This Blog started as my preparation for and ride from Land's End to John O'Groats via the four extremities of the British Mainland. It carries on as a cycling blog in advance of the next challenge (wife permitting - the challenge not the blog)
I have prepared an index to the ride at http://gregcycle.blogspot.com/2010/12/index-to-lejog.html
Also available Greg's Walking Blog at http://gregwalk.blogspot.com/
Miles cycled this year: 3500.6 @ 2 August In 210 Hours burning 124459 Kcal climbing 147480 ft
Most miles in a week (so far) : 187
Weight: Being supplemented by chocolate biscuits.
Sometime ago I aimlessly searched the LEJOG tweets on twitter, a part of the withdrawal effects after my ride. One caught my eye, @chalkface2009 said that something like he would be trying to ride LEJOG. I picked up on this, I replied: It was not try, it was will, Believe! Hence started an occasional exchange of encouragement and advice on his planned LEJOG which culminated in me leaving home at 7.50 on a Tuesday heading south west towards his overnight stop at Halse.
I arrived, much to my surprise, at the time I had said, just gone 9 in the pub car park. We said our hellos and I was introduced to the other four cyclists and the support. Now, I am not too good with names and the like. In a group I know I try to learn one name each time I meet with them, so eight people at a time is over load. So I apologise to Dave and Steve that I can’t remember the others names, but it was clear that somehow or other they were all related, in terms of fathers, sons, sisters, and wives or indeed a variation of these (or not as the case may be).
I was expecting a climb back over the Quantocks, but they had changed the plan. I really can’t say I would blame them, riding two days in Cornwall and Devon really is enough hills and half a day without hills if it can be avoided it is an inviting idea. So we set off into Taunton, with a plan to ride along the canal. This is quite heavy going in places, and the group agreed to let me reroute off the canal and onto side roads to Bridgwater.
We were then back on route and made progress across the Polden Ridge with me acting self appointed tour guide. On the right we have Glastonbury Tor, to the left is the Wells TV transmitter and further left the mighty big scar on the Mendips, no that is not the Gorge, but a quarry just to the north of the Gorge. The poor quality blue lias and the early 17th Century tsunami were mentioned and we climbed up and over into Wedmore.
The support team, were waiting for us at Wedmore and we stopped and had a very well organised and plentiful pick nic in the field by the car park. A change of tyre was needed as one had perished and we were then back onto the road.
Cheddar Gorge was the next event, and I was asked when they would know when they meet the top. That is difficult as it really just becomes less and less steep, my top is where the road forks. As we left the tourist area the group broke up as we all chose our rhythm up the climb. There are harder climbs, but few as spectacular as you wind up through the cliffs that rise up from the road. Ultimately either the cars and/or the effort to climb the 17% sections distract from taking in the views. Oh, and the support group cheerily offering encouragement as they drove past us on the way up.
We arrived at the top in groups, one of the younger men (name? I know, I am sorry) sat on my wheel on the way up. No I wasn’t full on, but he had more miles in his legs, further to go, and his bike was getting on for twice the weight as mine. Part way up he exclaimed that he was really enjoying him self I think they words were “I could really get into this” Good. He had a few more days of it yet! I went back looking for Dave and my climbing companion went back for his dad. We regrouped and agreed it was a great climb. This was added to as the support came back down the right fork as they had gone the wrong way. Much congratulations on the climb and we then all carried on taking the left fork. I stayed with them until the north slope of the down hill, thanked them all for such a nice day, and then turned to meet my wife from work. I must admit I was just a tiny bit envious of what they had done and what was to come. I believed they would make it all the way.
They welcomed me, a man they had never even spoken to before, and we had shared the cycling camaraderie which I have become so used to, and must be passed on. They trusted me to alter their route and feed me into the bargain. Thank you all.
As I write this they will now be home having finished their trip on Sunday. Reading the blog