Which way should you ride the route?

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
AliH
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Jun 2015, 2:28pm

Which way should you ride the route?

Postby AliH » 24 Jun 2015, 3:26pm

Hi,

I'm organizing a charity cycle ride of Lands End to John O Groats next March, and in planning, wanted to ask whether anyone is aware of any particular benefit to which end you start and finish at? Particularly if anyone is aware of general prevailing wind directions up and down as we are likely to encounter pretty strong winds at that time of year...!

Any insight would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Ali

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 45592
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby Mick F » 24 Jun 2015, 6:19pm

Forget any notions of prevailing winds.
The wind varies and you can bet your life it'll be against you on some or much of the ride no matter which way you choose.

The best advice I can give, is to think about which end is easiest to get home from. Getting to the start is one problem, but when you're tired you need a good easy plan to get you home.

Other than that, a good idea is to cycle from home to one end, turn round and cycle home.
Then, at a later date convenient to you, cycle from home to the other end, turn round and cycle home.

Doing this, you can get away from any worries about transport, plus there's an added bonus: ...................
You can go out one way, and come back another. By doing this effectively twice, you can cover more of this wonderful country of ours and have the benefit of knowing which is the best route.

Mind you, it may take you a couple of summers to do the double! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

PH
Posts: 7138
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby PH » 24 Jun 2015, 8:15pm

There's a lot of luck to it and no should, weather is just one of the factors to consider, though In March I'd probably give it more consideration than in the Summer months. March in Scotland can still feel like Winter, and it's slightly more likely that bad weather will be from the North. I'm not sure I'd want to do it at that time of year, especially if there had been a lot of planning and expense involved, if I did it would be Jog to LE.

Interesting read
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wea.301/pdf

User avatar
Spinners
Posts: 1272
Joined: 6 Dec 2008, 6:58pm
Location: Port Talbot

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby Spinners » 24 Jun 2015, 8:55pm

I've done it once (September 2003) and I was ever so glad it LEJOG as we had a tailwind for about 90% of the way. Plus it got those wicked short sharp Cornish hills out of the way when our legs were relatively fresh :wink:

Happy Days.
Cycling UK Life Member

eileithyia
Posts: 7741
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby eileithyia » 25 Jun 2015, 7:23am

While you can run into some bad weather anytime of the year, I would be more concerned with the weather in general in March:- Severe weather in exposed places and short daylight hours could affect your ride.. will your riders be experienced? Supported?
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

AliH
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Jun 2015, 2:28pm

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby AliH » 25 Jun 2015, 10:49am

Hi All,

Thanks very much for your advice, much appreciated and definitely will take on board.

Unfortunately we're restricted to doing it at that time of year due to the charity we're supporting, agree it's not ideal. We will be heavily supported with a follow car through.

Thanks again,

Regards,

Ali

wearwell
Posts: 297
Joined: 3 Feb 2011, 8:45am

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby wearwell » 25 Jun 2015, 10:57am

LEJOG is best bet regarding probable wind direction and speed. No guarantee though.
Either direction has it's charms - it'd be nice to arrive in the balmy south west after such a long one and have a pasty and a pint of cider!

Image

If you decide on the day take the sailor's advice - "ne'er forego a fair wind" i.e. go with it not against it.

Google march wind rose

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 45592
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby Mick F » 25 Jun 2015, 8:55pm

Where exactly was that wind measured?

It's normal for the wind to change direction by the hour. Yes, the wind "generally" blows in one direction or another for a period, and the wind quite often blows from the SW, but locally it varies by the hour.

Maybe when you're out in the open up in the hills, you can count on it, but we cyclists like to follow easy routes along well-established roads that follow valleys and vales, not on dual carriageways and motorways taking the direct routes over the hills and exposed terrain.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
robgul
Posts: 2838
Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 8:40pm
Contact:

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby robgul » 26 Jun 2015, 4:28pm

+1 for ignoring the wind issue, even in March - although snow is a risk - MickF's question about where you need to get to after the finish is the key.

I live in the Midlands and did JOGLE first time - lunch in Penzance, train home and in the pub in Stratford-upon-Avon at 2115 ..... LEJOG the second time and it took a day and half to get home, and was a real pain.

