Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
jevans
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Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby jevans » 31 Jul 2009, 3:59pm

It just hit me yesterday that I would be cycling solidly for over 1000 miles - getting a bit nervous now!
Here's the route:

www.bikehike.co.uk/mapview.php?id=10982

If you're out and about on the bike and see us say hi! (two 18 yr-olds on black bikes with panniers)
We're doing it for Alzheimers Research; sponsorship hasn't gone so great, but everything helps I suppose!
I'm just hoping we manage to charge the Garmin every night or we could be getting very lost.

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Mick F
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby Mick F » 31 Jul 2009, 5:04pm

Yes, without a good GPS, you're gonna get lost - judging by your route though my neck of the woods! Do you like complications?
(and steep hills?)

Do you have another route in your back pocket instead of Dartmoor? It's been horrendous up there (and down here) these past few days. Not an easy ride over the moor, better to skirt round it to the north. You'll be tired enough by the time you get to Tavistock!

Dartmoor is a dangerous place for people exposed as cyclists. There's no shelter, little habitation, and the weather can change very quickly. If the weather is stable and fine, you'll be fine, but if it's unsettled, I can assure you that you'll be unsettled as well. The weather we're presently experiencing is definitely unsettled.

Can I suggest a better route for you?

From St Columb Major, head out on the A39 for Camelford, then turn off for Launceston on the A395. Follow this road for a few miles but turn off left after the Wilsey Down pub in Hallworthy. Head out through Tresmeer and Egloskerry for St Stephens. Turn right and down a steep hill into Launceston.

Head up the hill and turn first left for Polson, follow the road round the town and head downhill when you reach the Old A30 on a big hairpin bend. Stay on this road for 16 miles or so. Fantastic cycling road!

At the T junction at Sourton, turn left under the A30, and follow this road for a couple of miles, turn right at the roundabout and right again at the next a short while later. Head down a hill and left at the bottom and into Okehampton Town.

Head out of the town, up the hill, left at the traffic lights and follow the signs for Crediton. Then Tiverton, Taunton and north for Bristol.

Far easier, very little navigation required, and above all, far less hills.

PS.
Good luck BTW!
Drop me a PM and we can swap numbers, I may be able to ride with you for a while.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby Mick F » 31 Jul 2009, 5:11pm

PPS
I see you want to stay at Topsham(?)

From the centre of Okehampton go straight out and keep going straight on. This is the Old A30.

It will take you through Sticklepath, Whiddon Down, Cheriton Bishop, Tedburn St Mary, and down to Exeter.

When you get to the end of the road at a T junction, turn left, up a hill and into the city.

Another excellent cycling road.
Mick F. Cornwall

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braz
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby braz » 31 Jul 2009, 6:02pm

Being the technological wizzard that I am, I can't get the route thingy to work - perhaps the batteries are flat already?

Is there a new Masochistic Cycling Society that I've not heard of? - poor old Mick and poor old me, we say this to people so often - it's along way from LE to JOG, it can be quite hard getting out of Cornwall, so why make it a trial rather than a ride that you will remember for the rest of your life?.

The North Corwall coast and Dartmoor are very pretty, especially in sunny June when viewed from the back of a bus - but trying to cycle either of them when the weather is so bad, windy, rainy, cold and foggy - and the terrain is v. hilly - ain't fun! (to coin a technical expression!).

Seriously, it's been really rotton on the Moor lately - survival weather at times - and today's weather forecast suggests that the rain over the coming weekend will be pretty bad - so please all, less of the bravado and more of the common sense - we don't want to see any more 'plucked off of the Moor' headlines in the local Press!

Topsham? - I'd ride to Yeoford and get the train!

regards to all sensible cyclists, Braz.

notlobgp14
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby notlobgp14 » 31 Jul 2009, 6:38pm

Good Luck Lads

Having read quite a few LEJOG diaries, and currently being in the planning phase for next year; I would say that the first 2 or 3 days should be made as easy as possible. We started planning a scenic route, keeping off the A roads, but the 'locals' [quote] can give some sound advice, those hills down there are the sharpest you'll see on the journey. Also the current weather, does not bode well for the moor.

It can be down heartening, having someone blow your well planned route way, but it will be better to arrive than have travelled, or something like that.

jevans
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby jevans » 31 Jul 2009, 6:50pm

I think I've sent you a PM Mick, not sure if I've done it right!
I'll be putting two routes into the Garmin and will decide on the day depending on the weather/legs.
Won't be able to update everyday but should have internet access in Bath, so watch this space...

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Mick F
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby Mick F » 31 Jul 2009, 9:43pm

Thanks! Got it!

Take heed, everyone, of Braz's words. It's not just me that harps on about it.
It's rotten out there again this evening, and tomorrow is not forecast to be nice either.

