When I was planning my End to End ride, I had a lot of questions about cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats. I have compiled a list of questions and answers that will help anyone that is thinking about riding LEJOG.
What is LEJOG?
LEJOG stands for Lands End to John O’Groats, a popular walking and cycle challenge in the UK
How Far is it from Lands End to John O’Groats?
The distance between Lands End and John O’Groats all depends on which route you take. The distance is 603 miles as the crow flies. As there is no official LEJOG route there is no official distance. I have compiled a few suggestions
My LEJOG Route – 1200 miles via the East Coast of England
Google Maps Route – 965 miles
Cicerone Guide Route – 1000 miles via quiet roads and traffic free paths.
Sustrans LEJOG Route using NCN – 1189 miles
How Much Will LEJOG Cost?
The cost of the journey will depend on where you are going to sleep. Riding self supported with a tent will most likely be the cheapest option. Staying in a hotel, Airbnb, or guest house will be more expensive. Adding daily food, transport to and from the start/finish and equipment will also increase the price. The whole journey cost me in the region of £2000 of which £1068.31p was accommodation for 21 nights, train and ferry fares, equipment, and food.
How Long Does LEJOG Take?
The quickest LEJOG ride was done in 51 hours, 5 minutes, and 27 seconds. Most people ride LEJOG over 2 weeks, I cycled LEJOG over 3 weeks, and this gave me time to stop and enjoy places along the route. Remember that it is not always about the destination but the journey itself.
How Fit Do I have to be to cycle LEJOG?
Cycling over 1000 miles is no easy task and does take a basic level of fitness however you do not need to be an Olympic athlete to complete it. My advice would be to get as many miles in before you go and get used to cycling some distance on consecutive days. In my experience, as the ride progressed so did my fitness and it did get easier.
How Hard is LEJOG?
How hard the challenge depends on a number of factors including which route you take, how many days you do it over and how many miles you cycle in a day. I completed the challenge over 21 days, a 46 year old slightly overweight man cycling 40 to 60 miles per day. It wasn’t easy but equally, it was not hard.
How to Train for LEJOG?
I would recommend that you try cycling to work to start with, this daily routine gets your body used to cycling each day. Build it up from there by cycling one or two longer rides each week. I increased my weekly mileage up to 100 miles. Also, try some 100k or 100 mile rides in the build up. One thing is for sure you do get fitter as the ride progresses.
Could Headwinds Ruin LEJOG?
Headwinds can ruin any cycle ride. You may have planned your Lands End to John O’Groats ride for months and even years but one thing you can not change is the weather.
Should I Ride LEJOG Solo?
Yes! I rode solo over 21 days, it was an amazing experience. Being on my own gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted, stop where I wanted and above all, it forced me to be sociable.
What is the LEJOG Record?
The record time for cycling LEJOG is 839 miles in 51 hours. This amazing achievement was completed by Christina Mackenzie in 2021.
Would I ride LEJOG Again?
Absolutely, it is an amazing experience and one I am so proud I did. Being able to cycle through so many places and meet many people along the way was fantastic.
What was my Favorite Part of the ride?
Cycling NCN 1, Coast and Castles Cycle Route up the Northumberland Coastline was a particular highlight. The climb up the Pass of Dromochter from Blair Athol to my overnight in Dalwhinnie was another great part of the ride.
Do You Need a Light Bike for LEJOG?
No, you can ride it on any bike, a lighter bike will help however on most LEJOG attempts the rider has to carry some form of baggage so no matter how light your bike is there will be added weight.
How Bad are Cornish Hills on LEJOG?
In my opinion, the Cornish hills are not that bad. On day one proper I managed to cycle over 60 miles from Penzance to Bodmin with little to no hill training. Take your time, select a low gear, and pedal, it is not a race.
How Far in Advance to Book Train for LEJOG?
Book your trains for LEJOG as soon as you can, however, I booked my trains to Penzance 6 weeks before. This included a train from Manchester to Euston and then Paddington to Penzance. I booked my transport to get back to Manchester from John O’Groats on my second last day. This included a ferry to Orkney, a ferry from Orkney to Aberdeen, and then a train back to Manchester via Edinburgh.
What Navigation Should User for LEJOG?
I used a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus watch and it was superb. Long battery life, turn-by-turn navigation and less bulky than a cycle computer.
What Time of Year is Best for LEJOG?
I cycled LEJOG in June, the weather was fantastic apart from 2 days. Tourist traffic was low in June and the long mid-summer days meant I did not have to worry about it getting dark.