is it possible?

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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Re: is it possible?

Postby plodderpaul » 12 Aug 2014, 9:59pm

hi again, some really interesting thing's for me to think about by the advice you are all kindly giving, very welcome it is, must admit to getting a bit giddy thinking about it all now, have a feeling even if the other two drop out it is something i would still like to have a crack at although on my own i would probably take it upto 13 or 14 cycling day''s, had a word with my brother in law and he say's it is going ahead, this is what i am planning for the next 5 or 6 week's, i get me bike back this saturday so i will have a steady go up our local cycleway till i am starting to ache or tire whichever come's first, i will take a note of my mileage and time then i will record it in a diary, then over the next few week's i will focus on the time in the seat instead of the mileage done, then once i get used to sitting on a seat i'l start upping the speed, not sure about going to work on it as i start early and can finnish late, although it is a hilly 36 mile round trip which would be good training, is this sounding like a plan?, would it be ok to do a couple of day,s swimming or walking a week as well just so i dont get fed up, we will be using bnb's and carrying our own stuff so will be taking as little as possible, my diet could be a problem tho, as i have a tendency to eat alot so i will focus on that side as well, even though we won't be setting off till next year i think im best looking at it as tho my journey begin's on sunday, thanks again everyone

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Re: is it possible?

Postby drossall » 12 Aug 2014, 10:31pm

All sounds good. Swimming in particular is good exercise, walking as well if you are pushing yourself a bit. It is good to ring the changes.

Just keep building up, and let us know how you are getting on :D

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Re: is it possible?

Postby Nanook » 13 Aug 2014, 11:24am

Lots of sage advice has been posted about getting bike fit and the like. I live in the Highlands near Aviemore and know the area and its weather very well indeed. As you are doing your LEJOG or JOGLE in April/May you really do need to take into account that the weather in the Highlands could still be wintry especially on higher ground. If you were planning, say, late May, you would almost certainly not have a problem; but April can be very hit-and-miss up here. Just a thought.

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Re: is it possible?

Postby ferrit worrier » 14 Aug 2014, 4:13pm

If you have a 36 miles round trip for a commute consider taking the bike on the car part way then cycle the rest.

Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

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Re: is it possible?

Postby mattfen » 18 Aug 2014, 9:07am

I don't agree completely with the comments about getting lots of long rides under your belt, I did LELPDHJOG this year over 13 days and hadn't ridden much at all - certainly nothing longer than 60 miles over 2 days during my training. I was a bit lardy before I started too ! I read a lot about riding yourself fit (and hung my hat on it !) but then the night before I left for LE I read a blog about how that is rubbish and that particular team rode themselves in the ground within 4 days !!

If you have a basic level of fitness, trust your body and kit - if you worry whether your knee / angle / chain will fail then it probably will.... and if you have the mental attitude, then you can do it. My best advice, learnt from my trip, for those of a lesser level of fitness is to start slow and then increase - I think I did 60 or so miles each day for the first couple and then when you hit the flatlands you are more able to knock out 100+ stints. I wouldn't even entertain the thought of doing it on my 29er, but I was camping / cooking so needed a lighter bike (Panniers weighed 22Kg all in.). I averaged 12 mph moving but took plenty of drink / food / photo breaks - something that is much easier when you do it solo !

Lots of long rides is the best route but not the only one !

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Re: is it possible?

Postby thirdcrank » 18 Aug 2014, 10:11am

mattfen wrote: ... if you have the mental attitude, then you can do it. ...

I think that's right in that the basic level of physical fitness needed might be achieved entirely without long rides and possibly without even riding a bike, although I think the latter would be a bit harder. My point is that somebody who knows that they can ride say 120 miles in a day isn't going to be phazed by the prospect of riding 100. They'll also have a pretty good idea about how they feel about sitting on a bike all day and pedalling for no real reason, other than as I think I posted above, "because it's there." Distance riding isn't everyone's cup of tea, fit or unfit. There must be exceptions but as a general rule, I think somebody who doesn't fancy the idea of getting in some preparatory miles won't be too keen on riding an End-to-End when the big day dawns. This is even more likely if there's a relatively tight schedule, with no opportunity for acclimatisation in the first few days.

Finally, if somebody improves their fitness, that's a worthwhile achievement in itself, even if they decide the End-to-End isn't for them.

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Re: is it possible?

Postby OnYourRight » 21 Aug 2014, 9:38am

I think attempting a 900-mile trip in nine days without some training is folly and very likely to end in failure. Sure, the odd person might survive it and actually enjoy it, but most people would end up pulling out due to intolerable discomfort of one body part or another.

You don’t have to train yourself to death, but you do need to know how your body reacts to sitting on a bike for 10 hours in a row. Whether you weigh 21 stone or half that, at the beginning you’re probably not going to like sitting on a saddle for one hour, much less 10 hours – never mind 10 hours day after day.

Getting your body used to the rigours of being on the bike does not require developing tremendous cardiovascular fitness, but it does require just getting out there on your bike, building up time in the saddle gradually and ironing out comfort problems one by one.

The good news is you have loads of time to get yourself sorted if you start now. Have you done your first ride yet?

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Re: is it possible?

Postby geocycle » 21 Aug 2014, 9:57am

Lots of good advice here. My concern is the 9 day bit for two reasons. Firstly, that would be a big challenge for any cyclist no matter how experienced. Ten hours a day on a bike is a huge mental challenge. Secondly, you will be belting up A roads in order to get the mileage to nearer 900 than 1000. This is fine as long as you see it as an endurance challenge not a pleasurable cycle tour. It is possible, but 14 days would be a much more enjoyable prospect.

