A Travellerspoint blog

August 2012

Day 4 - Cheddar to Mordeford

sunny 19 °C

On a beautifully cool, but sunny morning the lejoggers set off from Cheddar in the direction of Bristol. The first climb on this, the last day of major climbs before our first rest day, was a long climb up the famous Cheddar Gorge. Watched only by a few goats an some tourists we wove our way up into the Mendips, stopping for the occasional route check. The sun was topping up the tan on the right hand side of all the riders (we will have to do the journey in reverse to even it up) and we finally came to a beautiful vista overlooking the Chew Valley Lake. A long downhill section followed during which Colin tested his bike skills to the limit narrowly avoiding a yapping dog with lemming ambitions and a young horse who was spooked by a bad driver.

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After a short 'course correction' we sailed across the Chew Valley Lake and on towards Bristol. After a few more hills we made our way across Bristol in search of the ZeroG bike store, to replace our worn brake pads and to have Will's lock ring tightened on his cassette, which had been rattling all morning.

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Unfortunately a bike shop is a distraction that all the team can't resist and so we spent about half an hour and more than £100 on various bits and pieces.

When we returned to our quest we were 'blessed' with some genuine Banksy artwork near Bristol City Football Club, before then climbing up a short hill that runs up to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and on towards the old Severn Bridge.

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We took lunch at a delightful Harvester restaurant before then finding our way to the cyclists crossing of the Severn Bridge. It's a windy crossing even on a fair day, but the views are breathtaking and as we rolled across our spirits were lifted in perfect time for some tough but very picturesque climbs that welcomed us to Wales. Galloping past Chepstow Race Course, we then descended into a beautiful valley at Tintern, and stopped for photos by the ruined Tintern Abbey.

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From Tintern we then wound our way into the Wye Valley, via the Forest of Dean and some exciting downhill sections which saw us topping 40mph in places. The Wye Valley will be our host for our first rest day on day five and after an inauspicious welcome (we came across what looked like a scene from casualty, but turned out to be a major incident test for the local emergency services!) we found our way gradually to our campsite and glided to our pitch to the now familiar chant of Wiggo! Wiggo!

Posted by LePratt-LeJog 14:40 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Day 3 - South Molton to Cheddar

rain 12 °C

After burning out our brakes in the crazy descents through Devon and Cornwall straight out of the blocks on Day 3 we encountered the climbs of Exmoor. It seemed even when we had had enough and tried to by-pass at Chris's request we just found steeper and steeper hills.

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That said the views from Exmoor were spectacular and (almost) worth the climb.

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After a soggy first half of the day we freewheeled down from exmoor we found a very warm pub for lunch to gear ourselves up for the Quantock hills an area of outstanding natural beauty, it was just a shame that this happens to mean they haven't built any flat roads yet.

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With all the hills behind us for the day we set off in to the Somerset levels with the light fading and weary legs, landing in Cheddar ready for shower and bed.

Posted by LePratt-LeJog 13:49 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Day 2 - Wadebridge to South Molton

sunny 19 °C

Day 2 - feeling a lot better than I thought I would. We get underway by about 10 - still missing target of 9 - D'oh! Our route, courtesy of the nice people at the CTC (B and B route) seems programmed to take in the steepest hills around. So we detour off the fast but scary A39 to take in the North Cornwall and Devon coastal route via Tintagel and Camelot and other Arthurian haunts. They know how to make hills in this part of the world. We had to walk one or two steep bits, and actually had to walk down one. Beautiful views of the coast though. We stopped for lunch at Bude, where there was a place that did a £5.95 sunday roast next to a bike shop - paradise! Day 2 was sunny and hot - so from squelchy feet on day 1 to dehydration on day 2 - marvellous
Afternoon we turned inland into Devon where the hills seem worse than cornwall. The wind is still at our backs - thank you god, or the met office, or whoever orders these things. Totally cream crackered by the time we roll into South Molton at 7 pm. The campsite is good - much better than I remember them - usually a field with a tap in the corner when I were a lad.

