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Lejog using the 'easy east coaster'

25 Sep 2020
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A friend and I have just finished Lands End to John O groats using the easy east coast route. We took it leisurely aiming to do an average of just 50 miles a day so we could stop and explore along the way. This worked well, despite being the wrong side of 60 neither of us ever felt exhausted or reticent to cycle the next day, even after two consecutive days of 70 and 60 miles. The route was excellent, although there was one occasion in Cornwall when it routed us on a private track. I'm afraid to say we trespassed, but happily with no consequence. Closer to John O groats we met several others who had come via the more usual west coast route and had suffered several extremely wet days . By contrast we had only one drenching day and that was in Devon. Scotland, amazingly, was completely dry. We also had less wind than those on the west. We would thoroughly recommend this route for those who have time & want to tour for the joy of experiencing a country and its people. In these covid times, despite what the media is constantly feeding us, we found everyone extremely welcoming, behaving sensibly & working hard to maintain their businesses and lives as normally as possible. It restored some faith in this beleaguered country and its people. 

Comments

Sat 12 Dec 2020, 21:00

Thanks for the review of this ride Clare. I'm hoping to do LEJOG next year and am gradually coming to the view that the East coast may suit me better rather than the long, and sometimes poorly surfaced, canal tracks of the Midlands. Hopefully Covid will be in retreat next year and allow unrestricted travel. 

Wed 19 May 2021, 19:23

Yep, thanks Claire - am thinking of doing this route this year, so the feedback was really helpful.

Mon 27 Jun, 14:30

I used the Easy East Coaster route from cycle.map and made a few adjustments to fit in a rest day at home, a rest day in Cornhill upon Tweed (a lot cheaper than Berwick) and a ride through Saltburn and Redcar. I also had to add on travel from John O'Groats to a B&B in Thrumster and an extra day down to Inverness because of the rail strike. A total of 1246 miles.
I averaged 87 miles per day. Longest day was 114 miles (apart from ride back to Inverness which was 120) I climbed 3,839 feet with the biggest day being the first day. I extended the first day to 88 miles to take in the three big climbs from the second day. This meant that I started the second day going downhill rather than straight into 3 big climbs.
This was a great route. Comprising mainly of quiet back roads, cycle paths, woodland trails, farm tracks and old railway lines. Not for skinny tyred road bikes but ideal relaxing touring. Probably not for tandems either. Ideal for my gravel bike with 42mm Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. Not a single puncture.
The worst day for me was the ride from Nottingham to Selby which was flat, boring, arrow straight roads with nothing to see but power stations and a headwind.
Apart from the two rest days, when I was at home or my partner came to visit, I was totally unsupported. I carried the spares I needed and three days of kit. I had one failure and that was when one of my pedals fell apart. I bought replacements in Gloucester, if it had lasted another day I would have been home where I had a replacement.
I stayed at two Travelodges and then AirBNBs. Average cost £63 per night. As the AirBNBs had washing and drying facilities I could take less kit. I also used the washing machine and drier at Morrisons in Berwick. Located outside of the store.
My partner dropped me off at Land's End and I hired a car for the one way trip from Inverness to home. I had a ticket and bike reservation for the train from Thurso to Inverness but the rail strike stopped that. So instead of doubling back from John O'Groats to Thurso I continued on to a B&B in Thrumster and then rode to a B&B just outside of Inverness the next day. The car from Enterprise cost £132 and fuel just under £100.
Total cost including all food, new pedals and travel costs to and from home was £1,750. That was for 14 days riding and a pre-ride two day break in Cornwall.
I had a great time. Only two days of strong headwinds, typically on the longest day, and it only rained once, and that was while I was eating breakfast in the pub at Slimbridge. Other days started on wet roads but I never had my waterproofs on.