what bike for LEJOG

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
LollyKat
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby LollyKat » 11 Nov 2011, 9:18pm

If you do get a trailer make sure you get a good one. My first one was cheap and the towing bar flexed when I pushed hard on the pedals - it felt like a series of regular tugs backwards! I was only using it for the supermarket shop. I also tried the BOB single-wheeled trailer but though it was good on narrow paths it made it harder to park the bike, and it upset the steering when I loaded it up with shopping. I don't weigh much myself though and I am sure it would have been all right with a touring rather than a shopping load.

If you decide to use your existing bike with a trailer, do check that your gears will be low enough for the hills. Mike F regularly reminds us that he can ride up Devon's 1-in-4s on something like a 32-inch gear, complete with his trailer, but not everyone is comfortable with that.

If you are using B&Bs then you don't need to carry very much. I can fit enough for a fortnight's touring in two medium panniers (Carradice Kendals) with room to spare. They are 32 litres for the pair and when packed weighed just under 7kg in total. On my steel Audax bike (by Thorn) they didn't affect the handling at all. They are quick to put on and take off, and easy to carry off the bike. This is the set up I intend to use when I eventually get the chance to do LeJog.

Do you have mudguards? I wouldn't dream of touring in this country without them!

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Mick F
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby Mick F » 12 Nov 2011, 8:46am

LollyKat wrote: Mike F regularly reminds us that he can ride up Devon's 1-in-4s on something like a 32-inch gear, complete with his trailer, but not everyone is comfortable with that.
You exaggerate! :D

I have a 30f 29r = 27".

I can't say I'm "comfortable" on 1in4 hills pulling a load, but I can do it. Anyway, this is the LEJOG board, and there aren't any 1in4s on any sensible route.
(Perhaps Berridale, but it's only one hill)
Mick F. Cornwall

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Vix
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby Vix » 16 Nov 2011, 8:50am

What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????

hungrydave
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what bike for LEJOG

Postby hungrydave » 16 Nov 2011, 9:15am

I have a trailer and panniers and, in my view, there are pros and cons to both. You need to weigh up - literally and metaphorically - the weight you'll be carrying vs the weight of what you'll be carrying them in.

For example, when I commute to work with my heaviest load - suit, shoes, 3 shirts, heavy lock, laptop and charger, big notepad and a wad of reading papers etc - I still find the trailer adds a disproportionate weight to the bike when I can get everything in a rear pannier and rack top bag.

Conversely, I prefer the trailer for shopping runs when it's laden with more weight and bulk - the extra weight of the trailer is lower in relative terms.

Also note that trailers do still change the riding characteristic - panniers make the bike handle more heavily (bigger issue on a bike not built with that in mind) and add resistance in head / cross winds. Trailers, I find, are more noticeable when transitioning from flat to hill (perhaps because they're not that noticeable on the flat they seem heavier on the hills) and also note they add contact points with the road so will add rolling resistance, proportionately if a single or double wheeled trailer.

Also note you'll need to carry extra spares - most trailers use smaller wheels, meaning an extra spare inner tube or two.

I have a radical 2 trailer, which has two detachable wheels and removable tow arm. You can put a shoulder strap on to make it into a slightly cumbersome holdall.

I'm agnostic as to which is best - they both have their place - but if I was doing LEJOG I would go with panniers; but then my long haul trucker is built with that in mind - my wife would use the trailer for the converse reason.

If you live near Bath, you're welcome to come and try out the trailer. We're expecting our first in feb so it won't be getting a lot of use next year - you could probably borrow it as long as it was returned clean and in good nick!... And on the basis you're not an axe swinging maniac.

GavinC
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby GavinC » 16 Nov 2011, 9:21am

Vix wrote:What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????


For me, the two toughest parts of the ride were the old A30 in Devon between Launceston and Okehampton, and the A836 along the north coast of Scotland between Bettyhill and Melvich. Both stretches of road are pretty hilly and it was cold and lashing down with rain when we were riding them.

Other than that, I found the whole ride much easier than I was expecting - I only had to use the granny ring on the bike a handful of times on the whole trip.

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Si
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby Si » 16 Nov 2011, 9:48am

Vix wrote:What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????


Getting to and from the ends.

But in terms of riding....day three for me. Day one and two were full of enthusiasm and adventure. By days four and five my legs were getting used to the routine and work. But day three was when the tiredness first really kicked in and the doubts started.

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brother nathaneil
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby brother nathaneil » 16 Nov 2011, 11:54am

Vix wrote:What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????

