JOGLE on fixed complete

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
flashman
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Joined: 23 Nov 2007, 10:46pm
Location: Newlyn, Cornwall

JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby flashman » 25 May 2009, 6:17pm

Arrived safe and sound at Lands End in great weather yesterday at 1.54pm having left JOG on Wednesday 20th at 0730. 4 days, 6 hours and 24mins in total. The aim had been to complete within the five days so I was delighted to be comfortably inside of that.
Found it absolutely fine on the fixed although the climb out of Berriedale was a real grinder and there was a headwind to contend with.
Many thanks to MickF and others for route guidance which was invaluable in helping me find a direct course, enabling the quick time.
In total I recorded 859 miles with overall time as above. Riding time was just over 58 hours at an average of 14.7mph.
Three nights were spent camping in bivvi and one night in truck stop at Carlisle.
Full report to follow soon.
Thanks again all for advice.
ps have raised approximately £1500 for Precious Lives appeal in process.

thirdcrank
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby thirdcrank » 25 May 2009, 7:03pm

Well done. I've just had a quick twirl through your earlier posts and I see you usually ride 72" fixed. Is that what you used for this ride?

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby EdinburghFixed » 25 May 2009, 8:25pm

Well done! You clearly have better knees than me - I only got to Kendal on my 64" before I had to give up.

As our average speeds weren't too far apart, I'm guessing you ran a similar gear (or just spun slower?) - I'd be interested to know...

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Mick F
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby Mick F » 25 May 2009, 9:01pm

Excellent! Well done!
and I'm glad to have been of assistance!
Mick F. Cornwall

flashman
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Joined: 23 Nov 2007, 10:46pm
Location: Newlyn, Cornwall

Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby flashman » 25 May 2009, 9:50pm

Ran with the 48/18 which I think gives me 72". Berriedale was the only major grind and I was glad that it was still day one. I found Shap quite comfortable but would agree that it probably easier to ascend north to south.

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Mick F
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby Mick F » 25 May 2009, 9:56pm

I've crossed Shap north to south, then later, both ways too.

I would think that Shap Fell is an escarpment. Steeper on the southern side, and shallower (though longer) on the northern side.

The run-up from the south is long, I grant you, but after a while, it plunges down before climbing steeply to the top.

From the north, it's a long slow process from Shap Village.

Given the choice of the easiest route for me, it would be from the north.

But not with 72 inches!!!!!!
Mick F. Cornwall

Tako
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby Tako » 25 May 2009, 10:28pm

Chapeau!!!

goodness on 72"! out of interest, what was the weight of your bike+luggage?

flashman
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Joined: 23 Nov 2007, 10:46pm
Location: Newlyn, Cornwall

Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby flashman » 26 May 2009, 10:37am

Hi Tako,
Not too sure of overall weight but squeezed everything I needed into my Carradice Camper Long Flap and a Topeak handlebar bag. I did keep kit to a minimum but didn't feel that I wanted for anything.
Kit was follows:
Lightweight bivvi bag and sleeping bag
1 ls merino base and 1 ss merino base
1 ls ground effect merino jersey and 1 ss merino ground effect jersey
1 ground effect breathable waterproof
3 pairs socks and 1 pair sealskinz socks
2 pairs bib shorts, 1 set of leg warmers, 1 set arm warmers
2 inner tubes, repair kit, spare spokes, multi tool and chain oil, mini pump
Emergency food rations
Sun cream, mozzy repellant and sudocream
Tooth brush and tooth paste
Mobile phone and solar charger
Lightweight walking trousers
Electrical tape for emergency repairs
Cable lock
Woolly hat
Laminated map sheets and route directions

Tako
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby Tako » 26 May 2009, 4:42pm

Thanks. I'm looking into fixed touring hence the question. Chapeau once more!

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Dean
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Location: Darlington

Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby Dean » 26 May 2009, 10:50pm

You, sir, are a nutter.

*doffs cap*

jpierst
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Joined: 29 Mar 2009, 10:11pm

Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby jpierst » 27 May 2009, 8:38pm

fantastic acheivement well done!

