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 Post subject: Le Jog Article....not for the Telegraph!
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:30 pm
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Location: Wemyss Bay
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Arrived in St Just at 19:00 on Friday 29th May and settled into our Youth
Hostel. We were met on arrival by what can only de described as a pest
- a wide boy - who was also staying in the YH, every second word was a
sweary, made 'im real 'ard. Scott had the pleasure of sharing the adjoining
room with him.

We settled into our beds around 10 ish after scoffing the Chinkies Scott
had gone into town for , only to hear the wide boy's radio blaring. On
George asking
loudly which one of us was going next door regarding the noise, it was
immediately turned down. Best laugh was in the morning, we managed to waken
him while we were getting ready at 4am, he came diving into our room like a
startled rabbit wondering what was going on, we calmed him down and sent
him back to bed. Scott had recently been in Bulgaria and still had his
phone set to Bulgaria time, two hours fast. His alarm went off at 7 or so
he thought, the wide boy asked what time it was and was told 7 - really 5 -
so he got up and dressed, ready for the off hoping to cadge a lift from
Scott. Scott had anticipated this and buggered off . He is probably still
cursing us !
We set off for LE in the dark at 4:30 in good spirits . 100 yards down the
road Mark's front light fell off , this was not to be the only occasion
that this happened. On the third occasion it was suggested that he put it
in his pocket before it was put somewhere else.
Arrived at LE in the dark for the photo shoot before heading for JoG at
05:05.
Stopped in a town for breakfast - Launceston I think - and all had a good
feed in the local Safeway cafeteria. Set off for lunch in Exeter only to
find I had a problem with my cleat before we even got out of the carpark,
one of the screws had fallen out. Robert was contacted and asked to go to a
bikeshop in Exeter for a screw - that is a 5mm countersunk screw !
Arrived in Exeter for lunch - Safeway again - re grouped with Robert who
had been successful in getting a screw.... fnar fnar. Fitted to my shoe and
set off for Bristol.
All was going well with a tail wind and sun keeping our spirits high. Big
rolling hills did what they could do dampen our spirit but a shout of " Up
the Velo " periodically got us all smiling.

J McP stopped to take a photo of what could only be described as a small
lump in the distance, he said it was a mountain but the photo will confirm
otherwise. Not long after this we reached Cheddar Gorge where Robert John
and Terry sped off into the distance leaving George Mark and I progressing
at a more sedate pace , OK we were goosed - on the climb. Managed a smile
for the photo on the summit.
Reached Bristol and without much ado found our digs. Went down stairs for a
meal and quickly retreated to our rooms. 207 miles covered today.

Day 2 was a 5 am rise with a planned start for 5:30, we set off again in
good spirits heading for an evening stop in Wigan, Robert set an early fast
pace and was far from pleased when he realised his team were planning on a
more sedate 15mph ish and could not be whipped into a more Velo like pace.
Can't quite remember much about day two other than the wind was favourable
and the sun was shining, Oh and we realised that Terry had been taking the
piss out of us all winter as he put in a superb performance, taking the
front continually throughout the day and having to be told repeatedly to
ease back on the fierce pace he was setting. We discovered George's love of
going left off roundabouts , didn't matter that it was always the wrong
way, left it was , time after time. I reckon it was the big Man's ploy of
getting off the front , who knows, but he certainly likes going left.
I punctured whilst coming off the front but as I was now joining the back
no one noticed, I shouted but they sped off into the distance ignoring my
cries for help. Eventually phoned George who dispatched J McP back to me
with a pump as I had left mine in Lands End, maybe the wee English guy
nicked it ? Got the puncture sorted and headed on up the road. Whilst
trying to find our digs we went through some busy places with the English
spilling out of pubs pissed shouting abuse at us. Found our digs , changed
my front tyre which had damaged the sidewall in the puncture. George trued
his wheel which had broken a couple of spokes. Robert reckons it was
because the wheels were shi*te but personally I think the Big man puts too
much power through them ! Got changed and headed to the restaurant where
the first person to order decided what the rest were having, this set the
scene for the rest of the trip - "we'll have six of that" was the normal
reply to the waiter - scoffed our grub and headed to bed. 186 miles
completed today.

