days but I don’t want to drag arctic survival gear around for ten days to see me through four or five cold wet and windy ones.

At present I have a lightweight rain jacket and, er, that’s it. Various long and short sleeve tops and base layers including a brilliant merino which keeps me warm all winter.

What’s the advice?


Layers. Also take several base layers. It's impossible to stay dry on a bike in persistent rain. The worse thing is when you stop then you can start to chill. Changing into a dry base layer can help there.

User avatar
cycleruk
Posts: 5361
Joined: 17 Jan 2009, 9:30pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby cycleruk » 28 Jul 2020, 9:34pm

WIMPS route - 14 days. I don't think we ever published the day to day plan. So here it is.
Day 3 contains "Robs passage as described by MickF.
Day 6 we had the choice of the A49 or "scenic" route to Shrewsbury. We chose scenic as that section of the A49 is a main lorry route. But it would be quicker and slightly shorter.
Day 7 goes through the conurbations of Warrington, Wigan and Preston. :roll:
We camped so that determined the end of each day. If doing B&B then obviously the route and overnight stops would change to suit.

day 1 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27491775
day 2 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27510898
day 3 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22411438
day 4 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27672373
day 5 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27513651
day 6 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27514255
day 7 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27514632
day 8 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27514746
day 9 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27514854
day 10 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27642557
day 11 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27524270
day 12 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27527191
day 13 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27533426
day 14 https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27536737

Approximate calculated mileage = 890 with 36,000 Ft climbing.
You'll never know if you don't try it.

Brianjeff50
Posts: 50
Joined: 17 Jul 2019, 1:50pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Brianjeff50 » 28 Jul 2020, 10:57pm

I think it’s starting to come together - largely common ground through Cornwall and Devon but some differences near Bristol.
Mickf seems to favour sticking with the A38 for a long stretch while others are diverting all around.
Is there an onward route that takes in Cheddar Gorge or am I diverting to ‘bag’ a hill?
And is there merit in crossing the Severn to go up the Wye Valley?

On kit again: worth having a winter jacket? Leggings? That sort of stuff. Out here in Suffolk rain doesn’t come often and when it does we stay indoors :wink:

puffin
Posts: 283
Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 3:29pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby puffin » 29 Jul 2020, 8:30am

Brianjeff50 wrote:I think it’s starting to come together - largely common ground through Cornwall and Devon but some differences near Bristol.
Mickf seems to favour sticking with the A38 for a long stretch while others are diverting all around.
Is there an onward route that takes in Cheddar Gorge or am I diverting to ‘bag’ a hill?
And is there merit in crossing the Severn to go up the Wye Valley?

On kit again: worth having a winter jacket? Leggings? That sort of stuff. Out here in Suffolk rain doesn’t come often and when it does we stay indoors :wink:

My route goes up the Wye Valley (doing it today coincidentally) before turning right towards St Briavels on the small hilly roads....one monster climb near Mork. I go East of Bristol but once went West and it was shorter. East of Bristol includes a long stretch of ex-railway line. I do the Cheddar Gorge at the end of day 3 (last night equally coincidentally) and its good. The first bit is hardest then it just becomes anoyher normal hill. Tourists cheer you on!

Norman H
Posts: 914
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 4:39pm

Re: All of a sudden I'm doing a LEJOG

Postby Norman H » 29 Jul 2020, 8:33am

If you go via Cheddar, and many do, it mostly commits you to routeing through Bristol. Best to enter the city via the Ashton Court Estate and the Clifton suspension bridge. I'm sure someone local will advise on the best route across the city but when I went that way I plotted a route on minor roads using OS mapping; In brief. I went through Stoke Bishop, Westbury-on-Trim, and Henbury. I crossed beneath the M5 and then headed for the Severn crossing via Compton Greenfield and Olveston. I used the cycle path on the North side of the bridge. Fom memory the Severn crossing was signposted from some distance off.

The A466 from Chepstow along the Wye valley is very scenic but an excellent alternative is to head through the Forest of Dean to St Briavels and Coleford on the B4228. From Coleford head for Ross-on-Wye via Symonds Yat It's also possible to follow the Wye valley as far as Monmouth and then divert to Symonds Yat using the cycle track that follows the old rail bed alongside the river.

The route via Gloucester is probably flatter but the better scenery is on the other side of the river.
Last edited by Norman H on 29 Jul 2020, 12:49pm, edited 1 time in total.