Wind was not a significant factor either way ... I did laugh at the "getting the Cornish hills out of the way early on" comment - you are joking, if you start at JOG you're waaay fitter for the hills when you get to Devon & Cornwall.

AND - at risk of offending the north of Scotland ... the increase in towns, villages, green fields etc as you go south to LE is rather better than the barren wastes of JOG

Rob

JohnWL
Posts: 21
Joined: 17 Jul 2014, 8:44am

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby JohnWL » 26 Jun 2015, 7:36pm

I would start at LE for the following reasons : there is a prevalent wind which is usually SW as the chart shows, the weather in March in Scotland can be very poor - ice and snow - and it should improve and most importantly if due to weather , lack of fitness or any other reason you are just not making the miles you thought you should you will find it much easier to find accomodation .

I did have a couple of hard days when I cut the mileage down by about 10 miles and it was easy in the south with so many places to stay close together.

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9225
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby horizon » 26 Jun 2015, 9:50pm

robgul wrote:+1 for ignoring the wind issue, even in March - although snow is a risk - MickF's question about where you need to get to after the finish is the key.

I live in the Midlands and did JOGLE first time - lunch in Penzance, train home and in the pub in Stratford-upon-Avon at 2115 ..... LEJOG the second time and it took a day and half to get home, and was a real pain.

Wind was not a significant factor either way ... I did laugh at the "getting the Cornish hills out of the way early on" comment - you are joking, if you start at JOG you're waaay fitter for the hills when you get to Devon & Cornwall.

AND - at risk of offending the north of Scotland ... the increase in towns, villages, green fields etc as you go south to LE is rather better than the barren wastes of JOG

Rob



+1 I've never done LEJOG or JOGLE but my work often takes me to LE and I know it well. Whatever one thinks about the tourist tackiness of LE, you can't miss the entrance portico and the sense of arrival. I'm not sure that JOG has anything quite like it*. What's more, for a charity ride you want lots of people - family, friends and supporters - turning up for the welcome. IMV you're far more likely to get them to go to Cornwall.

* It might do but I cannot find it in the on-line pictures.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

User avatar
Spinners
Posts: 1272
Joined: 6 Dec 2008, 6:58pm
Location: Port Talbot

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby Spinners » 27 Jun 2015, 7:57am

I'll take the tranquility of that well-earned pint in JOG over the tackiness of LE any day.
Cycling UK Life Member

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9225
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby horizon » 27 Jun 2015, 10:08am

Spinners wrote:I'll take the tranquility of that well-earned pint in JOG over the tackiness of LE any day.


But that's because you're not a charity pulling in the punters (as opposed to pulling the pints :wink: ).

The photo ops at LE are pretty good. They might be good at JOG but not so good if you don't have the supporters there for the big welcome. It's event management not cycling. After 1000 miles you know you're arrived at LE and so does everyone else - I'm not sure that's so much the case at JOG.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 45592
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby Mick F » 27 Jun 2015, 10:49am

horizon wrote: After 1000 miles you know you're arrived at LE and so does everyone else - I'm not sure that's so much the case at JOG.
Amusing story ...........

When I arrived at LE at the end of my Raleigh Chopper JOGLE, it was at the exact moment a coachful of German tourists arrived.

The Brit tourists all saw me and moved aside and clapped, but the hoards of Germans just ignored everything (including me) and spread out taking over the place and I had to speak in a very loud voice, "EXCUSE ME PLEASE!" on any number of occasions to allow me and Chopper+Trailer through. Some of them completely ignored me, so I had to shout LOUDER and LOUDER to get them out of the way.

I got the impression that they knew nothing about LE and the tradition of End2Ends. Plus, they had the usual Teutonic superiority very much in evidence. :wink:
Mick F. Cornwall

pwa
Posts: 9616
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Which way should you ride the route?

Postby pwa » 29 Jun 2015, 3:02pm

Having found myself warming frozen fingers under a hot water tap at a campsite at Wick in August, some years ago, I would not look forward to cycling those northern roads in March. And snow / ice could bring progress to a halt.

Last March the average daily maximum temperature in Wick was 8.3c, which would feel cooler if there was wind. Fine for hardy types, perhaps.