What's it all about?

At the end of September 2012 I completed a cycle from Portsmouth 2 Penzance a total of 273 miles! raising money for Children In Need is the Plan. This was also be a personal challenge for me as I haven't been cycling in over 25 years and that was only for fun nothing serious. On top of that have a prolapsed disc, was 46 years old and at the start of 2012 a bit over weight, well lot over weight really, since then I've lost nearly 3 stone! So I opted to do the big one, John O'Groats 2 Lands End on May 6th 2013. The End 2 End or P2P (point to point, as it's sometimes called ) around 1000 miles! This time I had company, Colin, a friend from work, who has said he is as mad as I am and would like to come! This blog contains that story....This event is in memory of the sad passing of my mum on 17th of April this year having lost her fight with terminal Bowel Cancer.

I guess you'd call it the sequel, I have decided it would be just rude not to go back the other way!!! so May 2015, with a new friend, Pete and with Dave driving a support vehicle ( luxury) we plan the classic Lands End to John O'Groats, also known as LEJOG
. Mad ? yes I think we must be.

Me, Colin, Pete and Dave ( Team Jogle4bc )

Me, Colin, Pete and Dave ( Team Jogle4bc )

Day 3 Fort Augustus 2 Crianlarich

IIf yesterday was a day of mixed blessings, then today was a day of highs and lows. It all started rather well with blue sky's and broken clouds. Shortly down the road we were greeted by regular packs of colourful MAMIL's, all telling us we were going the wrong way, they obviously new what lay ahead and at this point we didn't. Oh sorry, MAMIL it stands for, Middle.Aged.Men.In.Lycra :-) Shortly after this we turned off the the A82 onto a lovely little roller coaster of a road north of a Loch, I forget the name of, oh it was Loch Lochy . This was fab for a few miles then the road turned into a gravel road that made yesterday's tow, path seem positively smooth. We did however see a stoat shoot across the road in front of us, it's black tipped tail disappeared into a hedge. The road (well track really) got worse and more hilly, and we had at least another 7 miles to go ( In hind sight it would be better to stick to the A82 if on a road bike)  and the gravelly descents were pretty hairy. Clearly my road bike and smooth tyres were not built for this kind of terrain and my route for this little section had turned out to be a little suspect. I was just about to turn round to apologise to Colin for the dodgy road, to only be greeted by Colin's big cheesy grin, the shopper, clearly in its element! The only bonus to the route were more spectacular views, Ben Nevis for one, including snowy top. By the end of that 10 mile off road, as we came past Neptune's staircase (the locks photo), my spine felt like it had been shaken apart so badly and then reassembled in the wrong order! Time for tea and cake, Fort William. And yes, no flat tyres ( thanks mum x) What came next was main road all the way on the A82. I was just about to say how very good the traffic, especially the lorries , were being, giving us lots of room and waiting to pass etc when I was nearly taken out by a tourist and his caravan! It was that close with the caravan as it cut in, well all I can say is thank you St Christopher. As we turned the corner starting our approach to Glen Coe, two things struck us. First was the wind, Met office states 33 mph head winds! It felt like 60! Clearly I had been flippant with the use of the word brutal the day before, as the word much better fitted the bill today. The second was the ominous black clouds over the mountains. Another stop, some food and full wet weather gear, we weren't going to miss the rain today. At the foot of Glen Coe,  we stopped, looked at each other smiled that smile that said, we might not be breaking any records today but we're going to make it all the way to the top no pushing! 8.4 miles of mountain later we did! And from pretty much sea level we had climbed 1142 ft! Most of which I could only hear hysterical laughter from Colin " ever corner....it just keeps going... Aaaahhhh".  At the top I had to have the third PR of the day, only needed two the day before. Sorry PR, Paula Radcliffe? Road side wee wee, you'll be pleased to know no wet clothing, though that was tricky, considering the wind was at full blast on the bleak Rannoch Moor. Moving on, well barely, as we were slower into this head wind along the top than the climb I think! Struggling to keep 6 mph! The temp was now 2 degrees and felt like minus 2! My right foot now happily requesting amputation. Where was the downhill, we'd just climbed 8.4 miles?  Now I knew why the MAMIL's had said we were going the wrong way! There were a few small downhills, which unfairly we had to pedal again. To add insult, another 3.5 mile climb! Finally arriving at the B&B, after a bit of a 2 mile U turn, having missed it, probably through exhaustion! Arrived at 18: 14 having left at 08:20 having done another 85.81 miles. We both lay on the beds and laughed out loud.....it had been EPIC.