John O’Groates to Lands End
2 Years have nearly gone by now since the “4 Muppets on Bikes” completed the biggest challenge we have ever encountered, a challenge so hard that it drained us mentally and physically. 4 friends set off from Gatwick and flew up to John O’Groates in Scotland to begin the JOGLE bike ride.
For those that don’t know JOGLE is the John O’Groates to Lands End cycle ride, a challenge that is completed by many each year in various different forms, cycling, running, kayaking, you name it it’s been done. The challenge extends to 1000 miles, we planned the whole trip ourselves and decided to carry our kit as much as possible.
From the get go it was a tough experience, the first 20 miles merely involved us settling in to our saddle, deciding the best spot for the saddle to rest as this was going to ache after a while. After 20 miles we had one puncture and a crash- a great start to the trip and a great way to extend the pain I was already experiencing, but with sunburn and grazed legs we continued on into the sweltering Scottish sun… we couldn’t believe it either!
I won’t bore you with all the details of each day as it basically went the same, wake up, try to eat, get on bike, pedal, stop and eat, pedal, stop and eat, pedal etc, stop, shower and wash clothes, go to bed… pretty exciting day, but I will rejoice you with some of my favourite moments, the tough ones, the ones that created laughs and a few tips for those looking to do it in the future.
Day 2 and the light is starting to fade, we are nearing the top of the longest climb so far along the straightest road I have ever seen, at the top I basically forget to unclip my feet from the pedals and this is the result….
On our way to Barnstaple where the Family have arranged to welcome us in, the first time we have seen them all with the exception of a couple of Muppettes from the night before. At this point we are using Sat Nav so the route inevitably takes us on the shortest route. The entrance to the Premier Inn would take us on the road into the car park but the Sat Nav takes us through the footpath shortcut, we cycle in to the bar and see that they are all waiting in the car park with banners cheering us in, so we have to cycle back round to do it the proper way! We’d just cycled 105 miles, as if we wanted to do an extra 200 metres, but it was worth it and much appreciated so thanks for the support.
Along the way we had fantastic support from members of the public, whether they were just cheering us along, giving us a donation or buying us an ice cream it was all great encouragement and really drove us to the finish, without them we could have easily stopped in the first few days. We had a couple speed past us along an A road and flag us down to give us a donation!
It all seems like so far away now and unfortunately this years planned trip has been put on hold due to a muppets broken knee but hopefully next year we can plan something.
Some tips I would give to people are:
– Plan in advance, decide where you are going to stay each night otherwise you won’t have the motivation to get there.
– Whatever you pack, half it!
– Take sun cream!
– But most of all wear some comfy shorts with padding!