Thousands of cyclists complete the epic LEJOG route every year and all for different reasons, whether it’s for a personal challenge, to raise money for worthwhile causes or just to get away from the office for a few weeks…
I caught up with Chris who completed LEJOG in 2012 for his own personal challenge and to raise money for a charity. Chris also provides a fantastic insight into the daily grind (see below) accompanied with some fantastic scenery of his cycle route as his group meandered their way through the UK. This should be an inspiration to all would be LEJOG cyclists…
What was your first bike and how old were you?
Chris: “I was about 5 when i got my first bike, a special edition silver jubilee tomohawk (1977)”
How did you get into cycling?
“In April 2011 I decided I needed to do some exercise to help me lose weight, and I bought a mountain bike to generally improve my fitness as prior to April 2011 I wasn’t very active at all, in fact activity was pretty much non existent. I started off by doing 5 miles, 2 – 3 times a week, on my bike and began to steadily increasing my mileage as my fitness improved. I began to realise that riding a mountain bike on the road didn’t get you anywhere fast. A friend advised me to get a road bike as i was making it a lot harder work for myself and i knew if i got de-motivated I would not carry on cycling. I started looking on eBay for a road bike and ended buying a Ridley Compact road bike for a good price, what a difference this made, and I knew i was hooked the first time i went out on my new bike.
Fast forward to the beginning of January 2012, as we all know that December in terms of exercising and diet goes out the window at Christmas! In January i committed to doing the race against time, so i was in and couldn’t pull out, and this is the time that i really needed to start getting serious if i had any hopes of completing this challenge”.
How much training do you do before setting off or are you THAT good to not bother with any?!
“From July 2011 to June 2012 i completed about 6000 miles of training. Jan 12 to June 12 was about 3500 miles that was suggested in the LEJOG training plan“
Do you have a preferred route to take?
“It was an organised fully supported ride, and sponsorship was raised for the Bishops Simeon Trust. the aim was to do it in 6 days so we took the most direct route. my fundraising page gives more info http://uk.virginmoneygiving.
Roughly how many punctures have you encountered?
” I didn’t have one single puncture!”
Most scenic part of the LEJOG trip?
“The highlands of Scotland”
What’s the hardest part of the trip
“The 4th day from Kendall to Edinburgh and the 5th day from Edinburgh to Inverness (horrible road (A9), bad weather and the longest day of riding)”
Any recommendations on places to stay along the route?
“We stayed in youth hostels and university campus’s. all the students had gone home so this was ideal accomodation the time that we were doing the ride”.
Apart from your bike, what other must have essential piece of equipment can you not live without when completing LEJOG?
“Chamois cream! haha” (Editor: Totally Agree!!!)
Look out for an account from Chris in a separate section of my blog which will be available soon
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