I would be really interested in your route as i am doing a JOGLE next month (although not at such a pace as yours)

are you planning to post your route?

thanks

mlteenie
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Location: London

Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby mlteenie » 27 May 2009, 8:52pm

I am amazed. Well done, sir!

flashman
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Joined: 23 Nov 2007, 10:46pm
Location: Newlyn, Cornwall

Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby flashman » 18 Jun 2009, 11:03am

Here is my ride report, only 3 weeks later, sorry for the length of it!


Fixed End to End May 20th – 24th 2009

The idea of an End to End probably enters the mind of most keen UK cyclists at some point and I was certainly no different. Having no major goals on the horizon for 2009 prompted me, early in the year to give it a bash.
For some indiscernible reason I decided it would be a good challenge to attempt the ride on a fixed wheel bike in the relatively short timescale of five days. I targeted May as the ideal time with the days getting longer and the hope of a bit of sunshine and lighter winds. The next consideration was which way to do it and eventually the logistical and psychological advantages of cycling towards home overcame the potential prevailing wind disadvantage.
After much research and deliberation the train appeared to be the cheapest and most straightforward way of getting bike and myself to JOG and I secured a one-way ticket for £69.00. This was still unfortunately going to entail 4 changes and 26 hours overall!
The date was set for a May 20th JOG departure which now gave me plenty of time to up the mileages and give due consideration to the route I was going to take and where I was going to sleep.
The majority of End to Enders usually requires about 10 to 14 days to complete the trip, planning each evening destination in advance and booking accommodation accordingly. Although I had decided upon a more direct route than most, I would still be required to cover approximately 180 miles daily if I was to complete in the desired timescale. This would require the flexibility to push on late into the evenings if necessary, meaning it would be hard to plan definitive accommodation stops. I decided that wild camping was the way forward and equipped myself with a lightweight bivvi bag and sleeping bag.

I am fortunate to be able to commute 130 miles a week and so with a little extra planning I was able to increase weekly mileages to between 250 and 350, primarily on the fixed wheel which I deemed sufficient to see me through. Despite having to carry sleeping kit, I resolved to travel as light as possible and pared my equipment down to the bare minimum.
Kit was comprised of 2 pairs of bib shorts, 1 l/s merino base and 1 s/s merino base, 1 l/s merino jersey and 1 s/s merino jersey, arm and leg warmers, 3 pairs of socks and a waterproof. In addition, I carried inner tubes, chain oil, multi tool, mini pump, emergency rations, laminated map sheets, woolly hat, tooth brush, mozzy repellent and sun cream. All of this was successfully squeezed into my Carradice Camper Long Flap saddlebag and Topeak handlebar bag.

Departure date arrived and May 18th 0844hrs saw me train bound with bicycle for first change at London Paddington. Due to being unable to take the bike on the tube it was necessary to make a quick dash on the bike up to Kings Cross for my next connection to Edinburgh. Arrival at Edinburgh meant another change eventually arriving in Inverness just before midnight where I bunked down in a rather good pre-booked YHA.
An early start saw me on the 0700 train for Thurso, which arrived at 1100. I then took a leisurely cycle to John O’Groats, a distance of 20 miles, which involved some pretty good scenery and nice quiet roads. The weather was looking promising and I arrived safely at another YHA about 2 miles from JOG. After settling in and bagging a berth in the communal bunk room (!) I decided to pedal down to JOG proper for a recce as I realised it would be pretty empty during my planned departure time the following morning.
In comparison to Lands End it is pretty under developed and none the worse for it. The once fine JOG hotel lies in dereliction and other than a craft centre, small harbour and a café, not much else. I popped into the café for a brew and to sign the End-to-End book and got chatting to the two girls working there, one of which was from Reawla and who had escaped for a better way of life!
After a meal at the Sea View Hotel, just up the road, I cycled back to the YHA with a view to an early night. I was sharing the bunkroom with a young Australian lad on his travels and a more senior gentleman on a lone walking holiday. The latter was the obvious snoring candidate and I am sad to say he did not disappoint. Despite getting off to sleep ahead of him the Australian and myself were soon woken by the reverberating bunk of said gentleman. Is it the noise that annoys most or the fact that they are pushing out the sleep whilst you are not? A rib prod was provided but unfortunately only gave a brief respite and the process had to be repeated frequently during the night.

