Around the world... the hard way...

Winter LEJOG

UK route

While we had been doing regular long distance cycle rides in and around Sao Paulo, in the heat of the Brazilian summer, prior to our LEJOG ride we had not done any constant long distance tours. We chose to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and to ride it in winter, precisely because it was a good distance – just around 1,500km – and also because the winter difficulties were exactly what we needed to prepare us more for cycling in the harder conditions along certain phases of our planned route. In the 360 journey we will face wind, snow, rain, and cold, and worse, so the worse we could make this tour, the better!

We got exactly what we wished for and more, though our experiences over the 20 days or so we spent cycling the length of Britain were unforgettable and we would do it again in the blink of an eye!


Blog posts from the winter LEJOG

Photo-journal of our 2013 Winter LEJOG

Right, we are still waiting for the hard drive and the CF card to come back along with the recovered data. The good news from the technical guys looking into it is that they will be able to recover the data. Great news, really, as imagining losing all of those photographs and videos is really not a […]

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We did it! The winter LEJOG… complete!

We did it!!! Completed the Land’s End – John O’Groats route, through the British winter! Tiring, but at the end of it all… great fun and I guess we are pretty pleased with ourselves! First of all, however, apologies for the time it has taken to post this, and for the lack of photos: when […]

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Penultimate day, riding up to the village of Keiss, just north of Wick

So near! At the beginning of the day, we had just slightly more than 100km to ride to reach John O’Groats. We decided, however, that we would just ride to a place called Keiss, about seven miles away from our ending destination, so we would not be in any hurry to get to John O’Groats […]

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Less than 200km to go: Day 15, Inverness to Brora

Total distance covered (start of day): 1,356km Distance travelled over the day: 93.38km Total distance remaining at end of day: 104.55km It was good being back in Inverness. The reason for this was that the town was always a place where my family and I would stop off when going from the Orkney Islands to […]

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Final day in the Cairngorms and up to Inverness – Day 14 on the road

Total distance covered (start of day): 1,282km Distance travelled over the day: 74.46km Total distance remaining at end of day: 197.93km In Newtonmore, we stayed at Clune House (http://www.clune-house.co.uk/) – a family run B&B which was excellent. Unfortunately, not really any members of Warmshowers or Couchsurfing in the area to stay with, but this was […]

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Up into the Scottish Highlands and the challenge of the Cairngorms – Day 13

From Blairgowrie into the Cairngorm mountains in what may have been the toughest full day of cycling. This was the day which I was probably most worried about, with 100km or so of cycling planned, of which most would be going up hill. Not just up hill, but up hill in to the Scottish highlands […]

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Onwards and northwards, Day 12 to Blairgowrie

It was slightly hard mustering the will to leave Edinburgh and continue the ride – I have to admit that the day of rest had been very welcome. Though we had to continue, onwards, northwards, on the final phase of the journey towards John O’Groats. We believed that this would probably be the hardest phase […]

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Wandering around Edinburgh

It had been a while since in Edinburgh, and as neither Natalia nor Paulo had been in Scotland before, we had a day off scheduled in the city. We stayed with Melanie, an English teacher, and Charlie, her husband who is an actor. As with many other hosts, we met them through Warm Showers. Both […]

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Day 11 – From Galashiels to Edinburgh – two thirds of the way through

At Galashiels we stayed with Strachan and his girlfriend Alex. As with our previous hosts we had met through Warm Showers and Couch Surfing, they were fantastic people – incredibly generous and helpful, and had some great stories to tell. They built their own bikes and are planning a world bike tour, which I really […]

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Day 10 and the journey through the snow: from Carlisle into Scotland

Carlisle was the city where I spent three years of my high school life at a boarding school called Austin Friars, up until I finished my GCSEs. It was good to be back in the town as I had never been there since I left the school. Those were… interesting years; the school was good, […]

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Onwards, northwards, and up to Carlisle… 9th day of actual riding…

It was with a heavy heart that I left Lancaster. We took the A6 directly north: as I said, the original plan was to take longer and go through the Lake District up through Windermere and have an evening there, but with Paulo’s knee being bad and having to give extra time to see if […]

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First opportunity to rest, in Lancaster

With eight days of non-stop riding from the south-western-most point of the country for over 750km, we had reached the half-way point of the entire journey, we finally arrived in Lancaster and the house of my brother, Franklyn, and his family. It must have been around four years or so since I was last in the […]

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Day 8: Manchester to Lancaster

After saying goodbye to Matt and Becki, we soon had another opportunity to say goodbye to them as Natalia gained a puncture before we left the drive way. First puncture of the tour, though it didn’t take too long to change, and off we went. The thought of riding through the metropolitan Manchester area wasn’t […]

