Returning to John O’Groats

What Am I Doing?

It seems so strange planning a return here after the relief of leaving last year. Last year I ran the approximately 1,000 mile route from Lands End to John O’Groats; this year, from Wednesday (27th May) I am now intending to head back down the other way; only this time on a bike.

Macclesfield - Thurso

Macclesfield – Thurso

I want to point out at this early stage, that I am NOT a cyclist. I don’t really know the first thing about cycling; I don’t look like one and I certainly don’t own all the gear.

So here is what’s likely going to happen: I’m going to do a number of things badly/wrong; make loads of mistakes and by the end of it, have a pretty good idea of what you need to spend your money on as a brand new cyclist. This promises to be educational!

What planning have I done?

I got myself a bike; I thought this was important when contemplating a bike ride. I had plenty of help with this from my bike nerd friends. As I said before, I didn’t know the first thing about bikes. I didn’t know what a ‘gearset’ was; I’d never heard of the word ‘Shimano’ and frankly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between carbon fiber and MDF (or whatever the other bike materials are…) In the end, I opted for this German offering (below), as I thought it might be efficient… and possibly organised.

Focus Cayo

Focus Cayo

I do feel like I have now sufficiently trained myself (on paper) to effectively look after a bike and prevent it from falling apart (thank you, Youtube!). I now own tools and equipment that allow me to repair things such as tyres. I’ve never actually had to mend a puncture before, but I figured how hard could it possibly be?

What Training Have I Done?

Well I’ve only owned a road bike for about four weeks ish, but in that time I have done 11 bike rides and I haven’t fallen off even once! Bike riding is clearly easy; I think that will probably be enough training.


John O’Groats – Gretna Green (410 miles)


Gretna Green – Aust (298 miles)


Aust – Lands End (222 miles)

How Many Miles A Day Are You Doing? Where Are You Going To Sleep? Blah Blah…

I don’t know. I never know the answers to these kind of questions. I plan to cycle until I am either hungry or tired, then eat or sleep accordingly.

I don’t have anywhere near the money to eat in nice places every day, or sleep in nice hotels, so I’ve not planned any stops. I intend to do a lot of eating when I see a supermarket, and sleeping on convenient pieces of ground I find at night time.

And Finally, How Do You Intend To Get Back Home From Cornwall?

Erm….. yeah, that seems like a job for ‘Future-Dan’ to think about.. Yeah, I’ll let that idiot worry about that minor detail. Good thinking!

Preliminary Kit Gathering

Preliminary Kit Gathering

If you like, you can follow my progress (or lack of) HERE on my facebook page.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *