Route Overload

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
earlofmar
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:16am

Route Overload

Postby earlofmar » 7 Jul 2014, 9:33am

A small group of us crazy Australians are coming to do the End to End in 2015. We are in the early stages of planning but most likely will do JOGLE as I have family in Scotland. The choices of route appear overwhelming is there any consensus on a route that would satisfy the following:

1. Avoids busy roads
2. Avoids unnecessary hills
3. More scenic than fast (we would probably plan for 100-100 km per day)

Initial routes I have looked at starting at JOG either head to WicK or take a longer route to Tounge - any pros and cons going in either direction

Thanks in advance for any help

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Mick F
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Re: Route Overload

Postby Mick F » 7 Jul 2014, 4:00pm

Can I answer your questions with questions please?

Do you want to do JOGLE specifically, or do you want a Tour of Scotland and England and Wales?

The former would be just down through Scotland to Carlisle, then the western side of England (perhaps popping into a tiny bit of Wales) and then down to LE.

If the latter, you could go "off route" to visit nicer places. After all, you're coming all the way from OZ to do this trip. :D
Mick F. Cornwall

Bicycler
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Re: Route Overload

Postby Bicycler » 7 Jul 2014, 5:52pm

If you do have your hearts set on JOGLE or LEJOG it would be helpful to know how many days you want to do the trip in.

earlofmar
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:16am

Re: Route Overload

Postby earlofmar » 7 Jul 2014, 11:11pm

The answer, Bicycler and Mick F is we do have our hearts set on an end to end trip. We are in our 50' and 60's but have all been endurance runners before age has forced us onto our bikes. We still need the ride to feel like a significant challenge but at the same time don't want to spend days on dual carriageways sprinting to the finish. Fourteen days or under is our current goal but we are flexible. BTW we are currently thinking the second half of August as our most likely time.

LindaB
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Joined: 17 Jun 2013, 8:41pm

Re: Route Overload

Postby LindaB » 8 Jul 2014, 4:06am

I truly understand your title "Route Overload" - I felt that way for most of the last year! The time I spent on the routes was really worth it, though. Four of us (average age 68) completed our LEJOG on 1st of July. Took us 21 riding days (plus 3 days off) and 1,022 miles between Lands End and John O'Groats. We had a marvelous time, just enough time for some sightseeing, the best weather imagineable, beautiful countryside and mostly small roads. There are a few routes I'd change (Innerleithen to Edinburgh comes to mind - way too busy!); I learned so much from this forum, and had looked at so many corners on google street view that my riding partners were sick of me saying "I feel like I've been here before".

Garmins (810 and a Touring) were indespensible in my opinion. Just a glance down at the screen reassured me we were still on course, rather than stopping at all those unmarked corners to be sure where the next turn was...

The routes as planned are linked on each day of the blog: crazyguyonabike.com/doc/2014LEJOG. Hope to add links to the tracks we actually rode in the next week or so. Not sure how much is applicable when going North to South; think my favorite day was Lairg to Bettyhill - tiny roads, lochs, and leaping salmon.

Have a wonderful trip!
LindaB

puffin
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Re: Route Overload

Postby puffin » 8 Jul 2014, 10:06am

Linda!!
Lairg to Bettyhill, I almost choked up remembering it, beautiful, and by then you are mega fit, and on the homeward leg. Great memory, so great that I'm off again in a fortnight. ;)

Crazy Australians
I've used (roughly) the same route two-soon-to-be-three times, its on Bikeroutetoaster and you are welcome to use it. It is split up into days and can be doenloaded onto a Garmin edge. It follows mostly what is called the CTC Bed and Breakfast route. The only City it goes through is Edinburgh (beautiful) but if you want you can also detour through Bristol. It takes about 14 days and does include four big climbs in the Grampians / Cairngorns (never sure what part you are in). Have a great time.

Can anyone tell me how I can share the routes on Bikeroutetoaster?

Bicycler
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Re: Route Overload

Postby Bicycler » 8 Jul 2014, 2:29pm

Linda: Congratulations on finishing your end-to-end. I'm glad you had a good time. I very much enjoyed reading the daily updates :)

earlofmar: I'm sure Puffin's route will be a good starting point and others will probably suggest some minor variations. Here are some more general thoughts:

To an extent there will always be a compromise between different qualities of routes. In the UK the main road is often the flattest and most direct but also the busiest and least scenic. The nicest, quietest roads going through the most scenic areas will also often be the most hilly and least direct. The hills aren't that big (you probably won't go over 450m above sea level) so I wouldn't worry unnecessarily, we don't have alpine mountain passes. That said, the quiet minor roads do tend to go very steeply straight up hills and the terrain is often continually undulating so it can be harder than it looks on paper.

As you're coming such a long way it might be an idea to think where you would like to visit along the way and see if you can get some sightseeing done as part of your trip. As puffin said, Edinburgh is nice and easily accommodated into a JOGLE route.

What type of accommodation would you be using? If using hotels and B&Bs then there shouldn't be much of a problem but a route utilising hostels might require more careful planning as the UK's network isn't as extensive as it was.

Whereabouts are your family in Scotland? It's small compared to Australia but it's fairly big all the same. If they are a fair way off the standard JOGLE routes then this will obviously make a big difference to your choice of route. I'm told the infamous Scottish midges can be pretty awful in the Highlands in August.

What type of bikes will you be riding? Many LEJOGers make use of some sections of towpath or other off road cycle routes with inconsistent surfaces and barriers which would be problematic for pure road bikes or bikes with trailers so you may need to select a purely road route in those cases.

I know you have plenty of time yet but be aware of the need to book train tickets and reserve space for your bikes on the trains well in advance as space is at a premium particularly on the train to JOG. I think they are available 12 weeks in advance so it is well worth marking that date in the calendar and getting them booked as soon as they are available. There would be nothing worse than having the rest of the accommodation all booked but being unable to get your bikes to the North of Scotland.

earlofmar
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:16am

Re: Route Overload

Postby earlofmar » 10 Jul 2014, 8:20am

Thanks for the comments/suggestions so far. I will check out the CTC B & B route in a bit more detail. Most likely to use this route and a paste together of some of the routes others have posted

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TrevA
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Re: Route Overload

Postby TrevA » 10 Jul 2014, 12:24pm

In Britain, scenic often means hilly. We followed the CTC B&B route but not slavishly. We did the west coast of Scotland instead of the route through the Cairngorms, and we chose a different route through Devon and Cornwall. The old A30 is a good route (NOT the new A30) from Exeter to Launceston and then you can pick up the A39 through Cornwall. Mick F is the real expert on Devon and Cornwall, so follow his advice there.

+1 for the Tongue/Bettyhill-Lairg route. It was one of the best bits of our journey.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com