Day 8 was the "hardest", despite being one of the "easiest" when looking at the mileage and the hill-o-gram (the elevation profile was refered to as the hill-o-gram!):
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1028382

Some friends travelled from Bicester to Oxford to meet me on the Saturday afternoon and I went on the lash with them. We ended up watching the Klitschko/Haye fight and I didn’t get back to the B&B until about 1:30 a.m.… I was very, very drunk.
On the Sunday, God only knows how I managed to cycle the last 10 miles of our 80.
http://5blokes-end2end.weebly.com/1/pos ... day-8.html

After that I knew I could do anything with will power and hope!!!
Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome ~ Arthur Ashe

http://www.5blokes-end2end.weebly.com

wirral_cyclist
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby wirral_cyclist » 16 Nov 2011, 11:58am

Si wrote:
Vix wrote:What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????


Getting to and from the ends.

But in terms of riding....day three for me. Day one and two were full of enthusiasm and adventure. By days four and five my legs were getting used to the routine and work. But day three was when the tiredness first really kicked in and the doubts started.


To and from the ends has to be the understatement of the year, from Wirral it £260 each and 3 trains just to LE and the logistics (and cost) just puts us off the whole damn thing! Anyone know of a B&B that accepts a boxed bike willingly? Return boxing seems much more common!

The day three info is just the sort of thing I've been looking to find out, but on our current plan of doing a Wir-LE-Wir (catchy title?) instead of LEJog I realise that it becomes day 5/6/7/8 :shock: better have day seven off methinks and make it a 13 day - oh hang on that's an unlucky number...

WaitForPete
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby WaitForPete » 16 Nov 2011, 1:20pm

A road bike with lots of gears, try and get down to 1:1 if you can.

If you are B&Bing you don't need panniers, you need a large saddlebag.

If you know where you are staying you can also post yourself new kit.

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Mick F
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby Mick F » 16 Nov 2011, 3:27pm

Vix wrote:What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????
Hardest is Cornwall and Devon by far.

The hills keep coming, and it's only when you get to Tiverton that the route evens out. Couple of biggies south of Bristol and through Bristol, but there's nothing much after that that will get you in a sweat until you reach Cumbria.

Scottish Southern Uplands can be lumpy depending on if you go via Edinburgh or Glasgow, but nowt like Cornwall and Devon. Then you get over the Highlands to Inverness - again, not much in the way of hard hills, just steady climbs. Ditto all the way to JOG.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Vix
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby Vix » 17 Nov 2011, 9:22am

Mick F wrote:
Vix wrote:What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????
Hardest is Cornwall and Devon by far.

The hills keep coming, and it's only when you get to Tiverton that the route evens out. Couple of biggies south of Bristol and through Bristol, but there's nothing much after that that will get you in a sweat until you reach Cumbria.

Scottish Southern Uplands can be lumpy depending on if you go via Edinburgh or Glasgow, but nowt like Cornwall and Devon. Then you get over the Highlands to Inverness - again, not much in the way of hard hills, just steady climbs. Ditto all the way to JOG.

It seems everybody has the same opinion about LEJOG that Devon and Cornwall are the hardest, part to cycle.

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Vix
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby Vix » 17 Nov 2011, 9:24am

Would it be easier to cycle back to Inverness and get the train back south from there or post my bike? It seems like quite a pain getting home for everybody.

JohnCKirk
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby JohnCKirk » 18 Nov 2011, 3:38am

Vix wrote:Would it be easier to cycle back to Inverness and get the train back south from there or post my bike? It seems like quite a pain getting home for everybody.


I didn't complete my LEJOG attempt, but I can tell you what I planned out. I see you're based in Fareham; I intended to go down to Southampton, so this should be fairly similar for you. Basically, I looked at the train times, then worked backwards from there. A few key timings:

* If you stay at a B&B, what time do they serve breakfast, i.e. how early can you leave?
* If you want to get "official" photos taken at each end, the booth is only open at certain times of day. I think it's 10:00-16:00, but the photographer may be willing to arrive a bit earlier if you pre-book. (When I got to LE, the photographer had opened early for someone who didn't turn up, but that was handy for me.)
* There are 4 trains per day from Wick to Inverness, and each train takes about 4 hours.
* It takes about 8 hours to go from Inverness to London, and the first train leaves at about 8am.

On my final night before JOG, I was going to stay at Dunnet Head (the most northern point on the British mainland). The following morning, I'd cycle to JOG (25 km), get my photo taken, then go to Wick via Duncansby Head (the most north-eastern point). Including that minor detour, this leg is 33 km, mostly following the A99. At Wick, I'd catch the 12:36 train, arriving in Inverness at 16:48. You absolutely need to reserve a cycle space, so I marked my calendar for 12 weeks in advance of the travel date and booked online as soon as the tickets were available. The B&B served breakfast at 07:30, so I'd leave at 08:00. That gave me 2 hours for each cycling stretch, with 30 minutes to faff around in JOG, and I'd still be there 5 minutes before the train left (to get my bike on board).

