LEJOG is a British cycle touring rite of passage. It is short for Land’s End – John O’Groats, and refers to cycling between the two destinations. Prevailing winds mean most people start at the bottom and cycle up, but a fair number cycle it in the opposite direction, when it’s referred to as JOGLE. The only parts of the route that are fixed are the start and the finish, and people make up their own way in between. If you speak to most British cyclists, they’ll either tell you that they’d love to do LEJOG/JOGLE, or that they loved it when they did LEJOG/JOGLE.
LEJOGLE is exactly what the name suggests: a ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, then back again to Land’s End.
Cycling LEJOG/JOGLE is a major commitment, in terms of time, as well as costs (especially if staying in B&Bs along the way. Most people take at least two weeks to cycle LEJOG/JOGLE, though plenty take considerably longer. At 14 days, at just £50/night means £700 just on bed and breakfast. With around 80 miles of cycling per day, on a laden touring bike, you’ll probably spend almost as much again on meals. To be fair, that’s a lot cheaper than a foreign holiday, but you still need to budget for it.
You also need to factor in the costs of getting to the start, and getting back home again from the end, and you need to add in the time all that will take. This means the average person will need around 16 days, and £2 000 spare to do LEJOG/JOGLE. Yes, it’s possible to do it faster, and I’m sure you can do it cheaper, but we’re looking at the average person here.
The combination of cost and time means many (most?) who’d like to cycle LEJOG/JOGLE can’t do so. In fact, I expect the time requirements explain why the majority of cyclists doing LEJOG/JOGLE tend to be older, often retired.
Incidentally, credit for the photos in this post go to Edwardo-Ka and Shippers – do yourself a favour and follow them both on Twitter.
To get to the heart of this post: I want to try and arrange a LEJOGLE relay. The principle is simple – instead of 1 person cycling the entire route, we’ll organise a whole bunch of people to each cycle part of it. To add some spice to the whole venture, I’ll be applying for getting the attempt officially recognised as a Guinness World Record – specifically “The largest number of cyclists to participate in a LEJOGLE relay in 28 days”.
Now a lot of detail still need to be hammered out, including the route. The most direct route’s almost 900 miles each way, but our route will be far longer, as it’s dependent on the location of participants. Though a relay, not all participants will cycle exactly the same distance, and the reason for that is simple: in densely-populated areas, it will be easy to find participants, but in sparsely-populated areas, it can be more of a challenge.
Importantly, this will not be a race. As long as overall we average around 75 miles per day, shared between riders and based on a total distance of 2 000 miles, we would be on track to complete this during our target time-frame of 28 days. If the route becomes significantly longer, the daily average will need to rise to reflect that. Our challenge will be to get as many riders as possible, and that will impact on the route.
I expect we’ll need at least 56 riders, ideally far more.
The route is going to be slightly different to what is the norm. Typically, people tend to take a route that passes West of the Pennines. Our route from Land’s End to John O’Groats will do this too, but the return leg will be East of the Pennines. This is deliberate, so that more people will have an opportunity to be a part of the ride. I will update this post when a more detailed route starts to emerge.
Provisionally, we’ll pencil this in to start on Saturday, 4th of June 2022, setting off from Land’s End at 08h00. I’ll ride the 1st segment, but at this stage I’ve no idea how far I’ll need to ride until I hand the Spot messenger to the next rider. On the return leg, I’ll also do the last leg, hopefully on Saturday, 2nd of July 2022, so I have the Spot messenger immediately to hand, so give Guinness World Records GPS data of the ride. If you’re available in the area on either date, you’d be more than welcome to join me, and I’d be very happy to duck out of any photo opportunities, leaving you in front of the camera.
Guinness World Records?
Yes, we’re hoping to set a GWR record – specifically for “Largest number of riders doing a LEJOGLE relay in 28 days”. IMPORTANT: GWR needs to decide whether or not they’d accept that as a record – I have no control over that, but the ride will go ahead regardless of their decision. If GWR accepts our attempt, it will be listed as a WillCycle record – they don’t list individuals who participated in a mass-participation event, but (provided you’re happy for me to do so) I will list everyone’s names, along with what segment they cycled, in a different post. With that in mind, please will you take as many photos as you can along the way, and ask riders why might accompany you to do the same?
Where do I sign up?
I’ve had a fair number of people already respond to this on Twitter, but I’m going to have to ask you to sign up via a comment at the bottom of this post. I won’t publish your comment, so please will you let me know where you’re based (I neither need, nor want your address) and how far you’d be willing to cycle? I will slowly collate all that information, and start building a route based on that. I will email you to confirm your route segment.
Importantly, by participating, you agree to carry the Spot messenger and keep it safe, before handing it to the next rider. It will be the responsibility of the rider starting a segment to ensure they have the Spot messenger, and participating in the event means you agree to have at least one photo of you published.