Day 1 – Land’s End to Fowey – 64 Miles
After months of practise, the time had come, it was now or never, the Lands End – John O Groats, Or LEJOG, as it will now be known, cycle challenge was about to begin and Sunday 10th April marked the start of our LEJOG 2011 adventure.
General chat around the group discussed the type of bike we were using, whether anyone knew how to change a tyre, what would happen if we encountered a puncture, how many miles of practise we put it and, most important of all, had we stocked up on enough Haribo sweets as fuel? It made us all sound like Tour De France amateurs but enough of this, it was time….
We were staying at a hotel in St Just so it required an additional 6.5 miles to the official start at Lands End for final photos, goodbyes to friends and relatives.
And we were off! with our trusty LEJOG route notes compiled and researched by LEJOG veteran, Nick Mitchell (who also cycled with us). The route notes were >100 pages of detailed information guiding us every mile complete with pictures, historical facts and war memorials…
The first two days of LEJOG were regarded as a hard slog according to the route notes. If you hadn’t put in some training in the months leading up, you were going to be found out as Cornwall presented some seriously hilly climbs. First stop was the pretty Cornish village of Marazion. Word went around that this would be an ideal place to sample a proper Cornish pasty as a late breakfast…however the shop was closed, and right on time, cue the first of the Cornish mountains to pedal up..With no pasty, we left Marazion and tackled the steep ascent which led us onto some picturesque countryside through the villages of Leedstown, Townshend, Praze-an-Beeble.
Lunch could not come soon enough and after arriving at the Star Inn we sampled the first of out 14 packed lunches, courtesy of Steve from Peak Tours – Sarnies, Sushi(!), Chocolate, Crisps, Salads, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Water and Chocolate….The lunches were legendary and were a welcome sight as we meandered our way through the UK….After a 40 minute break, it was back to it..
Next stop, or so we thought, would be to take a chain ferry across the River Fal. However, upon cycling the final 2 miles to where we planned to cycle onto the ferry, it was not to be, as the ferry was in “dry dock” and out of action..great timing, seeing as this was during the Easter holidays. So a slight detour was quickly sorted and we cycled onto St Austell eventually picking up the planned route.
Fowey was our first stop for the evening and we were now not too far off completing the first 65 miles, eventually arriving at the Golant YHA. The YHA was a real treat, a fantastic setting overlooking a dramatic Cornish landscape. The YHA also offered a restaurant and we were quick to take advantage of a 3 course meal consisting of soup, fish ‘n’ chips and apple crumble. It was then lights out at 8.30pm for me…..well and truly knackered, day one of LEJOG was over!
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my LEJOG Blog. I hope you’ve found it interesting and feel free to post your thoughts and comments. Once again, thank you for visiting Simon’s LEJOG blog