It was interesting being in parts of the country I'd never visited before, the scenery was great and everyone was friendly and interested in what I was doing.
I scanned and printed the maps from the book with the directions and the profile and used them in my map holder on my handlebar bag. I had to wrap them in a see through plastic folder to ensure they didn't get wet as my map holder proved not to be waterproof.
The route daily destinations are listed below:
Date Destination Daily Miles Total Miles
Things that I wouldn't change:
1) The bike, My Hewitt cheviot SE touring bike is a great touring bike and it has low enough gears that I was able to get up all the hills, without geting off and pushing. It always feels stable even when fully laden. Also, I managed to do it without one puncture.
2) The Brooks saddle - I had no posterior problems at all.
3) The direction of travel, quite a few go from John O'Groats to Lands End but I thought it was good to get the hills of Cornwall out of the way first. Also, although the wind wasn't a major factor, the one day when it was strong, it was from the south so was more in my favour than against me. Also it was good to have Hilary meet me at John O'Groats and drive me home, this wouldn't have been practical at Lands End.
4) My luggage, these Altura panniers have proved to be very waterproof, so everything was kept dry.
Things I learned and would do differently:
1) I wouldn't take my camping gear, the wet weather wasn't condusive to camping and indeed I ended up getting a cold and the last thing I wanted to do was camp. Indeed it was one whole pannier and was at least half the weight I was carrying and slowed me down no end. I would probably just look at aiming for a place the next day and book a room there the night before.Indeed the second week, Hilary was booking my next nights accomodation the night before after discussing where I should be aiming for, I maybe could have gone further but I was glad of the rest in the late afternoons. Hilary was a great help here and I would have struggled with out her.
2) I would look at doing the trip in May, as I believe it is quite often drier and certainly less busy tourist wise. This should make it easier and cheaper for accomodation.
3) I'd probably take more photos but somehow I never feel like taking photos in the rain. So the photos I do have are mostly when the sun showed up.