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Monday, 26 July 2010

LeJoG - The Aftermath

As we were leaving the hostel, about two dozen keen young things both male and female were decamping for John O'Groats, and a 12 day ride to Lands End. I hadn't the heart to tell them that the tailwind we had would be a headwind for them, though I guess that by the end of the first three days, they would have known.

Gale force winds blew from the South and South West, and torrential rain hit Scotland over the next few days. My parents-in-law did a week long trip round the North Coast, and were treated to just 3 hours of sunshine.

Despite the meticulous planning, and this event needs such an up-front commitment, the best laid plans are still subject to the vagaries of the British weather, particularly in the more northerly climes. We got lucky. Without such luck, I cannot say whether we would have finished, though I suspect we would have made it, but in far worse condition.

Even 4 weeks after the event, two of the five points of the Human-Bicycle-Interface have not recovered, my hands are still numb. As the main point of contact becomes worse, increasing pressure is put on the hands and feet to be able to continue, leaving those suffering too by the end.

Would I do it again? Yes, but not in the sub-5 day timetable, I would want to repeat over 14 days, to take the time to enjoy and photograph the diversity of the British Countryside, and to visit some of the fascinating places and people en-route, to converse with fellow riders, to take the time to enjoy the feed stops, and to relax each evening in the knowledge of a ride well ridden.

Sub 5 is a test. A test I am glad to say I rose to. In the end, the legs were great, they gave me no trouble and got stronger each day (perhaps excluding Day 3). The biggest problem on such a ride is keeping going when your body has had enough, particularly late at night. I read in a marathon/triathlon publication "Being Fit is Easy. It's being Hard that's hard". Never a truer word was spoken. Most failures on something like LeJoG will happen in people's minds long before their bodies let them down. We were much too stubborn for that.

So have I had enough of cycling yet? Hell no, we're off to the French Alps tomorrow for a 'family holiday' and given that our bikes are part of the family, they're coming too. There's the little matter of the Alpe D'Huez Time Trial on Thursday. Watch out for that Twitter feed!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I'm just catching up on all the blogs and it has been fascinating reading your account of LEJOG. Hope the holiday and Alpe challenge goes well.