Common Sense

I’ve had to bite the bullet and admit defeat. 

After our 62 mile ride on 25th June it became apparent that riding 150 miles a day on 26″ wheels and low gears wasn’t going to be achievable for more than a couple of days (if at all), so I switched the rack onto a road bike last night.

I’m not necessarily happy about it because doing the ride on the recycled bike was always part of the plan. I’ve never not finished a ride I’ve set out to do and I didn’t want this to be the first.

So… That decision made, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being worried about the weight. It does have a sprung seat post, so that’ll take some of the bumps out, but there’s gonna be a LOT of weight sitting on the back wheel. Another kit list is in the making… I’m also going to switch the stock tires for a pair of Gatorskins which should take a little more punishment.

I’ve managed to trim 10 miles off the first day (NOT the whole journey – total distance remains the same) as I’ll ride from John O’Groats to the hotel in Sinclair Bay on the Sunday night. I’ll get to stretch my legs a bit before the first full day which will then also be a little shorter than originally planned. I can’t do much anywhere else as the hotels, campsites and ferries have already been booked.

So what else is worrying me? Other than the distance, not very much at all to be honest. Traffic is as much of a concern whether you’re riding 10 miles, 100 or 1000. Truck drivers get a bad press, but they’re not too bad. They don’t want an accident any more than anyone else. Sometimes someone will pull out in front of you or cut in a bit close when they pass – that happened three times on the 25th, but you just have to ride as predictably and as sensibly as you can. You can certainly cut down the risk by being a good rider yourself. That’s not to say it eliminates the risk entirely, but a little bit of road sense can go a long way.

The weather, the mossies, the camping, the climbing, mechanical issues, getting lost – everything else I think I’m pretty much prepared for, so with less than two weeks to go I think I’m ready.

Bring it on.


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