My 2010 LeJog Bike
Two things I've noticed about cycling from one end of the country to the other is that; a) People do it for loads of different reasons, and b) They have different perceptions on how to do it. The first point can be explained by the way people either do for charity, a race or just as a personal challenge. The second point, about how to do it, is a bit more complex. When I first started researching the LeJog (Land's End to John o' Groats), I came across some contrasting opinions on how it should be done. Some people do it with support from a loved one or friend travelling with them by car. Some do it in groups and have a support vehicle providing food, mechanical bits and pieces and even medical staff! Others prefer to do it alone, completely self-sufficient with no support. You can easily tell the difference when you see them on the road. I wanted to do the journey alone and unsupported. I've always been a loner and am comfortable with my own company so that choice was a no-brainer.

Then there's the route. This was the main consideration of the entire plan for me and it took me over two months to finalise mine. Some people want to cycle the country in the fastest, shortest time possible. Others prefer to take their time and plan a longer, more scenic route, taking in the beauty of the countryside and some iconic landmarks. The difference between the two types of routes is surprising. The shortest road routes are about 870 miles while some of the more scenic routes go well over 1000 miles. Unfortunately, I found some people critical of those who chose the shorter route, insisting that the journey should be savoured and enjoyed at a relaxed pace. I, like some others, didn't have time for the long way round and I wanted to find a route that avoided the worst of the major 'A' roads while still getting me to the finish point as soon as possible. I worked on a route using This is an amazing website with hundreds, if not thousands of routes that cyclists have submitted. Plus, you can work out your own routes. Check it out, it's free and you can upload the routes to your GPS or bike computer. In the end, I stuck to my planned route for about 80% of the journey. I had to make diversions during a flood in Scotland and when a planned route was closed due to roadworks. To see the route I planned, and my afterthoughts Click Here.

Another consideration is which way to go? South to north or north to south? This is a strange one because I didn't see another cyclist going my way up to John o' Groats but I passed at least twenty or thirty coming the other way, maybe more. The comedians will tell you that north to south is all downhill! Hmmmm... ok. The fact is that the winds in the UK generally come from the south / south-west / west, which means you have a better chance of a tailwind if you go from South to North. In my experience, this was exactly right. I had a strong tailwind for the first seven days of my journey, albeit with constant rain. But that's the British weather for you! Another thing to consider is that the worst of the hills are in the South West, so the first day or two if you start at Land's End. That's not to say that Scotland isn't hilly. The hills in Scotland tend to be much longer, sweeping climbs rather than the short sharp climbs of the South West. In reality, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other!

This blog has loads of details, stories and experiences of my LeJog. In the end, I picked through other people's experiences and made the journey my own. You really should do the same.