Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
BeerMonster
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Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby BeerMonster » 30 Dec 2020, 12:03pm

Hi

I took up cycling during lockdown after trying to gain some fitness and lose weight (started off with running but I did t enjoy it). Although I have cycled before as a means of getting from A to B, I have really taken to it this time. I trained for London-Brighton, and although the event was cancelled, I still did the event in an unofficial capacity (along with about 200 others). So once that was over, I decided I needed another goal. And hence LEJOG for July 2021 is planned.

I am doing it with a friend of a similar age and fitness level (we are both mid 50’s). I have bought a Genesis Tour De Fer 20 so can get all the equipment I need for wild camping plus the odd creature comfort! I’m still in the process of deciding what’s essential and what’s a nice-to-have. We will probably look to stay in B&B/your hostels every 3/4th day.

The questions I have are: we are not going hell for leather - instead taking our time and will be looking to complete over 3 weeks averaging about 60m/day. That way we are well within our fitness levels, and can take time to enjoy the journey. Does anyone have an opinion as to whether there are likely to be issues with taking too long? The second question: the TDF20 has a chain set of 24-32-44 and a 10-speed cassette 11-34. This gives me a a low gear ratio of 0.71 (gear inches: 19.2 / metres of development:1.53). With the weight of the loaded bike and with my still rather bulky frame of 15st 7lba (2 stone lighter than a year ago), will this gearing be sufficient to get me up some of those steeper climbs?

Any advice (other than don’t do it) would be hugely appreciated.

Cheers
Dave

Enigmadick
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby Enigmadick » 30 Dec 2020, 7:01pm

You'll struggle to get better gearing Dave - and your only issues with taking 3 weeks is the time (off work / away from family or whatever) and the cost, depending on your choice of accommodation.

Meanwhile the best thing you can do to make the trip enjoyable is to try and shift another couple of stone. You will certainly enjoy Devon and Cornwall without it.

Good luck.
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Paulatic
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby Paulatic » 30 Dec 2020, 7:40pm

Your gearing should be fine and there’s no hill you can’t walk up if need be.
On a 3 wk schedule I’d definitely be tempted going up the west of Scotland with some island hopping up to Oban > Fort Bill> Inverness. Only problem with that idea is you’ve said July which is the rainy/midge season. No shortage of wild camping opportunities but pack a head net :D
3 weeks sound like a long time but given decent weather it will fly by and when you reach JoG you’ll be totally addicted to sleeping and cycling.
Probably wise to decide which ares to blast through and which to linger in. If I did LEJOG again I’d blast through D&C ( the traffic noise is a killer) I’d blast through Greater Manchester (very populated) and Cumbria ( a because I know it well b if you wander west it’s full of tourists) Don’t underestimate how big Scotland is the BBC UK map told lies for years. :D
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honesty
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby honesty » 30 Dec 2020, 10:51pm

I’m you’re weight, and I did the Pennine cycleway with full camping gear, on a Dawes Galaxy, with a higher gear than that 26/34).

It was all good, and as stated you can just get off and walk up the steeper hills! (Which I did, a lot. There’s some killers on the PCW!)

Geoffroid
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby Geoffroid » 31 Dec 2020, 7:17pm

I would recommend the west coast of Scotland. The ride from Carlisle to Ardrossan is nice and quiet (north of Carlisle we cycled on a track to the west of the M6). Then take a ferry from Ardrossan to Arran, cycle to the top of Arran and then a ferry back to the mainland and up to Oban (the road near Oban is a bit busy but there is a cycle path of sorts).

Wheeledwidewebb
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby Wheeledwidewebb » 31 Dec 2020, 7:23pm

Geoffroid wrote:I would recommend the west coast of Scotland. The ride from Carlisle to Ardrossan is nice and quiet (north of Carlisle we cycled on a track to the west of the M6). Then take a ferry from Ardrossan to Arran, cycle to the top of Arran and then a ferry back to the mainland and up to Oban (the road near Oban is a bit busy but there is a cycle path of sorts).


Good to hear, I'm thinking of a LEJoG in 2021 and the West Coast route looks preferable to me.

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby LittleGreyCat » 31 Dec 2020, 9:23pm

I was planning for 2020 at 50 miles per day, with a similar gearing.
With the lower, slower route I was allowing 4 weeks.
https://cycle.travel/route/lejog_east_coast

I was planning JOGLE because Devon and Cornwall are allegedly the hardest bits, and I thought that it would be good to be fitter by the time I tackled the last bit.
I was also planning September, so cycling away from Autumn in Scotland seemed better than cycling towards it.

Covid made this inadvisable, but 2021 may be better.

