Jul 20, 2011

7 days to John O’Groats, done

As you may have read in Dan’s post we made our goal of riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 7 days. We arrived at a completely desolate JOG car park at around 10:15PM after a 12 hour day, 7 hours of which were in the most miserable icy cold driving rain.

There were points later in the day where I really thought we would have to throw in the towel and finish on the Sunday but thanks to sheer bloody mindedness and a quiet day on the roads we soldiered. The visibility was so low that I lost sight of Dan if was more than 20 meters ahead, and as his lights weren’t working it was lucky the cars were few and far between.

The day had started fairly well, if a little labored on my part, but as usual Dan was a constant figure in front to keep me going. I thought the final day was going to be all smiles and joy as we got ever closer to the goal but to be honest it only seemed to get further away as the weather closed in and the climbs on the A9/A99 kept on coming. A couple of the ascents were amongst the biggest tackled during the 7 days followed swiftly by some very fast descents in the wettest conditions yet that were more than a little hairy at 35+ mph.

But it’s done! Even 3 days after the finish it still hasn’t sunk in and there was a strange emptiness. At the end of almost 900 miles of cycling, the fact that we had such a tough last day meant the focus was really on getting back to our B&B to get warmed up and get some sleep. We were truly knackered.

But looking back now it has been an amazing experience, people have been behind us all the way and we have already flown past the target for our chosen charity. The fact the last day was so arduous has made it all the more memorable and even more of an achievement to be proud of.

Links and information

  • Just Giving charity page We have set up a page to raise money for The Alzheimer’s Society, please donate if you can
  • Map of our route We initially used Google maps to plan the route, here it is in it’s entirety.
  • Mule bars for energy These yummy natural bars will be keeping us going all the way up to John O’Groats
  • Strada Wheels These guys hand built a new set of hoops for Martin to ride for the trip

Our photos

The first puncture, CornwallOne down...to goCelebratory breakfastBristol docksRiver WyeThe evening ritualRehydratingAn ice bath substitute in Loch LomondCalories'In or oot'Tartan rug hiding stuff, on the drive homeCooling off in Loch LomondYachts off InvernessThe morning afterFeet upFlaked out in GloucestershireFeet up 2Beer, protein shakes and Mule BarsPuncture!Silhouette on the Erskine Bridge