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Re: is it possible?

Postby plodderpaul » 27 Aug 2014, 9:05pm

hi all, sorry for not replying earlier, thank's again for all your help so far, had a few ride's out locally around 7 mile's each time, and must admit it has been hard but im getting a feeling that this cycling stuff is going to take a grip, my average cycling speed was very low but on a positive side it is only going to get better, would like to get it upto 15mph but we will see, as for the trip itself it will be done in a 2 week period as in train or car down to penzance on a saturday then onto a bnb somewhere around lands end for the set off on sunday morning, no route set as yet but the plan at the moment is to do either a set mileage a day then look for somewhere to stay, or book all bnb's before we set off, seem's to be advantage's and diadvantage's to both way's, hopefully getting to john O'groat's nine day's later, the rest of the two week's will be spent chilling and having a ride round up that way, if we do not book the bnb's it also give's us that oportunity to take extra time if needed, lot's to be thought about, im certain once the training bit kick's in i will get fit enough to do it, not fit enough to do it easily but fit enough to to make sure it's not too painfull, most people are saying i will need another bike so will need to be thinking about that as well, i like mountain biking but im not sure i could take to a full on road bike, maybe have to look at them cx bike's that seem to be getting popular, think the big thing i will struggle with most is the diet as at the moment i eat just about anything, big life change coming on i feel, thank's again

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Re: is it possible?

Postby bearonabike » 3 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Paul, good luck with your venture. But please don't underestimate how hard many regular cyclists would find 9 days.

As you mentioned your weight I hope you don't mind me picking up on it. Could be a statement of the blinking obvious, but it's most likely to be a factor when the road heads upwards....Cornwall, Devon, Lake District & much of Scotland. Getting the miles in is good advice, but 100 miles through the flat Midlands is one thing, 50 through undulating Cornwall quite another. So I'd suggest hill training should be a central theme in your training as they have a nasty habit of appearing 70 miles into the day when you're tired, wet and fed up. You're in for a miserable time if you can't cope with those. You can tailor your route to limit climbing, but that adds miles and whichever way you go you can't avoid the hills completely. I'd also get out as much as possible over the winter, because almost certainly at some point you'll find yourself battling headwinds and rain.

You do ride yourself fit but you need to have the right base for that to happen, any kilos you can shed beforehand really will pay dividends. The good news is that during the trip itself you'll be burning so many calories that you'll be scoffing continually to keep fuelled! Or was that just me?

Hope this doesn't sound too negative, it's not meant to be. You can do it, but might need to be quite disciplined and focussed in your training. Other fitness work off the bike will also help, mainly in breaking up the monotony of hours in the saddle.

Bikewise, comfort should be your no 1,2 and 3 priority, but 9 days or so is fast so something road or CX based sounds sensible. One last word, please get your position on the bike properly sorted out (thinking especially of knee issues) well before you leave. The only pain you should ever feel on the bike is burning thighs.

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Re: is it possible?

Postby Psamathe » 3 Sep 2014, 2:57pm

One thought from somebody with no real experience (I started cycling again not quite a year ago).

If you don't already have one, get a cheap cycle computer that gives you distance, current speed and average speed. Or if you have a smartphone download some software to do the equivalent using the phone's GPS.

Depending on your nature you could log your rides in a spreadsheet and that will give you a real impression of progress (allowing you to look back to your starting out distances/speeds). Not something everybody enjoys but some would find encouraging.

And one aspect I'm still getting to grips with is adjusting for the calories you burn when cycling.

Good luck


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Re: is it possible?

Postby Mark1978 » 3 Sep 2014, 4:11pm

It's doable, but in 9 days and starting next April or May? I don't know about that if you're starting from scratch just now. It took me over a year just to work up to doing a single 100 mile ride, nevermind 9 of them in a row. As others have said if you can make it 14 days, it's more doable.

Main issue is you're going to need to be ramping up your training during the winter, which isn't ideal.

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Re: is it possible?

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Sep 2014, 4:46pm

There's no downside to getting on with a bit of preparatory riding. Every ride you do will increase your fitness and your experience, including knowing what suits you. There's nothing wrong with aiming high like this, so long as you don't get fed up if you have to do a bit of rethinking. If you realise nearer the time that doing it in nine days is unrealistic, there are other options. Taking longer may be one, depending on holiday entitlement etc. If that's not an option, keeping up the riding - which should be worthwhile in itself - would keep you fit to have a go when you eventually had more time, or when you were better able to do it in the planned nine days, with the extra miles in.

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Re: is it possible?

Postby Mick F » 3 Sep 2014, 4:48pm

100mile ride is do-able, but you have to ask yourself if you did a 100mile ride, could you do another one the next day, and the next and the next?

It's a big ask.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: is it possible?

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Sep 2014, 4:58pm

All I'm saying is that the thread title asks us the question and the alternative to possible is impossible. It's obviously possible, but with reservations.

So the OP really needs to be able to answer their own question and I'm saying that in order to be able to do that, they need the experience of long bike rides, which will also bring greater fitness, all while doing something most of us on here think is a great activity.

They must have doubts of their own or they'd not have posted, but there are always plenty of excuses not to go out on a bike. Let's talk positively.