After a lot of pouring over maps and guides and the list of Samaritans branches, I have my first attempt at a route!
The good news – it’s downhill, on average at least! The bad news is that it’s 1015 miles long with 48,000 ft of climb (that’s 1634 km and 14,363 m). One and a half Everests worth. Remind me again why I said I’d do this?!
I’m making diversions from the more traditional routes to go and visit the branches, so I’ve combined bits from several different places, including Royston Wood’s Safer Way, the Cicerone guide by Nick Mitchell, various hints and tips from the Cycling UK LEJOG forum, strung together with suggestions from CycleStreets route planner and elsewhere.
This is only an initial draft, and I hope I’ll be able to refine it with help from people with more local knowledge and/or cycling experience. But I needed to pin down a rough route in order to work out how to start splitting the cycle up into stages and therefore when I’m likely to be where.
I also needed to take into account the hill climbs, when working out how far I needed to cover per day – ten miles across the Somerset Levels aren’t going to feel the same as ten miles in the Cairngorms. I came up with my own variant of Naismith’s rule, making hilly days cover a shorter distance. My guess at the right ratio was semi-educated at best, so over the coming weeks as I build up more training miles I may need to tweak this.
And now I have a rough schedule, I can also start asking people to sign up to cycle with me! If you want to know more about what that would involve, click here: