lejog advice please

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
innmk
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lejog advice please

Postby innmk » 8 Dec 2020, 11:34am

Like most people who visit this forum, I'm looking for some guidance please.

I'm planning on a solo 10 day LEJOG next year. 25 years ago I did this with a bunch of mates in 9 days so I know how much more difficult it will be for me this time, I'm twice the age and considerably heavier. Last time I did LEJOG we just used a simple road map, and made some horrendous route choices. Back then there was no internet, so information on route planning was limited, we didn't ride on any of the cycle paths or canals.

So I'm after information for my first 4 days where i plan to get to Wigan (free accommodation point), north England and Scotland I have cycled extensively so my route is pretty well planned.

Current 4 days plan is, may tweak stops except Wigan
LE to Launceston
Launceston to Wells
Wells to ?
? to Wigan

So questions

1. Using canal paths or cycleways ?, is it worth trying to plan using strawberry line/camel/granite/etc paths, how slow are they in reality, I don't mind going a little slower to avoid hills, but I don't want to be phaffing about start/stopping every few minutes to get through gates. I do quite like the idea of using the viaduct on the granite way, but again not if I'm going to averaging 10mph or less. I will be using 30 or 32 tyres so I don't mind rough paths, as long as I can keep a decent speed.

2. How bad is the A49 ? I cycled this the last time, i cant remember it being that bad, is there easy alternatives, i don't want too much climbing, i want to keep daily climbing to 6000 feet or less if possible. This is the climbing I regularly do on my weekend cycles.

3. Is there a decent quiet way to avoid Warrington?

Thanks in advance

rareposter
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby rareposter » 8 Dec 2020, 6:45pm

innmk wrote:Current 4 days plan is, may tweak stops except Wigan
LE to Launceston
Launceston to Wells
Wells to ?
? to Wigan


Wells to Ludlow
Ludlow to Wigan.

Ludlow is a nice little market town, decent facilities, about the right sort of distance, traffic / roads aren't too bad and it avoids the congestion of Birmingham to the east and the hills of mid-Wales to the west.

innmk wrote:1. Using canal paths or cycleways ?, is it worth trying to plan using strawberry line/camel/granite/etc paths, how slow are they in reality, I don't mind going a little slower to avoid hills, but I don't want to be phaffing about start/stopping every few minutes to get through gates. I do quite like the idea of using the viaduct on the granite way, but again not if I'm going to averaging 10mph or less. I will be using 30 or 32 tyres so I don't mind rough paths, as long as I can keep a decent speed.


IME on canal towpaths, I average about 12mph on a CX bike, unladen. It's not really possible to go much faster than that and (depending on when you're riding them) it's certainly possible to be a lot slower! Old railway lines are normally more reliable - better & more consistent surface, flat and less prone to get stupidly muddy if it rains. It's years since i rode Camel Trail but it was a nice track then. MickF is the resident Cornwall expert.

innmk wrote:2. How bad is the A49 ? I cycled this the last time, i cant remember it being that bad, is there easy alternatives, i don't want too much climbing, i want to keep daily climbing to 6000 feet or less if possible. This is the climbing I regularly do on my weekend cycles.


You can ride all the way up the Welsh / English border and do less than 6000ft climbing. Avoid the A49, it's awful. Rough route from Ludlow - between Shrewsbury and Much Wenlock, up to Market Drayton > Nantwich > Middlewich. Which brings us onto...

innmk wrote:3. Is there a decent quiet way to avoid Warrington?


Middlewich > Northwich > Great Budworth > High Legh > Broomedge > Warburton > Cadishead > Culcheth > Golborne > Abram > Wigan.
Or Middlewich > Lower Peover > Knutsford > High Legh >
I hate that Wigan/Warrington corridor. My local lanes around there and you can be on nice quiet(ish) little lanes, farmland, all fairly flat and then suddenly you have to cross a massive A-road spoiling the peace. Go much further east and you run into the suburbs of Manchester. Any further west and you're in the outskirts of Warrington. There are decent little lanes through it all - if you run those towns / villages through in an atlas or on Google Maps and Streetview, you'll find the options.

innmk
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby innmk » 8 Dec 2020, 11:23pm

Thanks for the info.

I was sort of looking at possibly going further east, but Ludlow looks much better.

Route avoiding Warrington looks good too, so I've rerouted using your suggestions. I only really drive around there, its not an area I have cycled.

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Redvee
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby Redvee » 9 Dec 2020, 12:20am

Two ways out of Wells, round the bottom of the Mendips to Cheddar/Axbridge and the Strawberry Line or up a steep hill onto the Mendips but this gives you the oppportunity of descending the Gorge.

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Mick F
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby Mick F » 9 Dec 2020, 6:55pm

LE to Launceston.
Extract from my instructions.
If (and when) I do an End2End again ........... and I've done a few ............... I wouldn't hesitate to do this route.

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.

Mick F. Cornwall

innmk
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby innmk » 9 Dec 2020, 9:04pm

thanks again , will spend a few days trying to create a gps route with your suggestions, apart from the first 2 days LE to Wells my route is fairly complete
Does anyone have a gpx file that use parts of the old a30 ?

