We recently told you about See.Sense
Non Exec Director Joe Nicholson taking on the epic Lands End to John O’Groats challenge with Deloitte Ride Across Britain (riding the length of GB from end to end).
Almost 1,000 miles later, 10 days on the bike with camping in the evenings, Joe has successfully completed the challenge raising over £3,000 for the MS Society
. Here is a Q&A with Joe talking about the highs and lows of the cycle, along with some top tips for next year.
Q - How did you train for LEJOG?
A - Having signed up in January 2017, I started to do more regular and longer rides at the weekend, building up from 30/40 miles to 50/60 mile rides. I also tried to make sure I did my commuter cycling during the week, just to keep the fitness up. For the last 2-3 months, I tried to do longer rides: 70 mile sportive, 65 mile Randonee round the Isle of Wight, 125 mile trip from London to New Forest, so that my "long ride" was at least 70-80 miles at the weekend. According to Strava, I clocked up 1,600 miles of recorded rides before LEJOG, which means I probably put in 2,000 miles of training including commuting!
Q - What was your toughest moment of the challenge?
A - The toughest moment was on Day 7 of LEJOG: Hamilton to Fort William. I did not have my Garmin for this leg, as it was wrapped up in luggage, therefore I was not sure of the mileage completed. The leg from Hamilton to Fort William is the longest of LEJOG at 126 miles. We started at 6.30AM and were held up for 1.5 hours on the climb on Crow Road to Campsie Fell, due to an accident with a RAB rider and a car, hence the day got even longer. Throw in some sharp downpours, a chill Northerly wind and the fantastic beauty of the Scottish highlands and it was a day to remember. Arriving in Glencoe on the edge of Loch Leven, I thought that I was nearly home and was gutted when I saw the sign "Fort William: 14 miles". I knew that the basecamp was 5 miles outside of Fort William, so I had another 21 miles (or an hour and 15 minutes) to go, when I thought I was nearly home. I stopped, ate all the food I had and continued on, catching a few friendly wheels along the way and was very, very pleased to see the campsite, crossing the finish line at 7.15PM. Over twelve hours on the road is a long, long day!
Q - How was the camping throughout the 10 days?
A - Damp and muddy at times! It was not that bad really, as you get into the rhythm of it when in the "RAB Bubble" - music to wake you up at 5.30, dress, pack, eat, drop bag, ride 100+ miles, finish, park bike, get tent allocated, pick up bag, change, shower, massage, eat, rider briefing, sleep, repeat. We camped at three race courses, which are generally flat and dry with some bricks and mortar facilities.
Q - Any essential cycling kit?
A - The Castelli Perfetto long sleeve top got some good testing in wet, damp and windy conditions - excellent piece of kit. The Gore Goretex jacket also got good wear. Of course, the See.Sense lights were on the bike every day as well!
Q - Do you have any top tips for anyone thinking of taking the challenge next year?
- Ensure you get at least 200 miles of training (with hills) in over a weekend - this is a good test for the first two days in Cornwall and Devon.
- Remember there is a laundry service for cycling gear - bring less stuff.
- You cannot launder you socks - bring more socks.
- Fit new tyres to minimise the potential for punctures. I had four on day one on a loan bike, plus three on my normal bike, including a split on a relatively new tyre.
From all of us at See.Sense we would like to say a massive well done to Joe and everyone who completed LEJOG 2017. It has certainly inspired our whole team to get training for a new challenge next year. You can find out more details about LEJOG by visiting Deloitte Ride Across Britain.