Solo Sept - Oct 2003 End to End

by Ken Middlemiss

Date To Estimated Actual Cumulative Saddletime Av MPH Comments
Tremor, Halt Rd,
01872 571287
40 46.7 46.7 4hr 1m 11.3 Arr LE 11am to see gusty and rainy conditions. Nervous. 1st 1:5 after 2m not so bad. Signing at Penzance poor as was routefinding. As wind in NE and strong, difficult cycling in the hills. Arrived damp and should have changed right away. BnB OK, shower as no bath
23rd Holsworthy
Blagdon Moor,
01409 259433
washing done
58 68.8 115.5 6hr 11.1 Cold start-strong N/NE winds, starting at LE was supposed to be a help given the prevailing SW winds. Good cycling out of Bodmin-Week St Mary (go back there) Met Nigel and had good fish supper prior to finding BnB-excellent if fussy. Excellent bath
24th Bickleigh
Willow Grove
01884 855263
50 44.1 159.6 4hr 9m 10.5 Some saddle soreness/rash, due to damp on first day.Cold start and some steep hills-walked up one with N, though managed monster outside Crediton. Lovely cycling most of day along Hogs Back - do again
25th Axbridge
01934 732376
58 64.5 224.1 5hr27m 11.8 Lovely flat cycling all day, esp along canals to Bridgewater and beyond-detour to Brent Knoll for N to climb and me to mend 1st puncture. Great welcome from Nigel and Katie
26th Ross on Wye
Wellan House
01989 566500 washing done
67 73.7 297.8 6hr 12.2 Lovely and flat to Chepstow-parted from N when I had 2nd puncture, while he went to Wales. Big hill Chepstow/St Briavels. Headset started to go slack. Found shop at Ross, who promised to fix following morning
27th Much Wenlock
Rowley Farm, Harley
01952 727348
70 72.8 370.6 5hr46m 12.6 Bike mended-headset dismantled, tho' convinced only needed tightening. Difficulty leaving Ross because of one way. Lovely contryside all day. Cool cloudy, overcharged for rolls at Leominster Chinese supper at Much Wenlock, before whizzing down the scarp to Harley
28th Knutsford
Mereheath Park
01565 633596
75 65.1 435.7 4hr 52m 13.3 Put up in (vacatd) bed of the daughter of the house. Host so talkative! Lovely farmers.
29th Clitheroe
01200 428268 Washing done
55 51.7 487.5 4hr 12m 12.3 V nervous about threading way through Manchester, and found it easier and less risky than anticipated Good CTC route details, tho' unimpressed hitherto-greater use could have been made of road names and designations
30th Culgaith
Shepherds Croft
01768 88484
62 64.5 551.9 5hr37m 11.4 Shock start climb into Forest of Bowland, and another to Gt Harlow. Great coffee shop at Burton Lonsdale. Gorgeous cycling from Casterton
Samyeling Monastry
013873 73232
65 58.9 610.8 4hr 47m 12.2 Cold and misty, clearing to brilliant autumnal sunshine. Great coffeeshop at Brampton. Headset wonky again Eskdalemuir Borrowed an adjustable wrench off the antique shop next to the coffee! Fantastic day, R. Esk footbridge
2nd Peebles
01721 720441 Washing done
33 35.6 646.6 2hr39m 13.4 Saddle soreness now really telling and therefore good to have an easy day, doing jobs. Spent time wandering around and on internet, Dreading ride to Peebles, but soon motivated. Lovely shoe shop in P. Haggis and neeps supper
3rd S Queensferry
Hawthorne House
0131 319 1447
32 32.4 678.8 2hr36m 12.3 Lovely cycle friendly host and send off. Easy route finding, against anticipated nightmare-again CTC directions. Roads not even busy! Wandered round Edin, with Chris, Lovely and sunny. Grotty BnB, great caf‚/ coffee
4th Bankfoot
Bankfoot Inn
013873 73232
65 64.4 743.2 5hr12m 12.3 Easy enough cycle ride in windy and wild weather. Sheltered from sleet in Cowdenbeath, in grotty 70's caf
5th Newtonmore
Spey Valley Lodge
01540 673398 Washing done
56 62.3 805.5 4hr56m 12.6 Gorgeous morning at Bankfoot, light S wind against strong N froecast. Some rain over Drumochter Pass, which was easy. Gt welcome at BnB, soup n tea, then supper offered. Log burner too!
6th Inverness
Old Edin Rd
60 58.3 863.8 4hr 59m 11.7 Again unexpectedly good weather until Boat of Garten, then we got the previous Old Edin Rd two days bad weather in one afternoon. Late lunch to dry out at Tomtatin Inn remaining 20m only terrible v str NW winds as foecast-with sleet. Poor BnB, mean!
7th Lairg
01549 402130
54 54.1 917.9 4hr 36m 11.7 N winds again, adequate lunch at Alness, after horrible crossing of Cromarty Firth Nigg Ferry not working as as poor weather. Thankful not taking A9 N.
8th Bettyhill
01641 521273
46 45.2 963.1 3hr55m 11.5 Stronger N winds to Crask, uphill 12m too. Swoop to Altnaharrah, good fireside lunch. Then gorgeous ride, F6 wind following round Loch Naver and thro most of Strath Naver. 70's style BnB, well used to End to enders
9th John o'Groats
Sea View Hotelr
01955 611220
53 58.6 1021.7 3hr55m 15.3 F5 winds following made the first two climbs out of B. easier. After Armadale, scenery flat, a total surprise. Grotty hotel.
10th Inverness
River View
013873 73232
- - - - - caught 16.45 to Inverness, arr 20.00
11th (from inverness) - - - - - Catch 7.55am train to Exeter, via York, arr19.45pm


© COPYRIGHT 2003 - Ken Middlemiss (author)

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