4 May, 2017 at 1:49 pm #4327
Lejog May 2017 KE71
I thought it might be helpful to add the following to the forum.
First of all greetings to all my fellow riders and the leaders on Lejog 2016 (Cathy, David, Steve, Robert, Kev, Tim, and the leaders Andy and Phil).
On the Lejog May 2016 tour we all had a fantastic time and it has spurred each of us on to ride even more, and look for the next level. Long-term friendships were made and it was a new adventure each and every day.
If you would like a daily insight Andy (Andrew Greenway) produced a blog with photos each night, which you can see under ‘customer experiences’.
If you are coming on the KE71 May 2017 tour starting a week on Friday (12th May) this is a chance to say hello.
You may be wondering what to expect so here’s a glimpse – recalled from my last year’s experiences.
The daily stages are both beautiful and varied. Challenging days are mixed with easier days to help settle you in and to help you discover a personal momentum. It’s a journey featuring self discovery and growing confidence shared with like minded fellow cyclists and adventurers, who are an easy going bunch. Everybody finished our tour and all cycled the entire distance, showing both their good nature and inner willpower. Initial nerves and doubts faded away within the first few days.
However it does help to know :
The North Cornish Coast and Devon are initially a bit of a culture shock in the first 2 days (lots of ups and downs – but all manageable at a suitable pace).
Your daily riding fitness and endurance will improve simply by being on the bike.
Do make sure you keep yourself properly fuelled and hydrated on the bike.
Have a decent breakfast and lunch each day, this will give you the fuel to ride. Eat small amounts frequently, roughly every 30 minutes, to keep your body fuel topped up (eg: handful of dates or couple of fig roll biscuits / 3 or 4 jelly babies, half a banana). Remember to keep eating as it ensures you replenish fuel for the subsequent days as well. You will burn it off over the 1050 miles or so you cover in the 15 days. Don’t worry.
Remember to drink plenty of fluids such as water (with electrolyte tablets), squash, or another palatable drink you like. Take 2 drink bottles, which you will have to refill several times during the day. You need to keep sipping fluids to minimise the risk of cramp and to help your muscles work properly.
Have a refuelling evening meal, good company to chat over the day’s cycling, and experience an overpowering magnetic attraction to your bed for the night.
Pack your tour kit for a wide range of weather possibilities. May is a changeable month particularly over a two week period moving through the UK.
It may be warm so cycling shorts and SS jersey (wishful thinking ?) through to a base layer plus long sleeve cycling jersey / tights for temperatures down to 5 C degrees or less (chilly morning starts). A waterproof jacket is essential to keep out wet and wind. If you happen to have cycling arm or leg warmers / gillet / overshoes take them. Take gloves suitable for cycling, riding glasses and your helmet. Personally I never ride without a cap –it keeps off both the sun and the rain.
Take a tube of travel wash and chamois crème (recc. 2 tubs) – make sure you don’t mix them up (unpleasant possibility!).
Leave a set of small lights on your bike just in case its bad weather. Make sure anything you need on the bike is carried in your pockets or on the bike.
My personal favourite is the ‘Big pocket’ – shove it up the back of your riding jersey, (it’s where I usually store my rain / wind jacket).
Other things to remember :
Some days you will have plenty of ‘go’ others you may feel a little subdued for a few hours. That’s the ebb and flow of riding multiple days, its normal so don’t be surprised by it.
You will get wet (absolutely 100% guaranteed – either rain or perspiration).
Everyone looks out for eachother.
Using bike computer GPX route files in combination together with the Bike Adventures daily route card works best. Your computer will tell you if you stray off the route almost immediately. Checking the BA route card will show what you missed. This can save lots of extra miles (learnt from experience that one!). Make sure you carry contact numbers of the leaders (in the unlikely event you get lost) – and each other (discovered a great place for a café stop) so you can make that call.
Look after your bike and it will get you from End to End. Do clean the drivetrain and lightly oil it. It will make the riding easier. Do a simple basic check of your bike at the start of each day. Make sure the brakes work, nothing is loose, the gears work and that the tyres are fully pumped up everyday. It will help to ensure a smooth day’s riding.
Scotland is a big country and the tour visits the East, West and North coasts. It takes 6 cycling days to cross Scotland, there’s rather a lot of it north of Glasgow (all beautiful).
Its one of the most fun and satisfying achievements you could ever undertake.
Andy is heading the tour again this year and I will be joining him as a co-leader. Looking forward to sharing the tour with you all.
Hope this helps for those of you that were wondering
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