LEJOG vs JOGLE

Discussion in 'Lands End to John O'Groats (LEJOG)' started by Kosong, 1 Aug 2016.

  1. Bikerta

    Bikerta Active Member

    Location:
    North Dorset
    I caught the sleeper train from Euston to Inverness, leaves around 9pm I think and arrives in Inverness around 8.30am ready to catch the train to Thurso a couple of hours later. Providing you book the full 12 weeks in advance, the prices are very reasonable. I paid £61 for the sleeper and £11 for the train to Thurso. Really enjoyed the sleeper and managed a pretty decent nights sleep. All told the journey took just over 24 hours from North Dorset to the campsite in John O Groats. Train back from Penzance was very easy for me and didn't seem to make much difference to the price however far ahead you booked it, so I only booked it the day before.
     
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  2. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    Location:
    East Devon
    Doing JOGLE does mean that bike space/reservation hassle on the trains north are less because your date/time of travel is set as opposed to variable (at the end of two weeks cycling) and therefore more assured. Bike spaces back from Penzance are plentiful (lots of trains and 6 spaces per train) though beware GWR's new (May 16) policy of mandatory bike space reservation. These can be done as close to 2 hours before travelling.
     
    Last edited: 1 Oct 2016
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  3. OP
    OP
    Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Thanks, great advice and ideas on this post!

    Longer daylight as you said, is not a problem as we will be cycling 4-6 hours a day, if that
    Warmth is a big, big thing for me - my brother is some sort of inhuman freak who does not react to cold, whereas I have a very awful tolerance for anything less than 10c. I've got circulation problems, so my only option is going in July (due to other summer commitments). July is great for me - it will be warm(er), days long...for my brother it has the possibility of being too hot, but we can cycle early morn and late afternoon if the mercury creeps up. I can cycle in pretty much any heat without a problem, it's the temperature in the evening which will be hard. We are planning on wild camping throughout scotland, with occasional stops in campsites to use facilities and wash clothes etc. Once we get to England we'll carry on wild camping but will utilise warmshowers, couch surfing and the occasional campsite again for facilities. Will maybe stay in a b&b/youth hostel once or twice during the month, but neither of us are fussed about comfy beds/walls and JOGLE is as much a camping trip as a cycle tour to us :smile:

    Main concern though is your point about the sun being in drivers eyes - although that being said we are taking a (very) long route and will be utilising as many towpaths/sustrans traffic free routes as possible, even if it means a slight detour. Will be trying to plot a rough map this coming winter but really we just want to go the quiet, most scenic route there is. As we have a month to complete, it doesn't matter if there are detours as we have lots of time :smile: Particularly up north and in Scotland, we will snake around and take our time. In the south/southwest, we can rush a bit more as it's much easier for us to visit that area again as we live round there. I also like the idea of the hardest hills being at the end on a JOGLE, which will give me time to really get fit and attack them with vigor!

    Definitely want to check out the west coast and islands, too, so will be checking out your recommendations and trying my best to fit as much of it in. I've never been to the highlands before (furthers north I've been is Glasgow!) so we'll spend at least 10 days in far northern scotland/the coast exploring and wild camping before putting a few more miles in.

    Thanks again for ideas, will certainly add this post to my notes...am holding back on doing too much planning right now as it will be nice to dig in to route ideas in the dead of winter when there's not much to look forward to :smile:
     
  4. fimm

    fimm Veteran

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    In that case, I'd suggest you look at going along the north coast of Scotland via Dunnet Head to Durness (maybe even take a day to go to Cape Wrath), then drop south via Lochinver (which has an awesome pie shop and the roads too and from Lochinver have the best views) to Ullapool for the ferry to the Outer Hebrides. Come back to Uig on Skye, ferry from Skye to Mallaig, then make your way south maybe taking in Arran - or go more inland from Mallaig/Fort William.
     
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  5. dellzeqq

    dellzeqq pre-talced and mighty

    Location:
    SW2
    to go back to the original question............I'd suggest that the key to a successful bike tour is the romance. Put another way, neither JOGLE or LEJOG are, in and of themselves, not the greatest of rides. It's the idea of them that is compelling, and I would say that the most important thing is to make the ride measure up to the idea as best one can.

    My LEJOG started in the morning mist at Land End. Cornwall just slipped by. The last seventy miles, along the Caithness coast were among the most exotic, moving and downright beautiful I've ever ridden (and I've now ridden it five times). The view across to Orkney was enchanting. And, yes, getting back home from John O'Groats is sometimes difficult, but that's neither here nor there when I look back in fond remembrance.

    (Digested read North of Scotland 5, Cornwall 0)
     
    Last edited: 3 Oct 2016
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  6. OP
    OP
    Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    @flimm - that sounds ace! Will drag this all up on a map sometime soon and see how doable it is. Are the ferries etc expensive?

