On the off potential for success that you have on the bluff at Land’s End with your back to the ocean and the greatness of England extending in front of you, the main thing you see is an amusement park. It’s not the most encouraging prologue to the nation. However, my companion Ed and I had our sights set well past the costly frozen yogurt and Arthur’s Quest insight. We had them fixed 874 miles away – on John o’Groats.
Numerous midlife undertakings flash into life in the bar after one such a large number of pints and a chaser of grandiosity. Our own, nonetheless, was an immediate response to the foreshortened skylines of the pandemic. What better approach to shake off the shackles of lockdown than a self-upheld, fourteen day trekking and outdoors journey over the length of the nation? “Well … ” my better half snickered, “what about remaining in a lavish lodging?” She presents an enticing defense, however long stretches of gazing at similar four dividers had caused me to long for widescreen displays and the opportunity of the open street.
You can, obviously, set off whenever of year, yet it bodes well to do the ride when: (a) it’s dry and warm, and (b) the midges are lethargic. The greatest months, hence, are May and June. So it was a long way from ideal that we picked September when (a) it was wet and cold, and (b) the midges were in all out illicit rave mode.
Following quite a while of readiness (otherwise known as, loads of pack faffing and hardly any preparation), we boarded the Great Western Railway at Paddington and headed towards Penzance. From that point we cycled the dozen or so miles to the tip of the nation. There was a long line of individuals standing by to have their image taken at the milestone’s celebrated fingerpost. We remained as close to it as we could, watching peculiarly strange among the jet-setters in our Lycra and caps, our bicycles stacked with outdoors stuff and anything we figured we may requirement for a fortnight’s journey (our unit list covered different sides of A4). Subsequent to grinning at the bewildered travelers, we hurled on to our bicycles and took the first of a large number of pedal strokes towards the removed north.
The primary stage was a short one, an appendage loosener along the coast to St Ives, where we stayed outdoors in the nursery of certain companions. They took care of us and tuned in to our arrangements with satisfying wonderment – prior to inquiring as to whether we’d possibly prefer to acquire two wool coats as it was getting cool, and what about certain towels, as well … Our pack list hadn’t been as thorough as we’d suspected.
The following morning our experience started vigorously. To guard ourselves from the hazard of roaring juggernauts and to see however much of Britain’s brilliant field as could be expected, we’d chose to follow a course made by Sustrans. The economical vehicle good cause has set up a shocking trap of sans traffic courses for walkers and riders since 1977. By following its National Cycle Network trails, we’d have the option to cover the long excursion on calm paths, green ways, rock trails, tough tracks and sluggish byways. Sustrans was right when it portrayed the course as the “remarkable ride that should not be taken lightly” – it was wild and beautiful, yet the perpetual convoluted slopes were vital for all some unacceptable reasons.