This post recounts the second day of my 14 day LEJOG19 adventure, in August 2019. For tips based on my experience, please go to my blogpost How to ride Land’s End to John O’Groats. Here’s the post about Day 1, Land’s End to Fowey
The sun was shining as we set off from Fowey to the Bodinnick ferry. We were lucky – heavy rain overnight had moved east by breakfast time, a theme that would be repeated several times over the journey north.
Yesterday was simply an appetiser for today’s main course of West Country hills. The pattern was simple: climb, descent, repeat. But it was garnished with lashings of nostalgia as memories of childhood holidays in this part of world came flooding back. We passed through Looe and had the morning’s brew stop at Seaton, Cornwall, just cross the road from where I paddled a rubber dinghy in the glorious heatwave summer of 1976.
Lunch today was on the waterfront in Cremyll overlooking Plymouth. We had another ferry ride to the Devon city, but had to wait as we couldn’t all get on the first one. There followed a bit of a frustrating trek round Plymouth – an example of how cycle ways too often take slow and circuitous routes to avoid main roads. Finally, we escaped onto the Plym valley railway path, which took us into the foothills of Dartmoor without really noticing how high we’d climbed. (The beauty of cycle paths that use old railways.) This was much easier than the long, long climb from Tavistock that I remembered from 2002.
By the time we reached Yelverton, the sunshine had given way to wind and a sharp downpour. Fortunately, the weather cleared before we tackled the climb onto the moors. The sight of the prison at Princetown made me shudder – the 200 year old building is a menacing presence in the bleak moors. We were not detained, and pressed on to our destination for tonight, Moretonhampstead.
63 miles, 6,122 feet climbing, 5 hrs 26 mins cycling; average speed 11.6mph