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Posted by LePratt-LeJog 13:25 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Day 1 - Lands End to Wadebridge

all seasons in one day 17 °C

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Day 1 dawns wet and windy. Its blowing a gale down at Lands End, where we managed to sneak a photo without having to pay the "official" photographer. That's us, the four guys in lycra with the RNIB t shirts. Luckily the 25 mph wind is a south-westerly and right at our backs, which makes the rain tolerable. Just 2 or 3 miles out is a pig of a hill just to get us all warmed up. But that was the worst of the day. After Penzance and Marazion we turned inland, finally stopping at a place called Pen something or Tre something (this is Cornwall) for a pub lunch. They'd stopped serving food, but managed to find some leek soup and baguettes. We sat in a corner like drowned rats and ate. The rain stopped in the afternoon and we made good progress to Wadebridge with the wind at our backs. Mandy was waiting with hot tea and malt loaf and assorted treats. Just had enough energy left to eat, have a hot shower and fall asleep. We'd chosen an 'easy' 62 miles for the first day in order to acclimatise. Probably just as well!

Posted by LePratt-LeJog 12:31 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Packing up and travelling down

rain 14 °C

Our Chariot awaits, we now have our 'support vehicle'

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And squeezing 5 grown adults into her with all the kit for our trip has been like trying to squeeze and elephant in to a suitcase. That being said we have managed to close the zip, and have started our quest.

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Before we even push a pedal in progress we have to get to Lands End. So an overnight trek on Friday 370 miles via Winchester to pick up Chris and some fish and chips to arrive in a very dark, windy and wet campsite in St Buryan at 1.30am.

Time for some sleep ahead of a 8am wake up call with the start of the trail!!

Posted by LePratt-LeJog 04:42 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged driving wet start windy journey Comments (1)

3 days to Go

Well the time is nearly upon us.

Only 3 days remain till we start our journey, and the military operation to be ready is in full swing. Last week we planned in the route on the GPS, and had our first glimpse of the full task ahead. With a number of +1000ft climbs in the first 3 days we will certainly have our work cut out for us. The training preparations have all been completed with over 1800 miles on the cycling computer, and I guess as they say we are as ready as we will ever be.

The dining room currently resembles a branch of Millets with camping gear stacked high, the bikes are running nicely, and we pick up the camper van on Friday ready to travel down to Lands End ahead of our start on Saturday morning, wish us luck!

Courtesy of the BBC we have also seen the Weather forecast for the first few days. I know we Brits are obsessed with the weather, but in this case I will take the criticism. Lets just hope its not a Michael Fish 'guarantee' and proves to be accurate. Basically its going to be changeable, but in general nice cycling weather, not too hot (12 to 18 Celsius), a strong Tailwind (9 to 22 mph W/SW) with rain and sunny spells. All pretty good in my view, lets just hope they are showers and not a deluge.

We have also had the opportunity with this challenge to raise some funding for the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind). So far to date we have managed to raise nearly £2600 as a team, and I think I speak for all of us to say that the generosity of family and friends has been humbling and given us a real sense of the fantastic support around us.

from Saturday expect Blogging instalments to start with gusto. We are all looking forward to keeping you updated so stay tuned!

Posted by LePratt-LeJog 08:00 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged hills weather start preparation training Comments (1)

How it all Started

From the beginnings of an idea to the start of fundraising

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You can picture it, post Christmas over-indulgence, everyone is sat in the lounge of our family home watching the TV and playing board games. We have all travelled home for Christmas with our families to enjoy some RnR.

Then the talk turns to cycling, William has been training hard already in preparation for the road racing season with his team Dulwich Paragon, and we are all keen to get back in the saddle in the new year. We need a challenge to get us all motivated something we can all do together, London to Paris? Coast to Coast? any challenge would be huge considering our current state of fitness.

We settle on the End to End (a challenge all cyclist have on their bucket list). Since that day we have all been committed to racking up the miles buying and testing out the kit, with the date set and slowly approaching.

That is until now, we are T-23 days and the fundraising and blogging begins. The team will be My father Colin, Twin Chris, Younger brother Will & Myself, Supported the whole way by our 'crew' Mum. On an intrepid journey of over 1100 miles (85 Miles a day).

So join us on this journey from the 25th August to 9th September we will blog the whole way through updating with photos, video and route tracking. And hopefully we will all be celebrating with a Scotch Pie and a Wee Dram at the finish line.

Posted by LePratt-LeJog 06:23 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged family fundraising cycling start challenge lejog Comments (0)

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