Tynedale Hospice at Home Logo and Contact Details

Wed 10 April

  • From: Home
  • To: Brampton circular
  • LEJOG miles cycled: 0
  • Miles cycled: 38.7
  • Map of the Journey

At last I am beginning to get rid of the chest infection and feel up to training again so today Robert and I set off on our standard and lovely Brampton circular for a short 38 mile hop (short! - there was a time when this trip exhausted me and caused me to curse every hill).

Not much to report today so I have experimented with the GoPro camera and dropped in a couple of short videos of a couple of faster parts of the journey for your interest. I will then talk about a wonderful conversation I had with a GEJOLer who did LEJOG backwards last year and gave some great advice.

The two videos are quite short - a minute or so each, I hope you enjoy them. The first video is going down the bank at Greenhead where we reached some pretty impressive speeds.

(Apologetic note: I am currently experimenting with video on the web site and have not got it right yet for all operating systems and browsers.If you don't see the video it's mu fault. I will sort this out asap so please revisit again soon. Thanks.)

The second video is of "The Bank" East of Brampton - again hitting some impressive speeds but on a much bendier road with lots of very rough bits and holes.

Fabulous advice and encouragement

I have just had a fantastic call from Kate Wilkinson's brother NICK who did GOJEL last year in August aged 50 in 13 days of cycling plus one rest day. He had a lot of really interesting advice but his basic message was that this was the trip of a lifetime and unforgettable despite some of the weather last August. He raised £4,000 and was sponsored by the Hexham Courant as well. Here are some key points in no order:

  • He was lucky and had no punctures on the ride itself but did in training. He carried one spare tyre and 2 inner tubes and all his tyres were Kevlar.
  • Try everything out (no exceptions) beforehand including panniers filled, all cycling kit, tools etc.
  • He took 1 water bottle and one small flask and drank tea at the side of the road – very British.
  • Try some days in training that are 50% longer than your intended actual days to give you total confidence you can do anything.
  • Take the week off before hand and do not do too much cycling.
  • Scotland – the further North you go the harder it is to get water or food. He had one hot day where he could not get a drink for over 40 miles and nearly knocked on a private house to get some water.
  • Take a spare tyre – he said this twice without prompting!
  • Take 3 spare spokes and tape them to the frame and take a spoke spanner.
  • Latex gloves and wet wipes are useful when making repairs.
  • Vaseline – as much as you can carry – as well as Sudocream. You will get sore.
  • He filled 2 panniers. Double bag everything against the rain, no matter what the manufacturer says about the panniers.
  • Don't drink alcohol during the day – it will totally knacker you – but do drink at night!
  • Stop and look around a bit and take lots of pictures. He did not do this enough and regrets it massively. He saw some really nice places but was too focussed on getting his 80-90 miles done every day.
  • He used CTC insurance (cycling organisation) and they covered him to the extent they would pick him up in say the Cairngorms and take him to the nearest bike shop to get repaired in the event of breakdown!
  • He has recommended I buy some maps for the iphone and leave the phone on with the maps visible all day. He says these are the equivalent of the OS detailed maps and are worth buying – they also cover walks etc – an of course being electronic do not weigh any extra! I will investigate.

Nick said he could not believe how generous people were on the route where he received lots of donations. For example he stopped at a pub for lunch one day – was just sat outside. His panniers advertised what he was doing. A lady having dinner came out and gave him £80 cash from her and here friends who had just had a quick collection round their table.

Another cyclist passed him on a hill (going up) and got to the top and then cycled back and turned round with Nick. Patted him on the back and said what a great thing he was doing and accompanied him back to the top. Nick said it lifted his spirits enormously that day.

We must remember to take the blue donation tin!!