Tongue to John O'Groats, Scotland
64 miles, 3,835 feet of climbing
Total LEJOG miles: 1,053
We made it!
It was a fantastic day of riding to John O'Groats. We started our ride this morning under cloudy skies and chilly temps. We enjoyed a quartering tailwind almost all the way to John O'Groats. Our route generally followed the coast, so we had amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean all day. We had some good climbs in the first half of the ride, which provided breathtaking scenery of the Scottish highlands. Around mile 40, the terrain leveled out somewhat and, with the tailwind, we were able to cruise along at a fairly speedy pace. Just before 2 p.m., Art & I arrived at the famous "John O'Groats" post (photo below), indicating the other end of our "End to End" journey from Land's End to John O'Groats. We were elated to have completed this epic ride.
A few observations I've made after having competed this ride:
- Every Brit is born with a sense of humor. Every single local person I conversed with during this Tour said something that made me laugh, or at least smile.
- It is possible to ride your bike up a long hill with grades of 17% or more without having your drive train explode or your pedal cranks break off. It's not easy, but it is possible. Often, we are stronger than we think.
- Lambs are every bit as cute in person as they are as stuffed animals.
- The weather here sucks. Very little sunshine. I now understand why English citizens are so pale.
- When perusing menus here in the U.K., one should not be shocked or alarmed by the appearance of the words blood, intestines, stomach, organs, or dick By the same token, one should not be fooled by use of the words pudding, pie or pastry to describe an item. These terms do not necessarily mean what you think they mean.
- The fantastic group of people we traveled with on this tour - our 16 fellow riders, our Tour Leader, Steve, and our van driver, Peter - took this tour from good to great. These folks were fun to be around, not to mention inspiring - many members in our group were in their 70s, and three were age 80! We couldn't have asked for a better group.
- Life is good!
|Elevation profile of today's ride|
|Starting the ride out of Tongue with a spritzing of rain|
|Heading to John O'Groats|
|Views from the road - leaving Tongue|
|Caution: cute lambs in the road|
|Closing in on John O'Groats|
|Fellow rider, Hewes, thanking our van driver, Peter, and Tour Leader, Steve, on behalf of all of us.|
|Steve - one last dose of his British wit with some end-of-tour observations|