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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby wirral_cyclist » 1 Jan 2021, 1:02am

We did LEJoG as weak newbies a while back and my body weight and bike gearing was very close to yours, and I managed to get out of Cornwall and then easily onto JoG (If you get to Bristol going either way you're fit enough to finish).
50mpd as an average is OK, but frankly our 2x45's from LE pushed us due to the relentless 'hills' - these being climbs to flat bits, more climbs to flat bits, yet more climbs to further climbs, eventually followed by narrow tight turning, gravelly off camber bends without any useful gravity payback - you might have a better return on investment depending on your route :-)
Across somerset 50 miles is too short, that probably goes for Cheshire and the Fylde too if heading W of Pennines.
THE big thing is actually where you can actually stop, if it's a hotel/hostel every 4th day in your case you need one there, we used B&B's etc all through, and on some days we rode well 'short' or even a bit 'long' to get to the only stop, obviously fields are an easy options on between days with a tent - but food and water supplies though?.
Distance between any target only works if the target has the bullseye of the bed/bath/ready cooked breakfast (for us), campsite for you.
I for one wouldn't dream of carrying all the faff to camp, even if every 3rd day I was using a B&B, blimey we had panniers and so carried (3 days gear) that was more than enough weight between bag drops for us.
Even now many years later and much stronger we're well able to do a week away doing 60-90 miles each day, or a one way week tour doing 50-70 mile days (between daily B&B's) with only one midweek bag drop, but I would never consider bikepacking on LEJoG. [1]

EnigmaDick has posted brief but good advice, he's also known as Richard Barrett (SP?) and has a rather nice Cicerone guide to LEJoG (it used to be in his signature but google will find it I'm sure).

[1] Need tent, so need sleeping bag, so need bedroll, so need breakfast (pan/mug/cutlery/water/stove/human food/stove fuel) [2][3]

[2] And a heavier bike to carry it

[3] I grew out of roughing it at scouts

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horizon
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby horizon » 1 Jan 2021, 1:55am

Something tells me I would be more inclined to skip the B&Bs and try to stay at more campsites, just wild camping where that isn't possible. B&Bs have their own hassle factor and you'll have all your kit to lug upstairs as well (probably). You can always find a posh hotel if you've had to face a couple of monsoon days. I can understand you wanting to stay only in B&Bs but carrying all that stuff and not using it doesn't seem to make sense.

Just another quick point: once you've got your bikes and panniers bought, set your weight limit for your luggage, pack the panniers up to that weight (books etc would do) and then cycle up some steep hills. Your gears are fine but going up steep hills with a loaded bike on a 17" gear is still quite demanding in ways you might not expect. It would be good to know what you intend to carry.
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robgul
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby robgul » 1 Jan 2021, 8:41am

As always www.cycle-endtoend.org.uk for loads of resources and other people's Journals
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BeerMonster
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby BeerMonster » 1 Jan 2021, 10:05am

Lots of good advice to chew over. Thank you .

Enigmadick
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby Enigmadick » 1 Jan 2021, 5:56pm

EnigmaDick has posted brief but good advice, he's also known as Richard Barrett (SP?) and has a rather nice Cicerone guide to LEJoG (it used to be in his signature but google will find it I'm sure).


Thanks for the mention Wirral Cyclist. There is indeed a new Cicerone guidebook to Lejog coming out in the next couple of months. The new "optimal" route replaces the existing Cicerone guidebook which is being phased out.

PSX_20201211_125038.jpg


Once it's available to preorder direct from Cicerone if you use the discount code FBM20 you'll get 20% off
ENIGMA DICK aka Richard Barrett
https://www.cicerone.co.uk/authors/richard-barrett
Use the code RB20C to get 20% off any Cicerone guidebook when you buy direct

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby matt2matt2002 » 2 Jan 2021, 10:02pm

Enigmadick wrote:
EnigmaDick has posted brief but good advice, he's also known as Richard Barrett (SP?) and has a rather nice Cicerone guide to LEJoG (it used to be in his signature but google will find it I'm sure).


Thanks for the mention Wirral Cyclist. There is indeed a new Cicerone guidebook to Lejog coming out in the next couple of months. The new "optimal" route replaces the existing Cicerone guidebook which is being phased out.

PSX_20201211_125038.jpg

Once it's available to preorder direct from Cicerone if you use the discount code FBM20 you'll get 20% off


Thanks. I've just subscribed to the mailing list so hope to hear about the new guide when it comes out.
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Cowsham
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby Cowsham » 4 Jan 2021, 8:05am

what if you get called for your cv19 jab for the time your supposed to be away?

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Paulatic
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Re: Newbie cyclist doing LEJOG 2021

Postby Paulatic » 4 Jan 2021, 8:30am

Cowsham wrote:what if you get called for your cv19 jab for the time your supposed to be away?

That’s an interesting question which occurred to me yesterday. I put my details into the "when will you get your vaccine calculator" and it told me from May21. The exact, usual for me, period I’m planning a bike tour.
I will carry on planning and even buying a train ticket to Thurso. I’m working on the assumption we will receive 7-10 days notice and can change plans to be back in time.
Will I abort plans to get the vaccine? yes
My trip isn’t an E2E though and I’d hate to arrive at LE the same day I got notification of an appointment. What would your decision be then?
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/
E2E info