    Theoretically we could take an extra week or so to make it 5 weeks...depends how much stuff there is I want to see up north, I so rarely get to go there as it costs so much to travel in the Uk except by bike. Deffo want to make the most out of the highlands...I know my brother wants to go back to Loch Lomond (I've never been) so we'll spend a few days there camping and relaxing :smile:
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    @dellzeqq - your experiences sound great! I really am leaning towards JOGLE...and by the sounds of it, I'll love it and want to do it again so can do it in reverse the next time ;)
     
  8. fimm

    fimm Veteran

    Location:
    Edinburgh
  9. OP
    OP
    Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    @fimm thanks for the links again. Had a read through Dellzeqqs post, amazing to have done that in a long weekend! I'm very very lucky that I can take whatever time off i want from work (unpaid though) so money is more of an issue than time. But, with a tent it becomes less of a concern ;)

    Funnily enough i just put JOGLE into google to check out the cycle directions it chucks out and it offers a route that goes down scotland, on a ferry to Ireland, down Ireland and ferry back into wales...so you could pass through all 4 countries in the UK which would be quite cool. So many different places to see and go all right on the doorstep!
     
  10. stuartmac

    stuartmac Active Member

    Location:
    West Sussex
    Did JOGLE in 2014, from what I saw it was easier to do it this way, as has been mentioned already ...

    It will feel better finishing where there is more than a couple of seagulls to clap you across the line.
    Depending on your route, South Loch Ness, Kendall and Devon seemed much more brutal coming the other way.
    The wind thing is a myth
    It gets warmer as you go south so you can lose some weight from your pannier if you need to.
    Cornwall and Devon to start would be tough, by the time you are day 8 a hill is a hill, you're quite fit.
    It will be easier to get home from LE for you

    To get to JOG why not just get your local bike shop to box up your bike and then fly BRS-INV with easyJet, we did that from Luton, worked a treat. I work for easyJet, they are very bike friendly. Once you are at inverness get the bike transfer service to the hotel door in JO! They will even help you assemble your bikes for you.

    I wrote a website with my complete preparation, hotels, bike service ... pretty much everything really ...

    http://stuartmacdonald187.wixsite.com/jogle-2014/home

    If you have 2 months i'd do some western isles, perhaps in to the lakes, then avoid the western pass through the industrial NW (its horrible) meander down the east to the peak district and then head in to Wales, do all the pretty bits of the UK.

    When we set off (we only had 10 days spare) there was a 70 year old couple doing the same as you, they were doing it for their2nd time! 30/40 miles a days. If you're only doing say 50 miles a day then you can really enjoy it, sight see and you'll easily be able to eat and drink what you want at night without worrying about it.

    Good luck, it's a fantastic experience. I have just completed channel to med and whilst it was good for different reasons, it wasn't as rewarding as JOGLE.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: 1 Oct 2016
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  11. Captainwull

    Captainwull Active Member

    Location:
    Scotland
    Being an ex fisherman we pay particular attention to the weather. The month of May quite often brings an Atlantic high pressure which can get stuck west of Ireland with the wind predominantly from the North over the UK. We call this the Gebs of May. It usually comes late May early June so if your starting at JOG it might be worth considering starting around that time to get an occasional tailwind.
     
  12. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    Location:
    East Devon
    To see a paper on this (reworking my earlier post)
    Factor = Prevailing wind
    Seasonal variation of the prevailing wind direction in Britain
    onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wea.301/pdf
    "For the months of April and May the frequency of northeasterlies is about equal to that of southwesterlies. In fact, during some decades, the prevailing wind at many sites during these months is northeasterly."
    There's a better chance of a fairer wind for a JOGLE in April or May.
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Fantastic post Stuatmac - thanks! Got some really good ideas buzzing around my head now...I'm just waiting to see what my brother is saying about next year. Definatley a good thing that I could lose some weight, get fit and be in the warmer weather by the time it comes to the really big hills in Devon. I live in Bristol so could lighten the load at home before the big ones ;) What makes Devon and Cornwall so difficult on bike compared to Scotland? I'd always thought the highlands would be more brutal...
     
  14. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    Location:
    East Devon
    It's really the climb ratio. To quantify that, taking figures from my end-to-end, the first 250km (day and a half) to near Taunton required climbing of circa 3300m. I did not seek out hills nor did I use trunk roads eg A30 (except to Penzance) or the A39. The last 250km from Drumnadrochit (on Loch Ness) to JoG required only 2500m of climb, going up the massive hill there (Drumnadrochit) and essentially north via Beauly, Dingwall, over the hill from Alness, shortcutting Tain, and up to the north coast via Bonar Bridge and Lairg before turning east (ie not up the A9). The hills in Cornwall/Devon are not big, but you have to cross the grain of the counties, ie the river valleys. Lots of small hills, unless you go looking ie Minions, Dartmoor, Quantocks (and later Cheddar Gorge/Mendips). The terrain in the Highlands is too high to go over, so the roads and the LEJOGger go round, mostly.
    Is the latter brutal? No. You could make the Highlands harder by going via Glen Shee, Braemar and Lecht to Speyside and thence to Inverness.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Thanks again for a good post, that makes perfect sense about going around the big ones in Scotland. Id be planning to spend a few weeks up in Scotland as I rarely get to go there, so no doubt will be climbing a lot more than the more conventional routes! I've begun adding the bigger climbs in/around Bristol in my training rides so hopefully I'll be a little better prepared when the big hills do appear :smile:
     
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