Day 3 started well. Mark was last out as usual. Started the day in shorts
and short sleeves, passed a digital thermometer which read 14 degrees at
6am. The Sun and a tail wind followed us up the road to Biggar. Original
plan was to stay in Moffat but because day 4 was going to be long we
decided - well, Captain decided for us - that we should head to Biggar to
shorten day 4. Today involved the climb up Shap, Cap'n set off up the climb
as though it was no more than a small lump leaving us mortals in his wake,
Dapper set off in pursuit followed by me but we never clapped eyes on Cap'n
until we got into the cafe on the other side. We soon re grouped in the
cafe in Shap minus Mark, we received a call asking where we were, he was
told 10
yards up the road from where he currently was, 5 bikes lined up outside a
cafe in downtown Shap and he didn't see them, I think he must have been
delirious after the climb
! Set off for Moffat after some sustenance and arrived around 5 ish
,eventually found somewhere that would give us some food. Quick stop and
then on up over the Devil's Beeftub and onto Biggar. The climb up the
Beeftub was long but the decent on the other side made it worthwhile.
Captain sped off on the decent , I decided to give chase and managed to
grab his wheel to sit on, George then sped by at us around 35mph quickly
followed by myself and the Captain jumping onto his wheel. Once we had
"hung out of him " - George's words , not mine - for a mile or two , we
pulled out and continued on the decent, George decided enough was enough
and opted not to give chase. I only managed to sit on Captains wheel until
we reached the bottom - hanging out of him - I think is the term. We
reached our digs in Biggar just as the rain started, I think it was trying
to give us a clue as to what we were to meet the following day. George and
I shared a lovely room, think the Big Man was so impressed he has booked it
for a fortnight's holiday in the summer. 176 miles completed today.

Day 4 Started under leaden skies but soon cleared to a bright sunny
morning, we crossed the Forth road bridge in heavy traffic and stopped on
the other side to remove a layer or two. Just after we restarted mark
punctured, this was soon fixed and off we set. Headed for a lunch stop in
Perth, it was an Egon Ronay place as I recall, Tesco's. Some large
platefuls of grub were quickly scoffed before we headed back out on the
trail for a scenic tour of Perth. Once we had bored ourselves of cycling
around this wonderful town - OK, we got lost - we headed for the A9 and
Inverness. The sun was trying to burn a hole in us as we cycled along.
Capt'n headed off to get a stamp in his book for the Audax E2E he was doing
and we agreed that we would rendezvous in Aviemore before heading onto
Inverness if we did not see him in our planned stop of Pitlochry. On
nearing Pitlochry as the 5 of us were going well we decided to carry on to
Dalwhinnie 20 odd miles up the road. I commented that we were getting a
great tailwind and pointed out a flag blowing north. About 10 minutes later
the wind had swung 180 degrees and brought with it pissing rain and a drop
in temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius. We were now on the climb up the
A9 and down to around 8mph into the wind and rain. We stopped in a lay-by
and shared what drinks we had left between each other and pressed on at a
furious pace - 8mph - to Dalwhinnie. Mark stopped and disappeared up the
hillside to a waterfall as he had finished his drinks, the rest of us sat
at the side of the road in the howling wind and pissing rain wondering what
the hell he was doing. Anyway, we regrouped and pressed onto Dalwhinnie and
headed to the downtown area. Once there we were advised by a local that the
only option open to us was the comfort of the petrol station we had passed
a mile back, we about turned and headed for the warmth of this hostelry. We
were greeted with a welcome as warm as the rain outside as we stood there
dripping. We grabbed some sustenance and started to scoff as we discussed
our options , not that we had any, we had to continue to Aviemore. We were
physically shaking with the cold at this point and decided that we'd best
press on, on going back out to the bikes we quickly retreated back in to
the warmth. We finally plucked up the courage to venture back out and press
on, only way to get any heat was to up the pace into Aviemore which we did
to find the cars waiting on us and a warm drive to Inverness to our digs
followed .
George mentioned to the guys Scott's car that he thought a half past five
start on the last day was too early, little did he know that the Cap'n had
decided that we were getting up at 03:30 the next day for the drive back to
Aviemore for a 4:30 start from there to JoG. This was advised to all as we
reached Inverness, not a squeak of protest was heard from the Big Man, the
Cap'n ruled with a fist of iron. We all met downstairs for a bit of scoff
other than Dapper, given the un Godly hour we were to set off at he buried
himself in bed as soon as possible. 160 miles today.