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robgul
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby robgul » 10 Dec 2020, 9:59pm

Have a look at http://www.cycle-endtoend.org.uk for stacks of resources, routes, maps, gpx files etc, etc

Personal view : avoid canals and cycle paths (esp Sustrans stuff :evil: ) - and on both my E2Es we used the A49, no big deal IMHO

Rob
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cycleruk
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby cycleruk » 11 Dec 2020, 1:43pm

I agree with Rob, I would keep off canal paths and cycle paths in general. Some cycle paths may suit if they go in the direction you want but surfaces and obstacles can vary.
A 10 day LeJoG and your averaging about 90 miles per day. Include any stops in that and your going to have long days in the saddle. Parts of the A49 are narrow and other parts are very busy but as a road to get from say Ludlow to Wigan it is easy navigation and possibly less hilly than alternative routes. Personally I would consider alternative routes but then I wouldn't be doing it in 10 days. :wink:
You'll never know if you don't try it.

innmk
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby innmk » 11 Dec 2020, 1:52pm

I have been looking at your website, some good info. When people keep saying old30, its difficult to find where that road goes when you have no local knowledge

At moment still cobbling together a route, trying to just use a bit of the Granite way to get into Oklehampton and ignore all canals, but may ditch the idea.

Current plan is to only use bits of the A49, and the only other cycleway would be some parts of the A9 path. I drive to Inverness regularly and have no desire to cycle on that road!!.

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robgul
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby robgul » 11 Dec 2020, 2:33pm

innmk wrote:I have been looking at your website, some good info. When people keep saying old30, its difficult to find where that road goes when you have no local knowledge

At moment still cobbling together a route, trying to just use a bit of the Granite way to get into Oklehampton and ignore all canals, but may ditch the idea.

Current plan is to only use bits of the A49, and the only other cycleway would be some parts of the A9 path. I drive to Inverness regularly and have no desire to cycle on that road!!.


I used some of the Granite way to/from Okehampton on my 2 E2E rides - I can't remember off-hand how far but quite a bit was alongside the railway and across a high viaduct.

On the website in the shop there is a ready-made route with a map-book to print "based on" :wink: the 1-50,000 OS - it's broadly - LE - Launceston - Okehampton - Crediton - Bristol (then the option for crossing the bridge or staying on the Gloucester side of the Severn) Ledbury - Ludlow - Whitchurch - Warrington - Preston - Shap - Carlisle - Gretna - Glasgow (on the disused main road) - Loch Lomond - Crianlarich - Glencoe - Fort William - Dingwall and then along the east coast to JOG
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Mick F
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby Mick F » 11 Dec 2020, 2:40pm

Old A30.
The bit you probably mean leaves Launceston and goes over the Polson Bridge and through Lifton. Keep going on it and you'll come to a T junction.

Go right for a quarter mile and join the Granite Way that'll take you to Okehampton at the southern side. Steep downhill into the town.

MUCH easier way is to go left at the T junction and follow that road under the A30 and past all the services and keep going less than a mile to a small crossroads. Go right there, down the hill and join the Old A30 again and it'll take you into Okehampton town centre.

If you mean Old A30 further west, it's less well defined.
A30 to Hayle town centre, then through Connor Downs to Camborne town centre, then ditto Redruth.
Head for Scorrier and Blackwater, then sadly onto the A30 itself but peel off through Zelah on the Old A30 again.
Back onto the A30, then off it and go through St Newlyn East, Gummows Shop, White Cross, St Columb Major and join the A39 through Wadebridge and Camelford.

You join the Old A30 again, at Launceston as described.
Mick F. Cornwall

Jamesh
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby Jamesh » 11 Dec 2020, 7:33pm

Definitely follow Mick route through Cornwall and Devon take other routes at your peril!

You could do what I did and take the Mersey ferry!

Is it cheating I don't know but saved the Manchester / Warrington conobation.

The A5 north isn't too bad as the M6 is nearby.

Cheers James

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cycleruk
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby cycleruk » 12 Dec 2020, 4:08pm

Jamesh wrote:Definitely follow Mick route through Cornwall and Devon take other routes at your peril!
You could do what I did and take the Mersey ferry!
Is it cheating I don't know but saved the Manchester / Warrington conurbation.
The A5 north isn't too bad as the M6 is nearby.
Cheers James

The O.P. is overnighting at Wigan so the Wirral/Mersey detour would be a bit out of his way.

Like INNMK points out people talk about the "old A30" but it doesn't say that on maps. It would be more helpful if the current road designation was used, or as above, a list of villages and towns to aim at.
You'll never know if you don't try it.

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robgul
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby robgul » 12 Dec 2020, 4:20pm

cycleruk wrote:
Jamesh wrote:Definitely follow Mick route through Cornwall and Devon take other routes at your peril!
You could do what I did and take the Mersey ferry!
Is it cheating I don't know but saved the Manchester / Warrington conurbation.
The A5 north isn't too bad as the M6 is nearby.
Cheers James

The O.P. is overnighting at Wigan so the Wirral/Mersey detour would be a bit out of his way.

Like INNMK points out people talk about the "old A30" but it doesn't say that on maps. It would be more helpful if the current road designation was used, or as above, a list of villages and towns to aim at.


Agreed "the old A30" is a bit like the local giving directions to a visitor "Turn left where the old barn used to be" :D
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Mick F
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Re: lejog advice please

Postby Mick F » 13 Dec 2020, 8:26am

The difference down here, is that there are very few major roads, and even fewer that have been dualled and modernised.
The New A30 is a completely new road in many places, and takes a different route too.
The Old A30 is quite visible if you look at a map.

One way, is to check on an older map.
This for instance.
https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=1 ... road56&b=1
Mick F. Cornwall