Day One

Waking up early and not too refreshed I gathered my things and did my best to disturb the old chap as I left the hostel. There was no opportunity to breakfast fully at the YHA so I headed straight to JOG and consumed some of the food from my saddlebag. My initial intention was to delay departure from JOG until approximately 8am; meaning arrival at the other end on the 25th would need to be by the same time. However, following a picture of the bike by the signpost I’d had enough by 0730 and set off.
The terrain along the eastern coastal route was pretty pleasant, gently rolling with decent sea views to the left and pretty light traffic. The weather was kind enough with a slight head wind and just enough cloud cover to keep things cool. I had decided to breakfast at Wick, 20 miles down the road but on arrival was reluctant to stop so pushed on. The first major hurdle of the trip appeared in the form of Berriedale at 45 miles. A sharp series of hairpin descents down towards sea level was subsequently followed by a fairly tortuous climb, my 72” gear meaning top dead centre of every pedal stroke seemingly frozen in time. Glad to get that one out of the way I continued to Helmsdale for my first stop of the day at approximately 53 miles. I raided the local Spar for a hot snack and coffee and replenished my water and rations.
The ride continued in this vein until Tain where the traffic levels seemed to increase noticeably and the weather started to take a turn for the worse with harsh rainstorms and stronger winds. The Hi Viz tabard went on at this point and stayed on for the remainder of the journey. I suffered the onset of a mild bonk at the Black Isle, killed off with a fistful of jelly babies and once again took on board some sustenance near Inverness.
Following Inverness, the road seemed to become an interminably long, continual up hill slog, nothing too steep, but draining nonetheless. Places to stop and replenish seemed hard to come by and I was pleased to see Aviemore at approximately 150 miles at 1800. I found a decent little pasta/pizza restaurant and sat down to a full 3-course meal. Feeling revitalised, but having sat around for longer than anticipated I left Aviemore at 2030 and pushed on until tiredness took hold once more at 192 miles and 2330. Here I chanced upon a likely looking little copse to the side of the road near Blair Atholl, and made myself as comfortable as possible in my bivi bag and sleeping bag under a fairly clear looking sky.

Day Two

A fairly intolerable night was suffered due to a massive build up of condensation inside my bivi bag and with only about an hour or so of sleep and a few hours of shivering I decided to head on into Pitlochry and grab some much needed breakfast. Nothing except Spar and a service station open in Pitlochry but was able to grab coffee and sandwiches before pushing on properly for the day. Despite the lack of sleep it was a pleasant morning with gently undulating roads and fine weather. Progress was good and by early lunchtime I had reached Cowdenbeath where I grabbed lunch at a mobile snack bar. Cowdenbeath was not really a place that invited a prolonged stay so I headed off to tackle the Forth Bridge and the madness of Edinburgh bound traffic. Traffic lights at Inverkeithing managed to catch me out and like a raw novice I failed to disengage cleats in time resulting in a painful left sided spill. Slight damage was sustained to the left hand brake lever but nothing to cause any concern other than acute embarrassment (Englishman on his buttock in Scotland). The Forth Bridge was spectacular enough and I was glad that a specific cycle way kept me out of the traffic flow and I negotiated my way into and out of Edinburgh before winding my way south on the A701. The hope was to reach Moffat by teatime, which was achieved, taking in the fine views of the uniquely named ‘Devil’s Beef Tub Summit’ en route. Fish and chips in Moffat kick-started the body and mind and I then made lightning progress through to Carlisle thanks to a fantastic series of cycle ways (final one being number 7 I believe). Carlisle was reached by just after 2130, where, as luck would have it, the first place encountered was a fairly large truck stop. After the shambles of my first night the prospect of a shower, a warm bed and the opportunity to dry out my kit was too good and I duly folded. £30 for a room of my own inclusive of breakfast and a secure place to lock the bike convinced me. Another 182 miles completed I took refuge for the night.

