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Cycle camping: day 7 - John C. Kirk

Jul. 10th, 2010

11:00 pm - Cycle camping: day 7

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I went on a cycle camping holiday in Brittany from 3rd July to 10th July (via Breton Bikes). I'm backdating my blog posts for each day, based on notes I made at the time.

So, the final leg of the journey. I was just doing a single day of the route (day 7) rather than "doubling up", so I wasn't too worried about this. On the other hand, I had to be back at Gouarec by 13:00 so that I could get the taxi to the station, whereas for the rest of the week it wasn't a problem if I cycled for longer than I'd expected. I left Priziac at 09:53, and reached Gouarec at 12:30, so that was all fine. I had to change my GPS battery after the first 20 minutes: I might have been able to keep the old one for the rest of the journey, but I'd have to replace it sooner or later so there was no real advantage to letting it drain completely. Anyway, that means that two AA batteries pretty much lasted all week, and I'm satisfied with that.

Distance cycled: 35.6km.

Looking at the week as a whole, the longest I cycled was 94.1km (on Tuesday 6th). That's also the furthest that I've ever cycled in a single day, so I'm quite pleased with that. However, part of the reason I went on this holiday was to see whether I'm ready for LEJOG, and I think the answer is "not yet". A typical route from Land's End to John O'Groats is 1050 miles: that's 50 miles (80km) per day for 21 days, or 70 miles (112km) per day for 15 days. So, even looking at the "easy" version (80km per day), I only did that once in the week, and I was quite tired at the end. I've never cycled as far as 112km, let alone doing it over and over again for several days in a row! So, I need to work on my endurance. Here's a "thermometer" to track how far I can cycle in a single day:

94km

I'm not aiming for 200km in particular, that was just a convenient marker because miles and km coincide. So, the obvious next target is 100km, then 75 miles, and so on. Last year I bought a Sustrans map showing a route from London to Brighton: if I start in Greenwich then it's 66 miles (106km). I've ordered some Ordnance Survey Landranger maps to supplement the Sustrans map, which will give me a chance to evaluate whether they provide enough detail for me. (I didn't bother with the laminated "Active" versions for this, since I can just wait until it's not raining, but I may get them for LEJOG.) According to Google Maps, Croydon to Southampton is about 75 miles (120km). My other Sustrans map is London to Oxford, which is 99 miles (158km), so it would be simple enough to do a bit extra and hit 100 miles. However, I think I'll wait until I get my new bike, rather than trying those distances on the Brompton!

Having said all that, this was also a holiday in its own right, not simply a rehearsal, and I enjoyed it, so I'm very glad that I went.