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Over Shap

  Going along the A6 over Shap, between Lancaster and Carlisle, is tough on normal days, though when the wind is as strong as it was yesterday, it certainly makes it a bit hard. We didn’t stay too long at the top to enjoy the views, especially with clouds closing in and hail storms forecast…

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Matt and Becki

I know am a little behind on my posts – there is so much to write about, I imagine I will take a bit of time before I get up to date – but… before I talk about the journey from Manchester to Lancaster, I would like to write a post about a couple of […]

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Onwards to Manchester

Before I write more, sorry it has been a couple of days since anything was posted: quite tired so I fell behind a little; am catching up now though! So yes, onwards to Manchester… Well not quite Manchester – a place called Heald Green – but it was close (and long) enough for a day’s journey, […]

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83km in strong head-winds: Day 6 to Shrewsbury

Day 6 was relatively short, distance-wise. Though what it lacked in kilometers, it certainly made up for in terms of hills and winds. There were a few big climbs though the worst part of the ride was the headwinds which slowed us down to around 6 or 7kph along flats and we even needed to […]

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Day 5 Report – 120km from Timsbury to Worcester

Day five, distance-wise, was a bit of a marathon. A long way to haul ourselves and our gear. As with most of our previous nights, our stay from day 4 was with people we had met through couchsurfers was wonderful, this time with Alison and Jon who live in the small village of Timsbury, which […]

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Day four and on to Timsbury, near Bath

I will try not to write much today though knowing me, I will probably ramble a bit! We have completed another 65km, which brings us to around 300km in total – only another 1,200km to complete! Am feeling quite exhausted as I write. even though today was relatively short – there were some long nasty […]

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Cool Earth

Before I write anything else, I just would like to mention once again that whilst this winter LEJOG ride is partly for training, we are also raising funds for Cool Earth – a fantastic charity that works with local communities to help protect rainforests. As a team, the environmental changes that are happening have always […]

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Day 3, 53km and a slightly more relaxing day to Taunton

Only 53km today, from Exeter to Taunton. We figured that with our heavy bags, it would be better for us to not consistently do 90-110km journeys (at least not in the first week or so), especially considering that the main complaint of end-to-enders is that of fatigue after the first three or four days as […]

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LEJOG Day 2 – 111km to Exeter…

In spite of being a good 16km longer than the ride to Bodmin, today was sooooo much nicer and better in general! First of all, the weather. For the better part of the day the weather was perfect: cool, fresh and sunny with very little wind. Even when the weather did close in on us […]

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First full day of cycling: Land’s End to (nr.) Bodmin

What can I say..? Wow!! “Wow” simply because the conditions were so tough. We wanted a challenge in doing the Land’s End – John O’Groats journey in winter, but this was… yes, it was a challenge and a half! 95km or so… (including a stop for lunch in Red Ruth) in what felt like winds […]

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A day at Land’s End

It turned out that Paulo arrived this morning at 3am, and with his bike still in a box and with our bikes still needing maintenance, we decided that it would be best dedicating the day to maintenance and also riding around Land’s End – taking advantage of good weather to film and take some pictures. Fortunately […]

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A bit of an improvement in fortunes…

But still a bit more needed: The good news is that Paulo’s bike arrived along with all his gear. We were starting to think the worst in that without any receipts for it all, it could easily have gone for walkies with someone looking for a new means of transportation, but fortunately it all came […]

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Could think of better starts!

I have finally joined up with Paulo and Natalia in London and it is great to be back here and able to catch up with family for the first time in a year. We had a nice meal in the centre with my mother, three other siblings plus spouses and friends. So it was good. […]

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Final preparations…

Passport… tick… wallet… tick… warm clothes… yup, they’re there… bike……. Dismantled and ready to go. Finally took the pedals and wheels off the bike to put into the bike bag the other day. It was hard – not because of the physical effort (though taking those pedals off did take a bit of effort even […]

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The UK tour… and the weather…

So with this trip to the UK… hopefully the weather will let up: it was simply awful in the UK prior to Christmas with flooding in so many places and lots of damage done everywhere which is always terrible to see. It seemed  to have calmed down a bit, but now it looks like there […]

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Two weeks to go – LEJOG!

The next of our main training projects is coming up fast – Land’s End to John O’Groats, in the UK winter… sounds like fun..?! The route is being finalized – we are speaking to a lot of great people through warmshowers and couch surfing and it is really nice getting positive responses from them and […]

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British winter and Orkney roots…

It has been a long couple of weeks; busy at the office; busy training, more cycle rides (though a bit of a cold now…) a lot of the same things have been happening.  So, am sorry that haven’t written much. More planning is going into the UK bike tour, and it will be a busy […]

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Cycle tour of Britain

We have decided what to do for our northern hemisphere winter training in January – February! It was a choice between whether to do the Polar training at Baffin Island or a cycle tour. We have chosen the latter, and will do the Polar training in early 2014, and we will be cycling from Land’s […]

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