Day Three

I awoke at 0700 and packed up my nicely dried out kit and feasted on a huge breakfast, bolstered by unlimited tea refills. Retrieving the bike and feeling 100% better than the previous morning I felt confident of a good day. Leaving Carlisle, it was apparent that the weather was not going to be quite as benevolent and the continual traffic lights slowed progress. Nonetheless, I threaded my way south and prepared myself for Shap Fell, which was approximately 35 miles on, and the next major climbing challenge of the journey. Through Shap village and the climb began. It did drag on for a while but was a steady gradient, meaning I could remain seated and grind out a nice steady rhythm. I paused briefly to take a photograph at the monument at the top before beginning the slightly more daunting descent into Kendal. The legs were spinning fast, but generous use of the brakes and a bit of backpressure on the pedals kept things under control. Entering Kendal I immediately stopped at yet another roadside, mobile snack bar where I consumed a generously sized Cumberland sausage sandwich while carrying out a very entertaining discourse with the owner. On hearing what I was up to, she promptly rang her husband, he also being an avid fixed wheel, audax fiend and insisted I had a chat with him on the phone. Following a long conversation, both with the owner and her husband, on the merits of fixed wheel riding and various bivvi bags I reluctantly left.
The weather continued to be unsociable, meaning that the waterproof was constantly on and off, and the route took me through a series of towns and cities meaning an inordinate amount of red lights and heavy traffic. Lancaster, Preston, Wigan and Warrington were all negotiated, the only notable thing being that I had missed a potentially useful appointment in Preston. Unknown to me, my wife Cath, had been in touch with the company from whom she had purchased the bivvi bag which had failed me so miserably on my first night. Mortified, they had agreed to ship an immediate superior replacement to a shop in Preston not more than stones throw from my route. Unfortunately, I did not switch my phone on until Preston was 50 miles to the rear and the message went unanswered.
Once clear of Warrington, I continued south on main A roads and due to the close proximity of the M6 the traffic did ease up. I was able to continue without event through Newcastle Under-Lyme and Stafford where I once again started to keep my eyes peeled for somewhere appropriate to crash. Approximately 10 miles north of Wolverhampton a small wood adjacent to the road looked likely until I entered and came face to face with a badger while I was unpacking. He duly won the staring contest and I pushed on a mile down the road where I jumped a hedge and found a decent field of long grass. Taking on board the lessons learned during my first night in Scotland I donned every item of kit I had and once more settled into my bivi/sleeping bag combo. A successful day, with 185 miles completed and I had my head down by 2300.