Honestly, I love riding out on Dartmoor. It's a great set of hills with fantastic views.
But I chose my days up there with care.
Mick F. Cornwall

Neil Fat Man On A Bike
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby Neil Fat Man On A Bike » 1 Aug 2009, 9:25am

Good luck fellas, I hope you have a fantastic time.
Myself and a pal did LEJOG back in May, we only had 3 days of headwind.........and one of those was gale force and forced us to go around the moor and hole up in Oakhampton ( check out how many of the pubs have shut down :shock: but there are still some left ! ). Be prepared to adjust the route to suit conditions.
Have a great time. :D

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby ferrit worrier » 1 Aug 2009, 12:05pm

good luck, Enjoy the ride hope you get favourable weather.

Malc
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amaferanga
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby amaferanga » 1 Aug 2009, 1:45pm

Nice challenging route taking in the most scenic parts of the country.

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Mick F
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby Mick F » 4 Aug 2009, 7:12am

Ride Report:

I met them at Minions up on the edge of Bodmin Moor at 12 ish yesterday.

The weather was DAMP to say the least! Not hard rain, but fine constant drizzle and very wet as well. I was wrapped up with a couple of layers with my Goretex on top, I had shorts and helmet. I was soaked by the time I met the boys.

We came down the hill into Upton Cross, and they asked about something warm and a snack, so I took them round the corner to the Caradon Inn. They had drinks and a bowl of chips. Then it was off into the damp and drear.

Down through Rilla Mill, up again to Bray Shop, and down again to Horesbridge over the Tamar and into Devon. Photo opportunity at the Welcome to Devon sign! We're still wet, and getting cold.

Up again, down to Catsbridge, up yet again to Chipshop, and down to Tavistock. We hid under the arch at Bedford Square. Still cold. and very drippy.

We chatted about Dartmoor. I was reasonably happy that they could cope, though Owen's top wasn't that waterproof. Jame's one was similar to mine, but even we were cold and damp inside. Owen was feeling it more than us. As the weather, though awful, was settled, the Dartmoor idea would be ok as the weather wouldn't get any worse than it was now, there would be no surprises and sudden changes. So off we went, up through Mount Tavy and onto the Moor.

Pork Hill is a killer. I was in bottom gear fairly soon, and so were James and Owen, but their bottom gears were not as low as mine! Their cadence was very low, but they pushed and we made it to the top. Then it was down into Merrivale and up a wall of a hill that just goes on and on, it "levels" out a bit for a mile or so before reaching the summit at Rundlestone Cross at 1500ft.

The weather was just as awful as it had been all day. We were warm and sweaty at the top, but started to cool quite rapidly. We said our farewells, I turned round and headed home, they plodded on for the 14 odd miles over to Moretonhamptead. I warned them that the road is all but deserted from here on, and to keep going as there's NO shelter for miles. Keeping going meant keeping warm, and before we parted, I was shivering, no doubt Owen was too. I left them at soon after 4pm.

I whizzed down off the moor through the wind and drizzle, and made it back to Tavistock. My fingers were numb and I was finding it difficult to feel my Ergos to change gear. I rested, had my last cereal bar and drink, then plodded home, feeling how much warmer it was down here rather than up at 1000ft plus.

I was filthy and wet and cold and tired. I'd done just short of 50 miles and made it home for 5 o'clock.(Just as the pub opened - funny that, isn't it?)

James and Owen carried on. I received a text at 7.15 saying they'd made it to Topsham.

The weather today is rubbish too. I'm glad I'm not off again today!

PS:
Please let this account be a warning to folk wanting to cycle over Dartmoor. It's hard work and if the weather is as bad as yesterday it's a killer. Remember, this is August! If you can keep going, you'll make it, but if you have a hold-up (puncture, mechanical breakdown, too tired to carry on - or even fall off!) you'll be in serious trouble.

I mean it. Be careful.
Mick F. Cornwall

2Tubs
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby 2Tubs » 4 Aug 2009, 12:55pm

Mick F wrote:Please let this account be a warning to folk wanting to cycle over Dartmoor. It's hard work and if the weather is as bad as yesterday it's a killer. Remember, this is August! If you can keep going, you'll make it, but if you have a hold-up (puncture, mechanical breakdown, too tired to carry on - or even fall off!) you'll be in serious trouble.

I mean it. Be careful.

So should I amend my plan to cycle Dartmoor, naked on a uni cycle this January to include a pair of thermal Y Fronts?

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Mick F
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby Mick F » 4 Aug 2009, 1:40pm

The vision of this will give me nightmares! :shock:

As an aside, it's STILL raining out there - possibly constant for over 48 hours now.
Mick F. Cornwall

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braz
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby braz » 4 Aug 2009, 4:11pm

2 Tubs - yes, go ahead with your plan - but it's always best in winter to wear hi-viz underpants on Dartmoor. Well-known local custom.

kind regards, Braz,

jevans
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Re: Depart from LE on Sunday 2nd August...

Postby jevans » 4 Aug 2009, 10:02pm

Hello from Batheaston!

Weather was even wetter today, but a lot faster, averaging 13.6mph and Owen enjoyed it a bit more as he was expecting to be soaking wet all day!

115 miles tomorrow, up to Bridges YHA but it looks a bit drier.