Monday, 31 January 2011

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Why do you want to do this ride??

Well heres our list, its not in any order and its a work in progress:

1.) Love riding the bike, don't just like it, Love it!

2.) Because its there....

3.) Wanted to do a big ride and this is the ultimate in the UK.
(there are many others, but we will get to them later....)

4.) We are outdoorsy people. We go walking, camping, mountain biking, caving, climbing. Steve is a Mountain Leader and Mountain bike instructor.

5.) We are not weather dependant, we arent fair weather bikers. Right gear for the weather!

6.) Doing exercise/activity makes sense to your brain, is great for fitness, makes you feel good, increases your energy levels, prolongs your life.

7.) Karen let us. (Steves wife, my sister) gave us permission to go on a two week expedition.Agreed to the financial aspects and allowed us the time to go training, not to mention the two week epic!

8.) To raise money for Charity. Charities are dependant on donations. (This list isnt in order of importance!)

9.) Because its going to be bloody hard, a massive challenge. Also a massive adventure. We like adventures!

10.) Lejog South to North direction because of chances of prevailing winds being behind us. Midday sun not being in our faces.

11.) We didnt want to ride 100 miles a day so we are going a longer more scenic route.

12.) Cycle touring is the best way to see places.

13.) I spoke to some Lejog riders as they came through Preston on their 9 day ride, 'I havent seen anything, i am gonna have to do it all again but slower'.

14.) Biking = playing and a its a good craic.

15.) Setting targets gives you something to look forward to.

16.) We like drinking Scotch. Scotland is full of whisky, we are there for a week....

17.) Cycling is green, petrol is blooming expensive.

18.) Biking is addictive, it will make you slightly obsessed. (I am considering shaving my legs, mostly cos its funny, how far do you go?)

19.) If you do a massive amount of exercise daily your allowed to eat Eccles Cakes, with all their buttery calories. We like Eccles Cakes. (We like scotch slightly more see point 16.)

20.) 'Bicycle touring is a form of cycling where riders travel long distances, prioritizing pleasure and endurance over utility or speed'. (I stole that from wikipedia)

21.) Cycling relieves stress.

22.) For the thrill of pure road riding.

Cheers for now

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Rivington Mountain Biking

This afternoon we went mountain biking in Rivington. Good fun, me, Steve and Tim. We tried and failed to get three bikes in the rack on the back of my car, your probably supposed to turn your handle bars straight so three fit on? We are now very used to road bikes and our mountain bikes feel very foreign, like clown bikes? I bounce all over with the suspension, the tyres are massive?! I find its more like playing now, go anywhere, any surface. The weather was fairly mild really, it was rammed with walkers, dog walkers and a few bikers. It was very clear up top. I have never been up there before and the views were quite spectacular, I hope the photos come out.

I experimented with the ActionCam I have just bought, the videos came out 90 degrees the wrong way, also looking at the floor! Plenty of grass, gravel, trees, very bumpy too, think it will be okay on a road bike, with a little bedding in period!
Bikemap route link

We are going to add random mountain biking trips into our training plan, it works the same muscles, and is more like playing out, plus going up the hills still gets you working hard!


Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Good Wet Ride

 Me and Steve went out early this morning 8:30am, even though from checking the weather the previous night we knew it would be heavy rain and windy. Braking in wet weather is difficult, mostly because it takes much longer to stop, we adopted the braking procedure of oil tankers i.e. really early!

Bikemap route

I only take pictures when we stop for a stretch?

River Ribble Preston = Full

wet Dave, am actually quite happy

Deserted park

Not sure how these videos will come out on here but here goes!

 I didnt think I was that wet till I got home and turns out water got everywhere, my sealskinz wetsocks did the job though.


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Steve's bike spec.