Day Four

Awakening early once again with the early morning sun I found the inside of my bag soaking with condensation as before, but the mountain of gear I had on had kept me warm and enabled me to enjoy a decent few hours of sleep. A nearby petrol station provided breakfast and I pushed on. The target for the end of the day was Taunton and the weather was cool but dry, ideal for making headway.
For the duration of the trip so far I had been receiving messages of support from a friend from marine days who now lived in Worcester. Daryl had tentatively offered to meet me en route somewhere and I gave him a call as I headed towards Worcester. We agreed to hook up and it was great to see a familiar face as I headed down the A38. He met me in a small village just north of Tewkesbury with his young daughter Eva, and despite relatively short notice was armed with a grand supply of rations and a flask of tea. While eating and chatting at the side of the road we were invited into the garden of a house by a very kind couple whose hedge my bike was leaning against. There we enjoyed a very pleasant half an hour of chat and food in the company of Andy and Sue who also very generously made a donation upon learning the details of my ride.
Reluctantly, I said goodbye to Daryl, Eva and our impromptu hosts and continued my journey down the A38, skirting Gloucester and heading towards Bristol. The day had now turned into rather a fine one and I made steady progress. I was not looking forward to negotiating Bristol, but thankfully, the route directions I had steered me through without issue despite the increasing traffic volume. Just south of Bristol I made another call, this time to an aunt and uncle who lived in Burnham and who were keen to liase on my way through. I arranged to meet them at a pub on the A38 near Brent Knoll and arrived there at teatime. While catching up with Karen and John I took the opportunity to eat plenty of food and ordered a steak and ale pie but resisted the temptation to order cold ale. Another donation was made by an inquisitive bar man and K and J furnished me with more supplies before I headed on for the final night stint of the trip. Taunton was only 20 miles or so further on and my target had changed to Exeter. The A38 at this point lies very close to the M5, which was beneficial, meaning my route was very clear of heavy traffic. As darkness was falling, the speed dropped off but I maintained a steady rhythm through Taunton, Wellington and Cullompton. I arrived in Exeter at 2330 and my directions served me well again as I threaded my way through the city, the Saturday night crowd desperately seeking sustenance livening up another food stop at a petrol station. I was not quite sure where I was going to end up but came to the conclusion that more miles in the bag would leave me with the psychological boost of much less to do on the Sunday. I toiled on through a descending heavy fog and eventually came to a halt near Winkleigh, a few miles east of Okehampton.
A field next to the A30 beckoned which had the added bonus of a petrol station close by meaning I wouldn’t have to scout too far for breakfast. In my sleeping bag for 0200, I considered this to have been an extremely successful day with 200 miles bagged.

Day Five

The anticipation of finishing meant I was out of my bag by 0600 having grabbed a few decent hours sleep. Packing up I made my way over the road to the petrol station and joined a coach load of Japanese tourists over croissants and coffee. I was properly on the road by 0715 with the prospect of a beautiful day’s weather. Apart from a quick phone call to Cath my progress through the morning was swift. I continued down the A30 but traffic was mercifully very light. I was even more pleased than usual to see the ‘Welcome to Cornwall’ sign. I now had in mind a revised finish time of approximately 1400, and with this thought and the scent of home I pushed on with renewed vigour.
I had another quick fuel stop at Roche garage and gave Cath a quick update. She informed me that work colleagues would be giving me a bit of an escort from Chiverton Cross.
The wind now seemed to be working nicely in my favour and I fairly flew to Chiverton Cross where colleagues from Camborne Fire Station greeted me from the fire appliance. They continued to leapfrog me all the way to St Erth spurring the tired legs on and being joined by more colleagues from my own watch in another pump. Once at St Erth the Camborne appliance peeled off and I was joined by another pump from Penzance which continued with me all the way to Drift, just a few miles shy of Lands End. Having the boys alongside giving me such encouragement meant that the last leg passed in a blur and before too long the sight of the finish hove into view. Being such a fine day, traffic was queuing up to the Lands End entrance. A few well timed blasts from my fire brigade escort parted a clear path through to the finish where I was greeted by Cath and the children, a large number of family and friends and more work colleagues, plus a cold bottle of real ale. My wife thinks of everything!

Finish time was just before 1400, meaning the stats were a journey time of 4 days, 6 hours and 24 minutes, just over 58 hours of riding time at an average speed of 14.7mph with 859 miles covered.
To date, the sponsorship money raised is £1650.00 for the Precious Lives Appeal.

In summary, it was a hugely satisfying endeavour and I would heartily recommend an End to End to anyone toying with the idea. If I were to do it again, it would be at a much more leisurely pace, with gears, decent accommodation and a more meandering route. There is however, part of me that thinks, with a put more of a push in certain places, under 4 days would have been feasible. The beauty of hindsight.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby EdinburghFixed » 18 Jun 2009, 12:44pm

Excellent report! I am very jealous that you managed it on 72"... but not so jealous of the wet sleeping arrangements!

Congrats again...

toontra
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Re: JOGLE on fixed complete

Postby toontra » 18 Jun 2009, 1:30pm

Yes, an excellent report. Very inspiring - well done indeed!