I'd stay in Inverness overnight, with an early checkout the following morning. I'd then cycle to the station (about 5 mins away) and catch the 07:55 train, arriving in London Kings Cross at 15:51. That was a direct train (no changes).

In London, I'd cycle from Kings Cross to Waterloo. That's 5 km, which should take about 20 minutes. However, it's probably a bit easier for me because I live in London so I could practice that stretch in advance, and you might need to allow a bit longer.

The 16:35 from London Waterloo reaches Southampton Airport Parkway at 17:41 (another direct train). It's ready to board at 16:20, so I wanted to arrive in time for that; they don't have cycle reservations, so it's first come first served. Similarly, you can't pre-book tickets, so you may need to queue at the machine for a couple of minutes. According to the South West Trains cycle policy: "Cycles cannot be carried on any service ... leaving Waterloo from 1645 to 1900 inclusive". So, I'd either need to catch the 16:35 train or hang around for a couple of hours, which would have been too late for the event I wanted to attend.

Hopefully all this logistical info can benefit someone else, since I didn't get a chance to use it!

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Vix
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby Vix » 19 Nov 2011, 6:24pm

Thanks for the info, it'll come in reall really handy :o
JohnCKirk wrote:
Vix wrote:Would it be easier to cycle back to Inverness and get the train back south from there or post my bike? It seems like quite a pain getting home for everybody.


I didn't complete my LEJOG attempt, but I can tell you what I planned out. I see you're based in Fareham; I intended to go down to Southampton, so this should be fairly similar for you. Basically, I looked at the train times, then worked backwards from there. A few key timings:

* If you stay at a B&B, what time do they serve breakfast, i.e. how early can you leave?
* If you want to get "official" photos taken at each end, the booth is only open at certain times of day. I think it's 10:00-16:00, but the photographer may be willing to arrive a bit earlier if you pre-book. (When I got to LE, the photographer had opened early for someone who didn't turn up, but that was handy for me.)
* There are 4 trains per day from Wick to Inverness, and each train takes about 4 hours.
* It takes about 8 hours to go from Inverness to London, and the first train leaves at about 8am.

On my final night before JOG, I was going to stay at Dunnet Head (the most northern point on the British mainland). The following morning, I'd cycle to JOG (25 km), get my photo taken, then go to Wick via Duncansby Head (the most north-eastern point). Including that minor detour, this leg is 33 km, mostly following the A99. At Wick, I'd catch the 12:36 train, arriving in Inverness at 16:48. You absolutely need to reserve a cycle space, so I marked my calendar for 12 weeks in advance of the travel date and booked online as soon as the tickets were available. The B&B served breakfast at 07:30, so I'd leave at 08:00. That gave me 2 hours for each cycling stretch, with 30 minutes to faff around in JOG, and I'd still be there 5 minutes before the train left (to get my bike on board).

I'd stay in Inverness overnight, with an early checkout the following morning. I'd then cycle to the station (about 5 mins away) and catch the 07:55 train, arriving in London Kings Cross at 15:51. That was a direct train (no changes).

In London, I'd cycle from Kings Cross to Waterloo. That's 5 km, which should take about 20 minutes. However, it's probably a bit easier for me because I live in London so I could practice that stretch in advance, and you might need to allow a bit longer.

The 16:35 from London Waterloo reaches Southampton Airport Parkway at 17:41 (another direct train). It's ready to board at 16:20, so I wanted to arrive in time for that; they don't have cycle reservations, so it's first come first served. Similarly, you can't pre-book tickets, so you may need to queue at the machine for a couple of minutes. According to the South West Trains cycle policy: "Cycles cannot be carried on any service ... leaving Waterloo from 1645 to 1900 inclusive". So, I'd either need to catch the 16:35 train or hang around for a couple of hours, which would have been too late for the event I wanted to attend.

Hopefully all this logistical info can benefit someone else, since I didn't get a chance to use it!

bearonabike
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Re: what bike for LEJOG

Postby bearonabike » 23 Nov 2011, 2:03pm

Vix wrote:What part of the LEJOG ride is the hardest??????


Everyone says Devon & Cornwall....and everyone's right from a geographical perspective. However, I had far more difficulties dealing with extreme weather at all points North of the Lake District than I ever did with any hills.

Don't think that when you ride out of Devon you've cracked it. I did a bit when I cleared Devon on day 2....all you've done is ridden the hilliest part, and hills are far from the only challenge on this trip. Don't forget that on leaving Devon, you won't even have turned North, so there's still plenty in store for you! My LEJOG waited until Scotland before really turning up the heat....actually the heat got turned down, the wind got turned up & the rain fell in record quantities.

Everyone's LEJOG is different, but provided you're reasonably fit, the hardest part is between the ears when things don't go to plan or are out of your control - weather, mechanicals, injury, getting lost......