Serious Stuff

Doing a bit of planning, goes a long way. The first problem is getting there, I really do recommend the use of a driver / support car if you can pursuade someone to do it, otherwise its public transport. The driver support car takes away the hassle of bike parts and other issues. We had the luxuary of having a 3rd bike on the roof so if anything seriously broke we could just carry on.

Getting to JOG, options are.
Sleeper Train to Inverness
Book ahead and make sure you reserve a bike slot. (they do take them but you have to inform at booking)
Scotrail to Wick
Again book in advance, and make sure you get the bike on the ticket, they are limited

Now things start to get tricky, your only options are Local Taxi to JOG, or if you feeling brave Cycle. This could be an option as a warm up if you are intending to follow the Western route from JOG. Otherwise you will be turning round and cycling back down the road you just rode.

The other option is to get your bike shiped up to JOG in advanced via courier. Your only real option for accommodation is the SeaView Hotel they have a lockup for bikes and will take delievery and store them for you before you arrive. You will probably need a day to assemble and test out the bike before you ride and you will be limited on what you can carry.

Pick a sensible time of the year.
July / August may be the best weather, we chose June as it gives you the longest days and you can ride longer without lights if need to do distance.

Weather
Ok, its going to rain at some point, and there is little point in trying to stay dry. There is very little you can do on a long ride like this. Shoving on loads of layers only means you are carrying lots more weight, and when they get wet they get heavier and heavier. Take a look at the forcast and ensure you have windproofing in the back pocket. (that keeps you warmer at least).

Riding Routine
Try and get into a routine as soon as possible. Everyone is differnet, we found that starting early with an 11am coffee / brunch stop. Skip lunch, and then have another coffee / bigger munch up afternoon. We aimed to be off the bike and in the shower by 5:30 at the latest every day. This gives you a good recovery time and a chance to eat properly and sleep in the evening. Don't be tempted to sit still / lie down too early, we found its actually better to keep moving / stretching. Listen to what hurts and try and minimise it early, riding on through serious pain is only going to cause an abrupt end to your ride. EAT and drink often, either on the move or a quick stop, I almost bonked a few times due to the fact you forget and get focused on the end goal.
After 5 days I was resigned to take a couple of ibuprofen every morning as subtle pain management for general muscle ache in various places.

Accommodation.
We booked our night stay most mornings over a breakfast discussion, or the night before. If you have a support driver they can book for you while you ride, depending on your progress. You could try booking everything and hope nothing goes wrong, we had a discussion on what the days goal would be and then booked accordingly. The intenet is your friend here. We tried to book places not in huge towns and near places with decent pubs.

Tools / Mechanicals
Carry everthing you need to do basic roadside repairs. 2 inner, pumps, chain splitter, small piece of tyre etc and KNOW how to use them. You will puncture !! things will go wrong. Get your bike in for a good service before you go and try and keep the mud and muck off every evening. Little bit of oil and preventative maintainance every night goes a long long way.

Previous Page : Next Page

Prologue: - Stage 1: - Stage 2: -
Stage 3: - Stage 4: - Stage 5:
Stage 6: - Stage 7: - Stage 8:
Stage 9: - Stage 10: - Stage 11:

Serious Stuff (if you are thinking of doing a JOGLE)