Reynolds 631 Main Tube Touring Frame With Braze On Spoke Holder And Triple Bottle Bosses
Touring Fork With Reynolds 520 Blades And Cr-Mo Ahead Steerer. Constructed With Double Mudguard Eyes And Low Rider Bosses
Front Derailleur:
Shimano Deore
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano Deore
Tiagra STI Shifters
Shimano Deore FC-M533-SK Chain Set
26/36/48 tooth chainrings
Bottom Bracket:
Shimano Hollowtech Bottom Bracket
Shimano M540 SPD pedals
Front Brake:
Tektro Oryx Alloy Cantilever Brakes With Tektro RL720 Upper Bar Levers
Rear Brake:
Tektro Oryx Alloy Cantilever Brakes With Tektro RL720 Upper Bar Levers
31.8mm Alloy Bar
31.8mm Alloy -17 Degree Stem
Semi Cartridge Satin Aheadset
Gel Bar Tape
WTB Dual Duty XC 700c Alloy Double Wall Rim With Machined Side Wall and Single Eyeletes
Front Hub:
Shimano Deore 36 Hole Quick Release Hubs
Rear Hub:
Shimano Deore 36 Hole Quick Release 9 Speed Freehub
Stainless steel spokes
Front Tyre:
Schwalbe Marathon 700x32c Reflective Side Wall With Kevlar Guard
Rear Tyre:
Schwalbe Marathon 700x32c Reflective Side Wall With Kevlar Guard
Brooks B17 Saddle
Laser Cut Claud Butler Seat Pillar
Large Tube 4 Point Fixing Carrier, Full Chrome Plastic Mudguards With Plastic Tails

Sunday, 9 January 2011


I was talking to a fellow biker (@bazzargh) on Twitter about LEJOG, I was generally moaning about getting used to my new cycle trainer. I was talking about watching tv whilst on the trainer. Straight away he recommended Sufferfest videos, said they were the best thing hes found to train indoors to. I had a look at the website, doing my research as you do.

Sufferfest training videos were recommended everywhere in biking communities, and once i figured out that the $11 price is only £7 the rest was easy. Paid through paypal, the videos are massive files so it does take a while to download but well worth it!

I tried the Angels video saturday morning, unbelievable! They warm you up to get you to the required level then kick your a**! All in a structured way, levels of effort and so many sprints. My legs didnt know what had hit them. This one is a hard hour of biking pain! The video footage is quality and the soundtrack fits really well, not to mention the devilish streak of humour in the comments that pop up!
Sufferfest - Angels

I tried the Revolver video this morning, very exciting, very hard. Intervals of 1 min full whack followed by 1 min rest, sounds ok but you do it 15 times! As you go on I am sure the recovery minutes get shorter! I found this harder than the first video, probably cos I went for it a little more because I had an idea of how it pans out after doing the first one. Some of the comments that pop up had me laughing out loud, 
Sufferfest - Revolver
I will play these two to death then go and get some of the other videos. Quality Stuff.


Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Cycle Turbo Trainer

I got it from halfords because it was on offer for £90, about £100 would be ok. Solid piece of kit, though it took me a while to get used to riding on it. You have to prop up the front wheel to get to a comfortable riding position, currently phone book, yellow pages and a readers digest diy manual high! There are plastic blocks available to buy that raise and steady your front wheel, I will have to invest I think. Its pretty quiet too, you can watch tv while your on it and only have to turn volume up slightly, my washing machine makes much more noise! (One of Steves mates owns a trainer that has a fan instead of magnets, he said its like having a helicopter in your house!) I like the 5 levels of resistance too, gives you something to go at, combined with the combination of your own gears. Really easy to set up and use. Dont apply your brakes whilst your riding, or you can damage the roller and your tyre. It makes you clean your bike more often, if your bringing it inside the house, which isnt a bad thing either!

