Interview with George Mahood, author of “A penniless adventure the length of Britain..”

George not only completed the cycle route, but took it one step further and wrote a book about his adventure entitled:  ‘Free Country: A Penniless Adventure The Length of Britain’ which is available from Amazon for the princely sum of £1.53.

George and his friend decided to bike from the Southern most point in England all the way to the Northern tip of Scotland which took 3 weeks and over 1000 miles.

I caught up with George to find out more about his own memories of LEJOG as well as listen to a few stories from his book.

How did you get into cycling?

George: I have always enjoyed cycling but I have never considered myself a cyclist. I rarely go on a bike ride longer than 1 mile!

How much training do you do before setting off or are you THAT good to not bother with any?!

George:“We did the London to Brighton bike ride 6 months before and that was it. No other training rides of greater than 10 miles. We didn’t see the point in training seeing as we would be starting our trip without bikes”.

Do you have a preferred route to take?

George: “Whatever cycle route you take, make sure you take the scenic route and avoid too many a-roads. Unless you are trying to break a record, then there is no point in taking the direct route. You’ll have a much more enjoyable trip on the back roads of Britain”.



Most scenic part of the LEJOG trip?

George: “Difficult to single out any part of the country. Great Britain has so many highlights. The scenery north of Dumfries was particularly beautiful”.

What’s the hardest part of the trip

George: “Cornwall was particularly tough for us because we didn’t have any bikes. Or clothes. Or money. Being homeless in Carlisle city centre at 11pm in the pouring rain wasn’t particularly fun either”.

Any recommendations on places to stay along the route?

George: “We slept in a barn with a bull, a green house, a student’s floor, a canal boat, a tent in a pub car park. I would recommend them all. As far as paid accomodation for other end-to-enders… Kingspark Llama Farm in Caithness was great”.

Apart from your bike, what other must have essential piece of equipment can you not live without when completing lejog?

George: “Never leave home, or even consider attempting an end-to-end without a smile and a sense of humour”.

I would definitely recommend a visit to Amazon and treat yourself to a copy of the book, at £1.53 it’s hard not to. Not convinced? Well below is an introduction to George’s book courtesy of Amazon:

Two men – 1000 miles. No money, no bikes, no clothes and no clue.

The plan is simple. George and Ben have three weeks to cycle 1000 miles from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. There’s just one small problem… they have no bikes. Or clothes. Or food. Or money. Setting off in just a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts, they attempt to rely on the generosity of the British public for everything from food to accommodation, clothes to shoes, and bikes to beer. 

It takes an adventure such as this to prove, that – both monetarily and opportunistically – Great Britain is undoubtedly a Free Country”.

You can buy the book at Amazon UK here and for more information on the journey across the UK, visit the website here:

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