Autumn is here. Beautiful mild weather this weekend and the Cork and Limerick country side looked beautiful.
Main goal for the next few months is to keep my weight below 85Kg. I managed to cycle 1500Km in 9 days and put on 2Kg.
Day 1 John O’Groats to Tain:
Day 2 Tain to Fort William
Day 3 Fort William to Stirling
Day 4 Stiriling to Carlisle
Day 5 Carlisle to Preston
Day 6 Preston to Ludlow
Day 7 Ludlow to Chedar
Day 8 Chedar to Okehampton
Day 9 Okehampton to Lands End
At 21:30 in the dark a group of 4 cyclist, a swarm of red and white flashing lights, emerge from the rain to arrive a small stone. Parked next to it is a black Nissan 4X4 and stood next to that is a robust man, with tree trunk legs, short trousers, a utility jacket and a heavy rain coat with the hood up.
‘Get off bike’, he says, ‘you’re finished’, a thick Preston accent.
We dismount, stretch, shake hands and embrace. We then stand there unsure what to do. Nothing to do but cycle back to the caravan.
‘Well done son’, Terry says, as myself and Paul enjoy a glass of whisky from Scotland’s most northern distillery.
‘We were there’.
At seven thirty this morning I got to throw away the nappies we were using to dry our shoes every night. (Thanks Dylan). It felt good, a real landmark.
Two hours later we were struggling to make progress on the rollercoaster landscape that is Dartmoor. I could not see us getting to Lands End before 9pm. The rain was heavy. I thought to myself, ‘We could stay in Truro tonight and do the last 35 miles at our leisure tomorrow’. We’d need nappies for our shoes …
The life of a JOGLER is not always as glamorous as you might think. It’s not all Gypsy Caravans and fresh fruit & yogurt and how would you like you eggs.
We took nearly two hours to complete the last 5 miles. We stopped on Bridge over looking the A30 and ate the last of our food. It was less than one mile from the finish but we all needed to stop and as we stood there chatting and eating in the rain I slowly came to realise we had all suffered a good knock.
In the dark we arrived at the check in desk soaked and clip clopping in our shoes. The girl at the desk didn’t look up. She left the key on the desk and still looking at the VDU she pointed over her shoulder and said ‘The is more secure parking at the back’ We could have been Lord Lucan and Shergar doing our own version of ‘Into the West’
Dinner? Little Chef of course
Just stopped for lunch on our second to last day. Bad weather is due around now with storm wins and rain. I’ve stepped out to do ‘bloody blog’ (said with a Preston accent). The others are settling inside unaware that the rain we have been rushing to avoid has started.
Conditions today have been dry but the first headwind of the JOGLE are affecting morale as much as speed. Signs up along the road today for the Tour of Britain, that is on it’s way
Push to Okehampton where a Travelodge awaits. Only Lenny Henry would be happy to be at a Travelodge.