JOGLE Day 1 – John O’Groats to Inverness

Daily Stats – Day 1

Miles Ridden: 118.3 miles
Metres Climbed: 5112 feet
Time Riding: 7:15:58
Average Speed: 16.2 mph

Total Miles Ridden: 118.3 miles
Total Ascent: 5112 feet
Total Time Riding: 7:15:58

Todays Weather: Misty, Sunny then rain rain rain.

Day 1 of JOGLE and we had all met at Thurso the night before and had breakfast there today before heading off into the fog to start our ride at John O’Groats.

After a bit of a pfaff getting ready and some photos at the signpost we headed off into the mist and murk. Morgan did the first mile or so with me whilst the others headed off with virtually zero visibility. I then had a mad rush to try to catch them up so was solo in the mist with no lights and going hard into a headwind. Not the ideal start to a 120 mile ride on day one of a JOGLE attempt. Anna and Morgan soon caught me back up in the car so I tried to draft behind them for a while in order to catch the others up, but that wasn’t easy either. Certainly not as easy as the Tour de France riders make it look, and I didn’t get quite close enough for any real benefit. It did at least mean that I had a car for protection and a bit more visibility as they had their lights on.

John O'Groats

John O’Groats

I did catch the others in the end and we continued on our way but it wasn’t much fun in the mist and fog. We did find some sunshine later though and stopped on top of a hill for flapjacks where our support team, Anna, Morgan, Eloise and Richie were waiting for us. The riders were me, Jay, Brad, Mike, Matt, Pete, Ian and Kevin. We didn’t stop for long though and were soon back in the saddle and heading into yet more fog.

The next incident was Mike crashing on a descent with a hairpin. Thankfully he was fine, just a little road rash and some damage to his shorts.

Descent

Descent

We carried on though and stopped in Golspie near the beach for lunch. I was feeling a little sick here. I’m not sure why but I carried on regardless after a quick visit to the toliets. Brad’s knee was hurting though so he pulled out here. We split up a little on the road with a group at the front and another group a little way behind so we had a couple more stops on the next section just to regroup and then it started raining. It ended up pouring down but on we went, ticking off the miles as we went. The final hill into Inverness was a nightmare. I was out on my own at the front in the pouring rain into a headwind and felt as though I was crawling along. The others didn’t catch me though as I had expected them to – and hoped they would – so I just plodded on on my own until I met Brad and Richie at the side of the road with the van. I stopped with them and got a little cold waiting for the others so had trouble getting going again but it was only another 10 miles so we were soon in Inverness and looking for the hostel.

We found it in the end, but it turned out to be the worst place I’ve ever slept. Inverness seems to be the noisiest place in the world, the hostel was noisier still and it was dirty too. Hygiene was non-existent, the shower I tried to have was rubbish and I ended up not getting a single wink of sleep. Needless to say I was grumpy and tired by the next morning and had another 88 miles to cycle without having had any sleep for a couple of days. great! Dinner was good though thanks to the efforts of Anna and Eloise and the fact that I had 6 pieces of apple pie!

Other than the hostel and Brad having to pull out though Day 1 of JOGLE had been good. That was 118.3 miles covered, only around 736 miles to go!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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