Since starting out on my B and B venture in November 09 one of the big bonuses for me has been taking the opportunity to meet many different people from many varied walks of life.
One of the bigger surprises to me recently has been the number of people that have stayed with us who are cycling the full length of the country from Lands End to John O Groats (or as they like to call it LEJOG) – they must be mad!!!
It got me thinking and as usual I had to find out more about this craze that seems to be a burning ambition for many cyclists. The first thing to strike me was the varied mix of people taking on the challenge from lone cyclists to old and young couples and on to small and large groups of all ages – all with the one aim – to keep going and complete the trip.
The amazing trek is 874 miles by road, however most cyclists will cover somewhere between 950 and 1000 miles in order to avoid some of the busy main roads. During that trip the person on the bike will do over 500,000 pedal strokes and a wheel on their bicycle will do over 700,00 revolutions. Unfortunately there are no statistics available for the amount of cream a person will use on a very sore and tender bum during the journey, however I expect it would be quite a sizeable tub!!. This year it is estimated that an incredible 3000 people will take up the challenge and an average experienced and dedicated cyclist will cover around 70 miles per day and will complete the journey in 12 to 15 days – its certainly not for the faint hearted.
The record for the journey on a bicycle is an incredible 44 hours, 4 minutes and 20 seconds set by Gethin Butler in 2001 (a time of 41 hours, 4 minutes and 22 seconds was set by Andy Wilkinson on a tricycle). The slowest time does not appear to have been recorded, therefore I think it would be a good idea to get something in the books – so if anyone has completed the challenge and lets say “taken the scenic leisurely route” past a few pubs etc I would love to hear from them?!?!. Unbelievably there have been several people completed on unicycles with the fastest by Mike Day and Michael Arts in 1986 who both unicycled 901 miles in 14 days 12hours and 41 minutes.
Having welcomed many of them through our doors it sometimes is a race against time on our part to get their bikes secured in the basement, get them booked in and most importantly get them up the stairs and into their rooms before their legs seize up after 70 to 80 miles in the saddle. I guess when they wake up from their slumber they must slowly realise – Oh no not another day on the road.
I take my hat off to them one and all, it must be a great sense of achievement when you reach that elusive sign post at either end of the country. When you have finished you can sit and look back on all the wonderful days and experiences you encountered along the way – the good ones will always outweigh the bad when you pass the finishing line.
I look forward to welcoming many more to Glenaldor House and hope that if nothing else I can give them a comfy and warm bed to sleep in and a hearty breakfast before the continue their challenge.
I am still awaiting my first visitor doing the challenge on foot, however I know it is only a matter of time. The current record? – an incredible 12 days and 3 hours and just to ensure that humans never cease to amaze us some crazy person walked it backwards in 26 days and 7 hours!!!!
Remember anyone who thinks they hold the record for the longest time taken contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenaldor House Bed and Breakfast.