A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Friday, 15 June 2012

Day 10 Lairg to John O Groats

The weather forecast for day 10 was really not great. Strong westerly winds, increasing as the day went on. I'd planned to go over the inspiring looking Strath Halladale, the problem being, once you get to the end of that and hit the north coast, one still needs to ride 65 miles east and into a big wind.

With fresh legs I'd be less bothered but my legs were about as fresh as an unpasteurized cheese. So, the "summit day" plan was to get up at 4am, eat, and be on the road as early as possible...as explained:

Being so far north, it was light at 3am so this was no trouble at all and I'd encourage anyone else doing this route to use this time if they need it...check the wind and pick the best time that suits your plans. This website: http://www.xcweather.co.uk/ is excellent for wind forecasts.

This road was pure magic. At this time in the morning, I had the whole thing to myself and a couple of wild deer families who ran along next to my bike when they bolted. The shear vast and rugged emptiness of the place is massively humbling....my little camera phone doesn't do the place justice, but I'll try:

It's about 35 miles over these hills to the village of Tongue on the north coast. I only just had enough warm kit for the conditions, it started raining and the westerly was bitterly cold. So long as I was peddling it was fine but felt a bit foolish and under prepared.

But of course, got there. And as no sooner had I turned east at the bottom of the hill, a bitter struggle into the strong westerly commenced. One saving grace was the land. Who ever heard of the Highlands Riviera?!

But it was just a huge grind to be honest. Legs had no power in them and any stop seemed to make a swollen ankle worse. Lots of hills on this coast too

Though it does flatten out near the end.

Finally pulled into the finish with another 100 miler done. Day 1 at Land's End seemed like last year. Never would have got here if it wasn't for the constant support and encouragement from friends, co-workers, and my wife! LeJog is a mental battle, and mainly tests your ability to recover overnight from big days, and then to it again the next day...and the next...and the next...

Thank you very much to everyone who sponsored me! I will post again with all the trip stats, route links etc.


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  2. Amazing, congratulations! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure! Aparna