The Big One: Cycling John O’ Groats to Land’s End
The ultimate test of endurance for any European cyclist is the epic c. 875 mile route between the two extremities of the British Isles; John o’ Groats in the north of Scotland and Land’s End in the south-west of England. A Herculean effort covering the gamut of British terrain and the spectrum of cycling challenges, the entire trip takes a normal rider between ten and fourteen days – but the return journey has been accomplished in a little over 5 days.
So how does one go about this seemingly brutal personal challenge? Well, the first thing to do in any similar activity is get training. You might be fit, but you can always be fitter so make sure you are before you end up stranded and exhausted half-way up a hillside at midnight! As you begin to get satisfied, then you can start planning your route – many like to take the Pennine cycle route midway through, as this is already planned out. Next, make sure you have plenty of bike equipment to face every eventuality.
The main thing you need to do is plan accommodation. There is an abundance of B&Bs along the way which can provide you with an excellent night’s sleep and a refuelling breakfast. All you need to do then is plan how far you think you can cycle every day – and be realistic! It’s better to be safe than sorry, and better to do too little than too much, as you’ll have to get up the next day and carry on anyway.
Once you’ve got an appropriate route sorted, all you need to do is get you and your bike to your preferred starting point, either the north or the south, and give this monster route all it’s worth!