One of the most epic cycle rides in Britain is Lands End to John o’Groats, aka LEJOG. But it can be pretty gruelling, as MD John Krause recently discovered!
John is known for his marathon running (he’s completed 200) and is very active – he swims daily, plays football and cycles from Wimbledon to our factory in Southwark each day. So when a group of his friends signed up to the famous ride from the far South of England to the far North of Scotland, John decided to tag along.
The others were well seasoned long distance cyclists, but John found the experience very challenging. They were cycling an average of 100 miles a day, up to 12 hours on the bikes, carrying everything with them. Rather than follow main roads, this route follows greenways, cycle paths and country roads, not entirely plain sailing.
“My fellow cyclists took no prisoners! On just one day we cycled 120 miles and in the Lake District we had a gruelling 3000m climb!” John had several mechanical mishaps, which found him having to visit bike shops along the route, and as the others ploughed on, John found himself cycling alone, relying on his navigation system to keep him on track.
He says that the start of the journey travelling through Cornwall was the hardest part, though this was rivalled by the Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District, at an altitude of 1,489 feet. “46 minutes of cycling up and up – and up! With some of it a 20% incline.”
However, John’s efforts were rewarded with some of the most amazing scenery he says he’s ever seen. “The West coast of Scotland was mind-blowing. It was so unexpected. I’ve travelled the world and it was almost better than anything else I’ve seen.”
The whole route took 13 days covering almost 1200 miles (by road the traditional route is 874 miles). And, despite his exhaustion, John arrived home in London with a real sense of achievement. “But I’ve never been so pleased to get back to work! I will say that it’s had a positive impact on me, it’s made me more determined to be even better organized and disciplined.”
While John often takes part in runs and rides for charity, on this occasion it was purely for self-satisfaction. Well done John, rather you than us!