When people talk about iconic rides in the UK there really is only one for a touring cyclist. Lands end to John o’ groats is probably one of the most famous rides the uk has to offer, with thousands of riders travelling from far and wide to complete it every year!
This year Myself, Lee and Hayden took on the challenge, Riding from John O’ Groats to Lands end in 10 days. We travelled just under 950miles, covering around 80-110miles a day. We tended to ride hard in the morning, have a nice pub lunch and then ride until our stomachs told us to stop. Camping is essential to give you the most flexibility in terms of your schedule.
When attempting a tour like this you end up reading stuff about packing only the essentials. We all tried to keep the weight down on our bikes, carrying little in the way of clothes and luxuries. We each had a lightweight tent, which makes a lot of sense as they pack down small and weight next to nothing. Sleeping is always easy on a ride like this as you are pretty tired at the end of most days and in the summer months the sun sets late in the day, so we normally ended up going to sleep as the sun set and waking up with it. It is always nice to have some luxuries, I chose to carry fresh coffee and a lightweight way of making it as mine and also a book that maybe was a little too heavy.
In terms of cycling gear and tools the basics worked, Cycling jerseys and bib shorts keep our bodies warm and comfortable. Of course a good set of water proofs is always essential, however we only needed them for half a day in the 10 day trip which was lucky. Tools I took the following and didn’t use any of it!
1x quick patches
1 x allen key set
1 x High pressure pump
1 x adjustable spanner
1 x quick link
The bikes worked perfectly, we all rode different set ups, but we all had compact chain sets and larger ratios cassettes. They are as follows-
My ride- Surly Long haul trucker –
Sram rival groupset with Paul touring cantis, Velo orange noir mudguards, HplusSon Archetype rims, Son dyno hub with Schmidt light set, Surly nice guy front rack (I just had a top bag and front panniers) Brooks cambium.
Lee’s ride – Van Nicholas Yukon – Shimano 8 speed with bar end shifters, Tb14 rims, Son hub with Schmidt light and home made usb charing unit, Selle italia flite saddle and Blackburn stainless rack
Hayden’s ride – Roberts custom road frame – Campagnolo 10 speed, Mavic open pros, Son hub with The Plug usb charging unit, Brooks Cambium.
The three things that I would highly recommend that we all used are the Son dynamo front hub, Ortlieb panniers and the awesome Brooks Cambium! Nothing beats having a dynamo powered light set and charger, dry clothes and a comfortable saddle!
If your thinking about a touring build or need some advice on parts or ways to make your current set up work for touring swing by the shop or give us a call.