Cyclist

Made it! After two weeks, 2,500km and an awful lot of chamois cream, Cyclist arrives triumphant in Land’s End

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Ilove it when a plan comes together. Especially a plan formulated on the back of a beer mat and held together with dreams and devil-may-care. Which is how we came to ride the length of Britain by the toughest route. When Covid first struck, seemingly back in another lifetime, we were faced with a bit of a dilemma: how to produce a magazine about foreign travel and cycling when you can’t travel abroad or cycle more than 5km from your front door? That’s when we hit upon the idea of doing an epic ride in the

UK – all we’d need is a brief window in lockdown restrictio­ns and someone with legs of steel. The first was granted in the summer of 2021; the second appeared in the form of Marcus Leach, a rider and writer who has never been known to pass up an opportunit­y to punish himself for the sake of a good story. Just our sort of guy.

Next came the plan. Plenty of cyclists have done the JOGLE ride – John O’groats to Land’s End – but how many have done it while taking in most of the hardest climbs this country has to offer? Now that’s a challenge, and combines just the right amounts of beauty and insanity to justify the Cyclist label.

So it was that, abetted by our friends at mapping company komoot, we plotted a course that wound it’s way through the lumpiest and most idyllic parts of the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, the

Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, North Wales, Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and finally to the southernmo­st tip of Cornwall. Along the way we took in heinous leg-shredders such the Bealach na Ba in Scotland, the Honister and Hardknott passes in the Lakes, Cragg Vale in Yorkshire, Stwlan Dam and The Tumble in Wales, and Cheddar Gorge in Somerset.

The British weather added to the fun, as did the occasional wayward sheep and daydreamin­g motorist, but after 14 long days Marcus eventually came to a halt at Land’s End, and you can read about his final day’s exploits on p110 of this issue.

And if you fancy giving the route a go yourself you can find it at komoot.com/collection/1023382. It’s always good to have a plan.

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 ?? Pete Muir, Editor ??
Pete Muir, Editor

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