Skip to content
August 27, 2010 / Pete

Looking Back

Bit of a delayed post, been a bit busy with work and riding a 7 seater bike.

I am back on the bike after giving my knee a bit of rest and definitely feel better for it. I have even had the chance to take some of the new Boris bikes for a spin. Although they are lots of fun to ride I wont be ditching my normal commuter bike any time soon.

Back on the commuter bike I have noticed a big difference in my cruising speed and now fly along. I even managed a sub-45 minutes for the 20km cross London, the first time in the 2.5 years we have lived in Twickenham.

I have been thinking back over the trip a bit about the best and worst bits of the experience and there were definitely plenty of both. I have definitely learned some things I would have done differently, mainly I would have added an extra day or two to give me more time to enjoy the last few days a bit more.

Best B&B

This was a tough one, lots of friendly people. My favourite probably had to be Cherry Orchard Farm B&B in Newland (just south of Monmouth). I setting was amazing and I had a fabulous greeting from the owners.

Some other B&B’s that I really enjoyed along the way are

  • The Bed and Breakfast in Altnahara – wonderfully friendly hosts. They do a great dinner for hungry cyclists
  • Chrialdon House in Beauly – Perhaps a bit pricey for solo cyclist but fantastic place and wonderful breakfast
  • Sunnybank Hotel at Lands End – Nice comfortable place really close to the end. Very friendly host.

B&B most like Faulty Towers

The place in Liskeard for some reason just reminded me of Faulty Towers. It was recommended by the CTC but the husband seemed a bit serioius and the wife was very friend and loved a good chat.

Best Breakfast

I got to sample a fair few breakfasts during the trip and by the end I actually started to get tired of the full cooked breakfast, it was however the best way to start the day to load up the calories. The best breakfast had to be from The Bed & Breakfast in Altnahara who used all local produce and even included home-made venison sausages, yum!
A close second was Chrialdon House in Beauly, but the venison sausages won the top spot.

Worst Day

There were lots of ups and downs during my trip, but my worst day had to be day 5. Funnily it was the one day it didn’t rain but other events added up which made it a not very enjoyable day. The body had hit the hump day where it realised it wasn’t getting its usual weekend break and the energy levels are a bit low. Then when missed an earlier ferry by a few minute and then got stung by a wasp meant that I ended the days riding in not the best of moods.

Best Day

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip as a whole but as for the most enjoyable day had to be the second day, my body was still fresh the nerves had passed and the highlands were amazingly beautiful and so isolated.

Best Scenery

I had thought the best scenery was going to be the Scotish Highlands or the Lake District but I was actually more blown away with the scenery over Dartmoor, most probably because it was unexpected. The riding was tough going but the barren landscape together with the lush surrounding areas was just amazing!

Most surprising statistic

It’s not the KG’s I lost but the fact I didn’t get any punctures! I had expected a couple but must have just been quite lucky. I definitely recommend new tyres before the ride. I used Vittoria Rubino Pro which I have used in the past to combat the rough New Zealand roads. They seem to be hard to find in the UK and only spotted them while I was in Italy on holiday.

There are many ways to do the End to End ride so everybody will always experience different things along the way. I think this is what makes the ride so special and since the ride I never get tired of reading other peoples stories about their journeys, there is always something new.

I would definitely recommend the trip to anybody what ever the biking abilities, it’s just a matter of how much time you allow for yourself to do it. I don’t think you even need that much training, the body will quickly get used to the hours on the bike during the trip. Personally I wish I had taken an extra day or two to be able to take my time a bit more especially over the last few days. Maybe a guide of 60 miles a day which have been nicer than the 80 miles a day I had planned for.

If you are reading this and planning your own End to End there are many great resources to help in the planning.

  • Twitter: very useful resource to find other people planning their own trips, search for #lejog or #jogle
  • The LEJOG website run by Al Pewsey http://www.pewseys.co.uk/, has lots of great links and maps
  • Google: Search for terms like ‘LEJOG’, ‘JOGLE’ and ‘End to End’, there lots of great blogs out from others who have done their own End to End rides.

Safe cycling and always remember to look around enjoy the scenery.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: