Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
mnichols
Posts: 1426
Joined: 22 Apr 2013, 4:29pm

Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby mnichols » 31 Aug 2019, 10:13pm

Last week I finished my Lap of Britain, I didn't do it in one go, or even in one year, instead it has taken me a few tours: Lands End to John O'Groats (3 times), a Lap of Wales, a Lap of Scotland, the East Coast from Edinburgh to the Thames, and the South Coast from the Thames back to home. If you count all three LEJoGs it's about 6,000 miles, otherwise it's 4,000. I mostly followed the coast, but came inland a few times to see some sights and avoid busy town and cities - I did the Brecons instead of Cardiff, The Pennines instead of Newcastle, The Yorkshire Moors instead of Hull and The North Downs instead of Dover.

I don't regret coming inland, in fact the opposite, I found the coastal roads too busy particularly on the east coast after Lincolnshire, dangerously so, and rerouted away from the coast road in my final few days after getting knocked off by a car wing mirror and several near misses. By contrast, coming inland a few miles and away from the tourist roads I found the moors and hills are beautiful and quiet.

I also found it easier mentally to go up and down the hills than take the flatter routes. The hills punctuate the day, whereas i found the long flat days psychologically tougher. I think my lowest ebb was cycling across the pan flat Lincolnshire Fens into a 30mph headwind when i was expecting an easy recovery day.

I haven't calculated my average daily mileage, but longest days were on a 5 day LeJoG at around 200 mpd. My shortest was a week in The Hebrides. The lap of Scotland was 150mpd, and the rest were about 100mpd, some a bit more, others a bit less.

My favourite parts were the North West Coast of Scotland, Mid Wales (the ride back from the lap), The Pennines and North Yorkshire Moors.

If I did it again I would take more photos of the people that I met along the way, especially the hosts at the B&Bs. In fact I wish i had a photo of them all outside their homes.

My biggest lesson was eat too much, drink too much, laugh too much and the only photos you regret are the ones that you didn't take.

I'm sad that it's done. i'm someone that looks forward rather than back and this is now in my past. The only cure i have found for this feeling is to look for another horizon.

Onwards....
Last edited by mnichols on 31 Aug 2019, 10:18pm, edited 1 time in total.

landsurfer
Posts: 4995
Joined: 27 Oct 2012, 9:13pm
Location: Rotherham

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby landsurfer » 31 Aug 2019, 10:17pm

mnichols wrote:Onwards..

Per arda ad astra ......
It's just like that, it's just the way it is.
The road goes on forever.

mnichols
Posts: 1426
Joined: 22 Apr 2013, 4:29pm

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby mnichols » 31 Aug 2019, 10:26pm

landsurfer wrote:
mnichols wrote:Onwards..

Per arda ad astra ......
,

Quite. I just finished reading a book about endurance, and it had one of the simplest definition that I've read. It said Endurance is keeping going when you want to stop (paraphrased).

Sometimes this was about advesity, overcoming and endurance, but more often it was simply about travelling. Me on a bike seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing. Being in the moment.

Jamesh
Posts: 681
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby Jamesh » 31 Aug 2019, 11:19pm

Well done!

Did you do it in one go? Over one year or several years?

What bike did you use?

pannier or bike backing?

Cheers James

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 1923
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby Tigerbiten » 1 Sep 2019, 12:11am

Congrats ...... :D

Funny how your favorite bits match my favorite bits.

I know exactly how soul destroying a strong headwind on pancake flat terrain can be. Mine was allday at ~7.5 mph flat out into a 25 mph headwind coming down the north sea coast in the Netherlands.

Now you have to do the other way around so you can see all the views you missed because they were behind you ..... :lol:

Luck ........ :D

User avatar
Spinners
Posts: 1569
Joined: 6 Dec 2008, 6:58pm
Location: Port Talbot

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby Spinners » 1 Sep 2019, 7:41am

Congratulations! I think that's a great way to do it - bite sized chunks and personalised.
Cycling UK Life Member
PBP Ancien (2007)

pwa
Posts: 10453
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby pwa » 1 Sep 2019, 8:04am

You've certainly done your bit for the UK B&B trade.

When you are rested, and get the inclination, it would be interesting to have a list of the sections of road / track that you enjoyed most, so that we can put them on our own lists of places to go.

PH
Posts: 7584
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby PH » 1 Sep 2019, 10:41am

Excellent stuff and I too would be interested in what you consider the highlights. Though those from my touring have been the unexpected ones, that may not necessarily delight others as they have me, or even me on a different day.
Did you initially set out to do this? Or was there a point where you found yourself having done some and decided to fill in the gaps?

mnichols
Posts: 1426
Joined: 22 Apr 2013, 4:29pm

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby mnichols » 1 Sep 2019, 9:53pm

PH wrote:Excellent stuff and I too would be interested in what you consider the highlights. Though those from my touring have been the unexpected ones, that may not necessarily delight others as they have me, or even me on a different day.
Did you initially set out to do this? Or was there a point where you found yourself having done some and decided to fill in the gaps?



I will write out the highlights, but just have my phone at the moment. So, I'll write them up when I'm on my Pc.

I didn't set out to do it. I saw a post about Lap of Britain and thought I'd like to do that and then realised I'd already done from Poole clockwise around to Edinburgh so only needed to do Edinburgh to Poole.

My Lap of Wales was training for a Canada to Mexico ride, and my Lap of Scotland was training for my 5 day Lejog. The Hebrides were just a bit of fun after seeing a clip about Mark Beaumont doing the same. Also did lap of Devon as a kit test for End to End of Italy (I think)

I had also planned a Lap of Ireland but my Dad was taken ill shortly before I was due to fly out so thats still to do.

mnichols
Posts: 1426
Joined: 22 Apr 2013, 4:29pm

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby mnichols » 1 Sep 2019, 9:59pm

Jamesh wrote:Well done!

Did you do it in one go? Over one year or several years?

What bike did you use?

pannier or bike backing?

Cheers James


It was done in chunks, lap of Wales, lap of Scotland, Lejog up the west coast, Edinburgh to Thames, Thames to Home

Most of it was done on my Enigma Etape. It was all light weight credit card touring staying in B&Bs or cheap hotels and some apartments. I sometimes use a carradice saddlebag and sometimes too small panniers depending on the weather. If its warm and dry then saddle bag, if I'm expecting a lot of rain or cold then panniers

ChrisBL
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Sep 2019, 9:14am

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby ChrisBL » 20 Sep 2019, 12:41pm

If you are looking for a new target, might I suggest the British Cycle Quest.

mnichols
Posts: 1426
Joined: 22 Apr 2013, 4:29pm

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby mnichols » 20 Sep 2019, 8:23pm

ChrisBL wrote:If you are looking for a new target, might I suggest the British Cycle Quest.



Had a look and my first thought was 'why would i want to do that?', then I noticed there were two points on tomorrow's route, then I looked at the questions, now I have to answer the question.......I guess that's called getting sucked in

ChrisBL
Posts: 4
Joined: 20 Sep 2019, 9:14am

Re: Lap of Britain(ish) finished

Postby ChrisBL » 21 Sep 2019, 11:30am

mnichols wrote:'why would i want to do that?'


We started cycling as a way to go and visit more of Britain. Then we found the Quest, and use it to invent tours by joining up the dots. It encourages us to go to new places, and we haven't regretted cycling in any of them. Not even London. And the smooth tarmac and lack of traffic on the little roads in the middle of Wales was a big surprise. :D

We are starting to wonder what to do when we finish the list. Perhaps we will have to buy a different bike and go round again ;-)