9. Mar, 2018

Preparations started with a slightly different twist.

I spent a lot of time trying to decide on where to ride this year and finally decided on checking off the European cyclist bucket list item of riding LEJoG (Land's End to John o'Groats).  By riding it in reverse (thus, JoGLE) I can better continue the ride all the way back to Aachen.  

The twist this time is that I will fly with my bike from Düsseldorf to Edinburgh before starting the trip.  That means I have to disassemble my bike, pack it, and reassemble it once I get to Edinburgh.  I reassembled my Koga in 2016 after it was shipped back to Germany from Trondheim.  But this time, I'll have to do the packing myself.  

My flight is already booked.  I had to book extra baggage for both the bike and my baggage, but the price was quite reasonable.  I will fly from Düsseldorf on 31 May and will remain overnight in Edinburgh at a hotel near the train station.  

The next morning I'll take the train from Edinburgh to Wick in far Northeastern Scotland.  I don't have the train tickets yet as you can't book more than 12 weeks prior to the ticket date.  I'll be ordering them in the next days, however, as the bicycle places need to be reserved.  I've read that there are few of them, and they're said to go fast in the summer months.

From Wick my first day of riding will be a short one.  It's only 28.7 km from there to John o'Groats.  I plan to stay in the campground there and perhaps do some hiking.  I'll start cycling in earnest the next morning.  

What I have to do now is the same as each year.  I need to ramp up my training kilometers and be sure to include lots of hill work.  I need to sort through my stuff to make sure I'm bringing what I need and leaving everything else behind.  And, I need to research where on the route I will have campgrounds (not required in Scotland).  Where I don't have campgrounds I'll either wild camp or try to hook up with a Warmshowers host.  Warmshowers is a network of cyclists around the globe who offer a place to stay for other cyclists passing through.  I've not used it before, but have only heard good things about it.  

Now, to the increased training.......