A brief JOGLE report



T

Tumbleweed

Guest
Started 1 June late pm with a 17 mile ride from JOG to Wick in appalling
weather, finished 17 June early am with a 10 mile ride Penzance to LE in
much better weather, overcast/misty but warm.

In between anything from 50 to 70 mile days, route was;
JOG
Wick
Brora
Beauly
Ft William
Tarbet
Hamilton
Lockerbie
Shap
Preston
Whitchurch
Bromyard
Bristol
Taunton
Okehampton
Bodmin
Penzance
LE


Total mileage 935.
Weather generally good except first 2 1/2 days, and the penultimate morning.
The 'prevalent' SW winds weren't very, we only had 2 to 2.5 days of headwind
in total. Maybe they aren't that prevalent in the summer?

Best bits of route; Old A74 (IIRC) which has been made into an excellent
cycle route seperate from the main road, the ride down from the top of
Glencoe, the ride into Tarbet (12 miles of continuous downhill out of the
last 17!), and many of the smaller country lanes throughout.
Worst bits of route; Parts of the A49 in the Midlands, and the A30 around
Redruth. Both horrendous, and the A30 the most dangerous road I have ever
cycled on...fast, inconsiderate traffic, no hard shoulder at all, including
single lane road with massive lorries, very poor vis at the top of hills. I
would advise anyone doing JOGLE/LEJOG to avoid the A30 in Cornwall at all
costs. I diverted off half way. And look for an alternative to the A49 as
well. If I had a time machine I'd definitely choose a route that omitted
those two, esp the A30 whatever the cost in time or distance or hills.

Also, watch out for the Inverness<>Thurso<>Wick train. When we booked we
were "assured" by Scot Rail we didnt need bike tickets as "the staff at
Inverness would know our names due to the booking system". Instead, the
staff called the police and ejected us from the train! Luckily we had proof
of booking including the name of the person at Scot rail who had advised of
this (in writing) , so they had to arrange a taxi locally to take us to
Thurso at their cost(which we then got to take us direct to JOG instead :)
In July/August there *may* be a van which takes bikes, but I suspect only if
you have tickets for the bikes......which Scot Rail seemingly dont issue but
the station staff insist on. Outside of that time there is only room for two
bikes on the infrequent trains. Whilst we were waiting at Inverness I met a
pair of cyclists who hadnt prebooked spaces, they had just come back from
LEJOG via Wick, and having found the two spaces on each train were taken up
until the next Saturday (this was Wednesday) had paid for a taxi themselves.

Other points of interest ..even in early June there were lots of 'no
vacancy' signs at B&B's, esp in Scotland. Fort William seemed to be
completely booked up! If you arent booking ahead (we had) get some good
lists of B&B's and have a friend phone around when its time for you to stop
it could take them some time to find a vacancy. The route from Whitchurch
to Bristol seemed also quite low in B&B's as well.

Saw a few LEJOGers, (but no JOGLERs) including two guys doing it in 6 days
(seemingly finishing as we started) ,and a couple of others who were also
obviously aiming for 100+ mile days and a sub 10 day journey. Good luck guys
(and girls) , I couldnt manage that, hope you all made it.

--
Tumbleweed

email replies not necessary but to contact use;
tumbleweednews at hotmail dot com
 
Tumbleweed wrote:

> Worst bits of route; Parts of the A49 in the Midlands, and the A30 around
> Redruth.


On my LeJog I avoided the A49 by using A and B roads further west up to
Chester then up the Wirral,ferry across the Mersey, and through
Liverpool. No great traffic problems although more map reading than any
other day.

>Whilst we were waiting at Inverness I met a
> pair of cyclists who hadnt prebooked spaces, they had just come back from
> LEJOG via Wick, and having found the two spaces on each train were taken up
> until the next Saturday (this was Wednesday) had paid for a taxi themselves.


I hadn't booked and also found both bike spaces booked. When asked
nicely the guard let me put my bike on anyway as there is space for 3
bikes.
Not an option for two cyclist travelling togaether obviously.
Regards the LeJog or Jogle choice I found going south to north
I had about 3 days strong tailwinds and two days headwinds. Otherwise I
was lucky with the weather only 4 hours rain out of 14 days in early
May.
Iain
 

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