Day 5 started with a clear sky - well, as clear as it could be at 03:30 but
it looked promising for the day. We assembled in the carpark at 04:00,
passed muster and headed south to Aviemore. We set off back up the road
from Aviemore at 4:30 ish only for Lance to need a cack about 2 miles up
the road, we carried on as Lance disappeared behind a bush for a download,
only for Cap'n to come along - God knows what he was doing but he left
Aviemore 10 mins after us - and see Lance's napper sticking up above a bush
with a load of steam rising. Being a considerate chap he pressed on hard to
catch us and left Lance - or Downhill Dyer as he is also known - to his own
devices. We eventually regrouped several miles up the road and continued in
the bitter cold to Inverness and across the Kessock bridge.
We were all in good spirits as the sun was
up, we had a tailwind and it was our last day. We pressed on to Alness for
a petrol station stop - we either stopped in petrol stations of
supermarkets ! - Cap'n realised that the petrol station was not technically
in Alness and as he needed his card stamped in Alness to record his
progress in the Audax E2E, he headed on a mile or so up the road. The 5 of
us had some grub and juice and then pressed on. We made a crucial and
elementary error in leaving the petrol station in that we let Dapper lead
us . Picture the scene, we are heading north on the A9 , we cut off the A9
onto a slip-road and into the petrol station , on leaving the petrol
station we should have gone back down a slip road and back onto the A9 and
north, but no. We let Dapper - what way up do you hold this map - Dan lead
the way, us being like sheep - by the way the sheep up north have different
accents than those down south - followed him left out of the petrol station
and up a country road for 2 or 3 miles before we realised our error and
that we should have rejoined the A9. A quick phone call to Cap'n soon
confirmed that we were lost. It is should be impossible to get lost on the
A9 but we had managed it, thanks George - after stopping a bus driver we
were soon directed on the correct route. We pressed on to our next
scheduled pitstop at Dornoch. Just short of Dornoch a damsel - who was
part of a support team looking after a group of walkers doing the E2E -
was sitting at the side of the road enjoying the sun and waved to us ,
waving back I failed to notice the rocks at the side of the road , nearly
binned the bike but saved it, but in the process flicked a rock into the
Captain's path, a puncture was the result. I offered to cycle the 3 miles
to Dornoch with a gorse bush branch down my shorts as a punishment but was
spared the pleasure. At Dornoch we were greeted with the best bacon rolls
and tea that any of us had tasted , sourced and delivered by Scott.Thanks.
We headed on to our next planned pitstop in Helmsdale and had soup and tea
in "La Mirage ", a place that has got to be seen to be believed - a shrine
to Barbara Cartland. On leaving the shrine we realised that if we were to
get inside four and a half days then we needed to press on sharpish, true
to form Mark strolled out last and announced that he needed to get changed
as he was wringing with sweat. Scott's car was handy and a quick change
followed. It was then up a 4 mile climb and towards the Brierdale Braes.
Superb bit of road to test one's nerve, John McP had the biggest head shake
on the descent that is possible to have without coming off , the bars
flapped
back and forwards at an alarming rate as John's sphincter tightened to
prevent a nasty accident. I recorded my first ever 50mph on a pushbike but
in hanging on to see 50 on the speedo I had to leave my braking a wee bit
on the late side for the 90 left at the bottom. The frame was flexing so
much on the corner I thought I was a goner , but luck was on my side , got
round safely and continued on my way with a large grin and a few shouts of
"up the Velo ".
We regrouped at an unscheduled pitstop provided by Siobhan and Alana.
Siobhan's car would have put an official team car in the TDF to shame -
food , drink , wheels , tools , you name it, it was there , and she holds a
higher rank than the Cap'n to boot !
It was then onwards to Wick and JoG for the final stretch of what was a
tough but enjoyable experience. It was decided that Mark should lead the
team into JoG. We had to box a certain chap on a yellow Ribble bike in to
prevent him sprinting for the line and stealing the glory , there is just
something about 30 limit signs that gets him going.
We didn't hang around long in JoG as anyone who as ever been there will
fully appreciate. 153 miles today.

A warm journey back to Wick to the comfort of our hotel - booked again by
Siobhan and Alana , thanks - was followed by a leisurely bath, meal and a
few beers. A fitting end to a memorable journey.

All in all it was a great experience, thanks must go in no particular order
to John McPaul for originally suggesting that we do the jaunt, to Cap'n
Robert for superb attention to detail and leadership - he ruled with an
iron fist , to Scott , Siobhan and Alana for providing a great back up
service , and to the whole group for making it a great trip.

George and John completed the trip using the big ring - good effort guys.

George lays claim to the smelliest fart of the journey, he got all five of
us with one fart going up the A9.

Did I mention that I farted a couple of times ?[/img]


Last edited by imacx on Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 12:40 pm 
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Cap'n Here
Could not have been pushing you hard enough Kenny as you remember too much about the journey.
Great article, hope that I was not too hard on all of you. It really is the last time I will be doing LEJOG, it was such a good adventure that I don't think it could be surpassed.

With the money that we have raised, now looks closer to £3,500, it was well worth the pain. We hope to be handing the money over on Friday 27th so if anyone still has money to give could they hand it over to any of the guys before them.

Thanks to one and all


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 328
Location: Greenock
Has a time and place been finalized, for the giving of money to the hospice yet?

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Mark


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 Post subject: LEJOG Report
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 9:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:24 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Houston
Enjoyed the report. Humorous, revealing and informative all at the same time.

Took a lot of hard work, training and support I'm sure.

Great to raise so much money for the local hospice too,

Well done all.

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Ian M


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 8:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:10 am
Posts: 698
Hi Folks
Just a final update on the money raised. we visited the Hospice on Friday to hand in the money and a quick photo shoot. Jane Cox from the hospice replied with details of the final total, see below for her reply:-

"Hi again Robert

Just to let you know - the total for your donation is

£3971.50

Cheers!

Jane

Ardgowan Hospice 12 Nelson Street Greenock PA15 1TS. 01475 726830
Visit us at www.ardhosp.co.uk"

Big thank you to everyone for the support

Cheers
Roberto

Up the Velo


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