Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years old

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Skipper9999
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Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years old

Postby Skipper9999 » 27 Mar 2014, 9:31pm

Planning on doing LEJOG in May supported, Myself(54) and a friend who is only 81.

The big debate would be the route, Tony favoured the A30, M5, M6..anything as long as it was short and flat, I wanted a balance and not to excited about main roads especially the A30 and the top half of the A9 from Inverness. Initially I had fancied West Scotland on the A82 from Glasgow but eventually swung to the old road and paths alongside the A9. One option I would like to hang onto is the route from Inverness taking in the road to Altnaharra avoiding the A9 to Wick.

From the start my favoured route is A30 for 15 miles then northwards and avoiding the A30 as much as possible taking in Camleford, then across to Witheridge and to Weston Super Mare. The next debate would be Severn Bridge and Ross on Wye to Shrewsbury and North to Warrington and Carnforth or Skirt round and go through Tewkesbury to head North.

Once passed the big conurbations after Kendal Tony favours Shap and myself I would go through Keswick before both routes converge again at Moffat crossing to Edinburgh up the tracks and paths beside the A9 to reach Dingwall.

Then we back to the debate to save miles and height or enjoy the beauty on route to Altnaharra and the north coast to John O'Groats.

We have 14/15 days and our luggage is being carried for us, but we have to bear in mind Tony's age at 81.

I have put the routes on a website at http://www.lejog.us and the interactive ride with gps arehttp://www.lejog.us/preparation.html, Scroll down the page or events page http://ridewithgps.com/events/LEJOG-EAST-KESWICK

Please also take time to look about the website and add any advice you may have for us

hughwill69
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby hughwill69 » 28 Mar 2014, 3:24pm

Blimey! I thought that I was being frisky doing my first LeJoG this year at 64!

No doubt it will be two shakes of a lamb's tail before Mick F ( surely his knighthood for services to E2Enders cannot be long now) mentions Rob's Passage as
an alternative to the direct route you've chosen through Tiverton. Also I'm sure that some of the A30 you're planning north of Redruth has a pretty bad reputation.

But it's the bit of the A40 between Monmouth and Ross that would bother me. I've never ridden it and never would- it's ultra busy, very fast and parts have quite narrow
lanes. I've never seen any bike on it. In addition you have a monster hill out of Monmouth- the obvious alternative is to go straight on at Monmouth up the A466
directly toward Hereford and the A49. It's hilly but would save you quite a few miles and the traffic is ok.

The alternative is to take the beautiful bike path from Monmouth to Symonds Yat and on towards Goodrich- duck back on the B4229 to cross the A40 and go on to
the A4137, A49 as before. If you still wanted to go up the Wye Valley towards Hereford rather than use the A49 you could go straight on through Goodrich into Ross
via the B4234. But in my opinion that first bit of the A49 is not too bad as single carriageway trunk roads go.

Good luck to you and Tony!

Skipper9999
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby Skipper9999 » 29 Mar 2014, 10:29am

I still have a fancy for the Ross Valley and a night over in Ross and have amended the route to your suggestion.(I Think)

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4317860 It does not add much and I am sure it will be a nicer ride.

Can you point out the route round Tiverton to me please. I am also looking at a way of missing that bit of the A30


Thanks for your input.

Billy

Skipper9999
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby Skipper9999 » 30 Mar 2014, 9:11pm

I thought I might of had more response about the routes between Dingwall and JOG and how this section of A9 was compared to Altnaharra

chrisc
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby chrisc » 1 Apr 2014, 9:28am

Ok. Dingwall northwards then. I have only cycled the A9/99 once, on LEJOG in 2010. Driven it a few times. Many LEJOGers will say avoid. My wife and I (both on our 60s) did not have much of a problem with the A9 traffic. It can be fast, tends to come in batches, typically following an HGV but, provided you make yourself conspicuous, I doubt it is much more hazardous than many of more southern roads. We found the A99 after Latheron with its many bends and poor sight lines more of a hazard from a speeding motorist point of view but you just have to be vigilant .. and I recommend a rear view mirror generally anyway. We would use the A9/99 again, no problem, and the bit through the Highlands on the cycle route was a joy. Never used the road via Altnaharra so cannot comment/compare.
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vernon
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby vernon » 5 Apr 2014, 9:30pm

Skipper9999 wrote:I thought I might of had more response about the routes between Dingwall and JOG and how this section of A9 was compared to Altnaharra


You are probably getting few responses because few people have ridden both routes and are able to compare them.

Pick a route and stick with it - it's your ride after all, not anyone else's. You won't be disappointed with the result whatever the chosen route is.

rfryer
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby rfryer » 6 Apr 2014, 7:47am

I've cycled through Altnaharra to Tongue on a day ride while staying at the Crask Inn. My recollection is of nice quiet roads, and nothing too steep. The coast road at the top seemed busier, though.

We were savaged by the midges in Altnaharra. Although cycling through at speed, they embedded themselves in our perspiration and had a great meal. I think I counted 40 bites on my legs that evening. Next time, I'll be slathered in Smidge!

Skipper9999
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby Skipper9999 » 6 Apr 2014, 7:52am

I am hoping that by finishing at JOG around the 22nd that the midge season might not be in full swing?? Although I have heard on the news that it is likely to be a bumper year for the pests of Scotland?

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Mick F
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby Mick F » 6 Apr 2014, 9:41am

If you stay on the Old A9 to Inverness and the A9 up to JOG, you'll not have a midge problem.

Midges are rife on the western side, but hardly evident in the east. Not saying they're not there, but they aren't in thick clouds like in the west.
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vernon
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby vernon » 7 Apr 2014, 12:44am

Skipper9999 wrote:I am hoping that by finishing at JOG around the 22nd that the midge season might not be in full swing?? Although I have heard on the news that it is likely to be a bumper year for the pests of Scotland?


You should be finishing just as the midges are starting to emerge. I'm in Dumfriesshire around that date give or take a week every year for a festival and the midge population is usually low. There was one insane year where there appeared to be random plumjes of smoke which turned out to be clouds of midges. Avon Skin So Soft kept them at bay and my unprotected nether regions under my kilt remained free from attack from the Caledonian Luftwaffe.

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TrevA
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Re: Any comments on my Route - 1st timer LEJOG - 81 years ol

Postby TrevA » 11 Apr 2014, 12:40pm

We've done the Altnaharra route (albeit in reverse as were on JOGLE). It's a delightful road to cycle on. It's single track after Lairg but not busy at all (about 1 car every 10 mins). There's a long climb from the Crask Inn but it's steady not steep. The Strathnaver valley is pretty flat. Hilly on the coast road between Bettyhill and Melvich but it flattens out at Dounreay.
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