To cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End in two weeks on what’s been described as ‘THE SUICIDE ROUTE’ . This will take in 916 miles of the finest British countryside and the outskirts of Birmingham!!
Six months of extreme training with a view to actually being able to enjoy the trip ( yes Daz, you may have to get out of the bar!! )
To enjoy the ride and raise a whole load of cash for a worthwhile cause, in this case Cancer Research UK. This will mainly be from the ride itself, but other fundraising events such as raffles etc are in the pipeline with a view to maximising the amount that we can make!
John O’Groats to
Balintore (94 miles)
From John O Groats following the A99 through
Wick, Brora, Golspie, Dornoch & Tain. Eventually leaving the A99 onto
"B" roads, which leads us into Balintore. A route that pretty
much follows the coast. A maximum elevation of 160 meters. Pretty easy
going according to Mr Ordinance Survey!
to Fort William (92 miles)
An early start will see us cycle about 2
miles before we catch the Nigg Ferry to Cromarthy. Following the A832 soon
brings us to the Kessock Bridge, which takes us into Inverness. Leaving
Inverness on the A82 follows the long journey along side Loch Ness (last
one to spot the monster buy the first pint!!!) and onto Loch Oich and Loch
Lochy. The foot of Loch Lochy sees our second stop, View Field House, Fort
William. Maximum elevation 130 meters towards the end of the day. Steep
but scenic early on. Should be relatively easy later on due to following
water levels at the Lochs.
Fort William to Crianlarich
Day three is short on miles, hard on hills! Leaving Fort
William, and the shadow of Ben Nevis, follows the easy-going A82
eventually arriving aside Loch Leven. The fun starts when entering Glen
Coe, A steady climb from 30 meters to 350 meters. We pass along side
"Am Monada Dubh" (Black Mountain) and Loch Tulla before reaching
our third resting place, Crianlarich. Maximum elevation 350 meters! Long
ascent from Glen Coe.
Ochiltree (86 miles)
Leaving Crianlarich sees the reward for the
uphill efforts! A sharp downhill of 200 meters to sea level in about two
miles! (Nice!) The journey then follows an easy gradient next to Loch
Lomond before entering the hustle of Clydebank and Paisley. If we manage
to hold on to our bikes through Paisley, we follow the A77 and A719 to
Ochiltree. A day of steady ups and downs - maximum elevation of 230
meters. Most difficulty negotiating the busy city areas of Dumbarton,
Clydebank & Paisley. Also poor road surface along Loch Lomand.
to Penrith (99 miles)
The end of a bloody long day sees us back in
blighty! The A76 lead us into Dumfries, the A75 takes us past Annan and
Gretna (where Gooner and Cuz get married!). The A74 takes us through
Carlisle where we pick up the A6 to Penrith. A bloody long day (the
longest so far!). A maximum elevation of 220, steady ups and downs
throughout the day. Mentally challenging due to the length of the leg and
the cities we pass through.
As a result of the previous days exertions we will be taking a well earned day off to re-charge the batteries. Two of the party of four have stayed here before when completing the Coast to Coast challenge during 2003 and it is a pleasant little town.
Suggest waking up late, (about pub opening time!); leave B&B to
nearest boozer! Stay there, lovely jubbly!
Penrith to Wigan (86 miles)
A6 takes us out of Penrith towards Wigan. Heading towards Kendal, skirting
with the Lake District National Park. Through Kendal, parallel to the M6
to Lancaster. We stay on the A6 past Garststang, Broughton and through
Preston. From Preston we pass Chorley, Standish and eventually our seventh
stop, Wigan. Steady day with a maximum elevation of 250 meters early on in
the day, followed by a long decent into Kendal.
Telford (69 miles)
Leaving the A49 out of Wigan soon brings us into
Warrington. We cross the Manchester Ship Canal and on through Northwich.
Remaining on the A49 takes us through Whitchurch and eventually Telford.
Maximum elevation of 150 meters entering the village of Hodnet.
to Chepstow (90 miles)
We leave Telford on the A4169 and B4378,
through Ludlow. Onto the A49 through Leominster, Hereford into Monmouth.
From there we pick up the A466 and follow the River Wye along to the River
Severn where we make our ninth stop in Beachley, Chepstow. Maximum
elevation 225 meters soon after leaving Telford.
Chepstow to Tiverton (87 miles)
interesting start to the day by crossing the Severn via the cycle path
along side the M48. Passing Filton Airfield, birthplace of Concorde (sad
spotter!) and crossing the Avon via Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Clifton
Suspension Bridge. The A38 takes us out of Bristol and into the heart of
the west country, Bridgewaeter, Taunton and Wellington. Hilly
"B" roads lead us to Bickleigh, just south of Tiverton. Maximum
elevation 190 meters through Potters Hill, south west of Bristol.
Bugle (73 miles)
More "B" roads take us toward the
Dartmoor Forest and the busy A30 through Bodmin Moor. A small diversion
from the A30 brings us into the village of Bugle, just south of Bodmin.
Maximum elevation290 meters passing through Bodmin Moor.
to Penzance (43 miles)
The last real day of cycling keeps us on the
busy A30 for the majority of the day, passing through Red Ruth, Cambourne
and Hayle. We should reach Penzance by about lunchtime or about pub
opening time! Ideal to meet up with the 25 family and friends who have
made the special journey to meet us and enjoy a long weekend. Maximum
elevation180 meters, first thing, soon after joining the A30
to Lands End (10 miles)
No matter how severe the hangover, an early
start to complete the journey, once again on the A30. A couple of hills
but the promise of more beer and bubbly at the end should soon see us over
them! With a little organisation a couple of bike racks should meet us at
our final destination so we will never have to set foot on a bike ever
again! Maximum elevation - who cares?
Well that’s it!
By this time I hope that we will have raised sack loads of money for Cancer Research UK and will have seen parts of the country that I’m sure we would not if we completed it by other means, and I dare say the ride will have done our immediate health no damage!! Long term we are knackered!!!!