LEJOG16- Lands end to John O Groats- 2016

There are some times in your life you get the chance to take part in  something special… LEJOG ( lands end to john o groats) was that to me.

This group of 8 the very special people, chose to take on the challenge of cycling from one end of the country to the other… most people would bolt at doing it in car let alone under their own personal steam ( legs).

The reason for this trip, as well as self discovery and the amazing personal challenge, was to raise money for a Bristol based charity called Sustrans. Sustrans is an amazing organisation. Their ‘ vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment.

To achieve this they influence and shape policy and practice so everyone can travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make everyday.

Sustrans call for UK governments to invest in doubling the number of journeys, under five miles made by foot, bike and public transport to 4 out of 5 by 2020′. which incidentally would more than for fill our environmental obligations for European policys http://www.sustrans.org.uk/about-us/our-vision

A bit about me.

I am Jayne. This is my first season as a Skedaddle cycle guide. My professional background is as a hairdresser and owner of a successful Aveda salon. Having working in customer service driven industries since I was 15 years old, and being very lucky with the companies I have worked with, in the sense of the training I have received. My chosen ethos of ‘Different and Better’ stands me in good stead, when helping to provide the best possible experience as a cycle guide.

When I got asked to guide this trip with Tom Owen, the lead and a very experienced guide. I had to go for emergency Botox to release the smile that had attached its self to my ears… The Lejog was/is the U.K trip I really wanted to do. I’d kind of got the impression that this trip wasn’t given to new guides because of its length. Nearly three weeks away from home for the guides, as we have the additional job of preparing the Van and kit at Penrith stores and then at the end of the trip putting it all back, ready for the next trip…. I really like this part of the trip though, Steve the Head guide and Al are usually at the stores and a just brilliant fun and full of advice, a big bear hug usually is part of the ritual.

Tom Owen and I bumped into each other on the train, on the way to Penrith store. We got our roles in the trip sorted quite quickly. Me being the chatty lively one (gobby), and Tom being the steading calm influence. We hit it off straight away, and in Craig Sullivan’s words we made a formidable team. (https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=craig%20sullivan%20Posts)… Incidentally from the start of working with Skedaddle, as a previous business owner and manager of a team of 10+ I have been blown away by the culture within, its infectious and exciting.

The Start…

Cape Cornwall country club was our first nights stay.

An amazing place, and if your down that neck of woods i’d recommend it. The accommodation is FAB !! The staff couldn’t do enough for us, and the views are to die for.

Every were you look, you are reminded of time gone by. The old chimney from the Tin mines, the wiggle windy roads, undulating ‘cheeky climbs’ and in Tom words leg ticklers, are to be enjoyed.

Mick was our first guest to arrive and from the start I know this fella would be my partner in crime. IMG_0561.JPG

Then the rest of the gang arrived. This was our first sunset together…How romantic!IMG_5696.JPG

These guys are amazing, they worked together as a team from the off.

We had Mission Control Marcuse. https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=ml%20exmouth%20Posts

Craig, who quickly became one of my favourite people of all times. A beautiful person who I hope will be a friend for life. Nearly as giddy as me 😉

Graham. Along with Marcuse very technically savvy and by the end of the trip I looked to see if the red flashing light was showing on his Go Pro before saying any thing too incriminating. I am looking forward to the footage!!!

Martin. What a star! This guy was one of the stronger riders, surprisingly very modestly, at the start he was worried about weather he would keep up. We were very luck to have a calm steading influence on the team, always there to listen.

Hugh, what an interesting man! Loved our conversations on the bike. Learnt loads …thanks Hugh. No body made any comments about the resemblance to Steven Fry!? Honest.

Paul, if you ever want to know any thing about bridges this is your man.

Alec, This guy is machine… We were all in awe.

The first day was special, the start of our challenge. We even had a send of party.

(Picture to be uploaded, when i work out the bug)

For the astute ones amongst you, you will have noted the stunning sunset Photo above is taken at Cape Cornwall, not Lands end… We had to ride to Lands end, the guide notes kindly called it a shake down, and it served as a warm up and bike check.

Here we all are at Lands End, big Smiles and shouting Skedaddle and Sustrands, Lejog16, to create the perfect smile 😉

As you can see we set off on a glorious day, we are so lucky in the U.K to have such moderate weather, it really doesn’t get cold or hot enough to stop us doing anything… as they say there isn’t any thing wrong with the weather it’s the kit you’r wearing. So when the temperatures do drop a bit in August, Skedaddle to the rescue (it was Tom actually) The big wool blankets we carry in the van have many uses, packing bikes, picnic blankets and shawls to keep the guests warm.

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I took loads of photo’s on this trip, because every where we looked it was just breath taking, (even Bolton had its nature reserve) so here we go, my favourite memories from the trip (these are un-edited at the moment, I hope to come back to this blog and spend time on that, may be when its cold out side :-))

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All about the Bridges

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My 1st Skedaddle picnic shop…Terrifying 

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Nights sky at Talkin ( I fitted in as a chatter box)

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Our 1st boneifide loch Talkin, Brampton

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An important moment… Skedaddle conquers Scotland. LOL

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Marcuse

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We are all hungry for our promise choc cake at Hugh’s place of work… 

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They will let any one enter the doors of universities these days.

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Having fun with Tarps, blankets and picnics…

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Before the gannets arrived Also knows As. Mick, Graham and Alec

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What else would you do, if asked to run an errand to your guide leaders room!? Where’s Tom????

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Can’t Imagine why Craig found this Sign funny?

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All together at the River Tay.

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Unicorn sheep.

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Absolutely amazing scenery, made better by the handsome Mick and Alec. 

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This little guy was a genius. Making the most of the fish ladder on the River Tummel

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Pitlochry in the morning.

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Getting creative with the Aero press. One of the many Photos sent through Wats App, to entice the guys to their next coffee stop. Dalnaspidal.

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Graham looking cool (as ever).

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Looks like the Aero Press wats app worked!

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Tom looking as broody as the sky.

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This is what happens at breakfast, when guests are left to their own devises in a sister hotel…Kids! LOL

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Marcus and Alec

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Alec AKA the Machine!

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Our Last Breakfast together. Look at that view. Betty Hill.

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Betty Hill, on a beautiful Day.

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Castle Hill

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Alec- Thurso- Dunnet

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Hugh- Thurso- Dunnet

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Alec- Thurso- Dunnet

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Craig -Thurso-Dunnet

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Photo bombed by Craig at Dunnet.

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The End

What a journey! loved every minute. Thank you all.

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The Guides. Tom Owen and Jayne Cunningham.

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Sun set behind, sign at John O Groats.

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Sun Setting John O groats

Last sun set together at John O Groats.

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Having fun, post trip striping down of the steed.

This trip Was run by Skedaddle, to raise money for Sustrans. The guests raised well over 10.000 pounds and this Money will be used to build more cycle lanes, infrastructure. Raise awareness of how amazing cycling is for all, whether you are able bodied or have a disability of any kind, and most importantly because of all this ( I think) help to improve the physical and mental health of Briton.

Well done all.

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