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What does it take for four work colleagues to decide to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats? What sort of person sets themselves a challenge like this?
We interviewed our crack cycling team to find out what makes them tick.
Land’s End to John O’Groats Cycling Team
Interview with the LEJOG team
So you’re going to cycle the length of the United Kingdom – Lands End to John O’Groats – in 10 days. Just shy of 1,000 miles, that’s a pretty mean feat. How’re you feeling?
Megan: Right now, nerves feature more prominently than excitement but I’m excited to hopefully complete a real challenge. Having never done anything like this before I’m looking forward to the physical and mental challenge it will bring but am unsure how my legs feel about that!
We’re sure you’ll be fine! So up til now, what’s been your toughest cycling challenge you’ve undertaken?
Megan: The hardest ride I’ve ever done was London to Dunwich on the north Suffolk coast – at night! It was 120 miles, relying on the moonlight for navigation and the torrential rain didn’t help, so it felt like a real achievement.
Gina: The 40km bike ride I did this year as part of Olympic Triathlon was pretty tough, but as it is my favourite discipline of the three I absolutely loved it! The LEJOG ride is going to be much, much bigger than anything else I’ve ever done – but then that’s what makes it a challenge!
Olly: Cycling the Khardung La in India – the world’s highest motorable road.
Dave: There are two that are etched into my mind! The first is cycling Geneva to Nice, 750km over ten of the highest peaks in Europe with 11.500m of vertical ascent.
There was a lot of climbing on that trip but the distance has nothing on LEJOG! The second was probably my toughest day on a bike when I cycled the Dragon Ride in Wales earlier this year; 230km with 3400m of elevation in 7.5hrs, I had a couple of days off the bike after that one!
Some big hills in there. If that’s the hardest, then how about your absolute favourite day’s cycling?
Gina: This is a difficult one! I think my most memorable cycle has got to be Ometepe Island in Nicaragua. There is something very special about taking a ferry to an active volcano island, riding alongside spectacular lakeside scenery and then ending with an impromptu dip in the lake and a cold beer.
Olly: For me it’s the road to Benje in Albania. Snow-capped mountains in the distance, lush green valleys below, and not another soul on the roads.
Dave: It’s got to be the final day on our Atlas Descent in Morocco. Starting at 2000m above sea level you spend the whole day descending rocky trails through the High Atlas Mountains before ending on the beach and running into the Atlantic for a swim.
Megan: Cycling around the thousands of temples and pagodas in Bagan, Myanmarat sunrise. Beautifully calm and so deserted.
We’re pretty jealous – they all sound great. So if that’s your perfect day, who would be your perfect cycling companion?
Gina: I think my ultimate cycling companion has got to be my Dad. I definitely get my competitive spirit from him! This year we’re planning on cycling up Mont Ventoux together so I’m going to have to train hard to be able to beat him up there.
Megan: I would like Prince to accompany me on any ride, ideally with a sound system and willing to sing his greatest hits to assist with motivation up the hills!
Dave: My dog Badger! He always wants to go out for a ride and never gets a puncture.
Olly: Lord Flashheart from Blackadder. A true British hero.
That’s a peloton we’d like to see! One last question – what are you looking forward to most about the LEJOG cycling challenge?
Gina: I generally choose to do things because I like to put myself well out of my comfort zone; with an average of 100 miles a day, cycling LEJOG is certainly going to do that!
But I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is just being out on my bike as much as possible – there is something so simple about the pleasure I get from being on two wheels, eyes on the road, with my mind on my goal.
Olly: Obviously the comradery… but deep down it’s going to be eating as many pasties throughout Cornwall as humanly possible for fuel.
Dave: Yeah, definitely eating loads of food! And spending ten days on my bike and discovering new parts of the UK.
Browse some of our best-selling cycling trips below and set off on your own adventure.