Elite Magnetic Cycle Trainer  (Info from Halfords Website)

"The Elite Magnetic Cycle Trainer mounts your bike and turns it into a home fitness trainer. Featuring five levels of magnetic resistance with remote adjustment and a smooth pedal action this cycle trainer is perfect for tuning your bikes performance indoors. Maintenance free, pre-assembled and easy to use, the Elite Cycle Trainer is ideal for home and indoor use as it is extremely quiet and stable."

Features and Benefits of the Elite Magnetic Cycle Trainer

  • 5 levels of magnetic resistance with remote adjustment for your fitness programme
  • Smooth pedal action for a more comfortable ride
  • Extremely quiet and stable, ideal for indoor use
  • Maintenance free and easy to use
  • Suitable for use with most bikes
  • Pre-assembled

Cheers for now

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The route!

We got our route plan pretty much from the Pewseys
We changed it slightly due to youth hostel closures and wanting to stay at our friends houses on route.
The pewseys site is a fountain of knowledge for LEJOG, and includes Ultimate List of LEJOG Links.

This image (borrowed from Pewseys) gives a general direction of where were going.


15 Days Riding over 1000 miles! Unsupported and going the 'scenic' route!
Average miles per day is about 65 miles, though the Lochranza to Glencoe day is going to be 100!

Were staying in Youth Hostels / friends houses / travel lodges / bunkhouses and Carbisdale is a castle!
Were also getting the ferry to the Isle of Arran too

Seeing this written down like this has got me scared again, off to do some more training! (Scotland is massive)

Cheers for now

Sunday, 2 January 2011

All about Steve

Hi this is me and my bike a Claude Butler Dalesman, i've been riding and fixing bikes for years mainly mountain bikes I'm a instructor for Lancs County Council as part of a outdoor education team working with young people. Anyway the bike I'm riding for LEJOG is the Dalesman the only thing i've changed on it is the saddle and pedals i've put a Brooks touring saddle on really comfy now its broken in and some Shimano spd's. The panniers are Avenir with matching handlebar bag all are fully waterproof with roll top closure very roomy. Overall it's a great ride really responsive, i will put more technical info on when i haven't had four pints.

Beacon Fell

Went out for a ride at half nine this morning with brother in law Steve.It turns out we did 35 miles, we were out for about 4 hours. Up A6 to Beacon Fell Country Park which is near Preston. The top of Beacon Fell is a one way system because its single lane, thats why theres a repeated circle on the bikemap route (see link below). There also a cafe where we got bacon butties and tea. Bloomin cold, feet were freezing.

 I need to make a mental note to take more pictures, 6 pics from 4hours?!!
" How many pics are of our bikes propped up against fences?"
Heres the route on Bikemap website.

On our way back through city centre of Preston, we watched four guys on road bikes fly through red traffic lights. Then at the next set of lights they did it again. These were busy junctions! Absolute lunacy! I cant put what we actually said at the time cos this is a family blog!

Steve and our bikes

if you look closely, horizon dead centre is blackpool tower!

view from route up beacon fell

this is the face you will pull riding up the steep bits! just kidding
cheers for now

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Years Day Ride 2011

Happy New Year!

I had it in my head last night to get up early and go for a ride today. (I wasnt particularly drunk last night and I am not a big fan of new year anyway). Turned out I was wide awake about 5:30 so i thought i may aswell get up!

All roads deserted, though it was about 7am, sunrise was about 7:45, but it was too cloudy to be any good.
Heres my route on Bikemap.
I have found a long climb I like that goes through Gregson Lane, gradually gets steeper till I am puffing a lot by the top, 15 mins up, 5 mins down, good fun!
I hit 30mph coming down, which made me think that a car hitting you at 30mph would do you some damage,
  • Hit by a car at 20 mph, 1 out of 40 pedestrian will be killed,
    97% will survive
  • Hit by a car at 30 mph, 2 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed,
    80% will survive
so falling off a bike at 30mph doesnt bear thinking about!

Preston Docks

Preston flag market - Deserted!
Foggy hill in Gregson Lane

Cheers for now