2 Weeks to go! So: My start date is set...on Wednesday June 6, I'll peddle out from Lands End. I'm looking forward to getting started now. Fitness ways am about right, I took the last weekend off training and my Achilles pain has gone so that was probably the right thing to do even though it felt weird not to be cycling. I'll sum up training another day, as I'm now looking at all the small details for the trip, with the one big detail being "The Route".
There are so many different ways of doing this, I'm certainly not taking the shortest and fastest route, and I'm going to be flexible every day keeping in mind the weather. "Normally" the prevailing wind in the UK is from the south west. So am committed now to giving myself the best possible chance of favorable wind....and heading northwards. Or course, the weather is not co-operating:
But hey, its changing constantly and I'm trying actually not to look at xcweather.co.uk too much, as its out of my hands now anyway! So here is the rough plan:
From Lands End, I head down the hill to Penzance. After the initial downhill a tough day's peddling will follow, up and down Cornwall's grueling, steep, hills. I've ridden this section before and in terms of hills, day 1 is probably the toughest on the whole trip:
I'll stay somewhere near or in Dartmoor the first day, a beautiful place. Day 2, towards Exeter and then veering north stopping somewhere before Bristol. The next day, I'll need to find a safe way over the Severn Bridge before then following the River Wye up minor roads towards Hereford:
From there, its all nice and directly north: Shrewsbury, Warrington, Preston - then skirting the edge of the Lake District:
And then doing my best to steer well clear of Glasgow and its traffic mayhem...
But I cant wait for the Scotland section...Inverary, Fort William, Dingwalls and then the true Highlands, taking an inland route through whats should be spectacular scenery...eventually hitting the north coast and pointing myself East for the final section to John O' Groats.
In Scotland my wife will be joining me, she's sensibly taking a car and having her around will definitely lift my spirits should I start fading by then (ahem - start fading? who am I kidding?!) I still plan on doing the ride totally "unsupported" however, meaning I'll need to be disciplined about carrying all my own stuff still at that point.
So thats the plan. That comes out at roughly 970 miles. What could possibly go wrong?