Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Metamorphosis Parts II and III

After the hair regrowth and and self flagellation with brambles, the next stage in turning myself back into a mountain biker was to reacquaint myself with how to ride off road without hitting trees at regular intervals.

Part II involved a decent ride somewhere new - although when I got there I realised I'd actually done some of the route before - sort of like deja vu, but with a sprinkling of reality. Caroline and I went to the south Chilterns (or near Pangbourne for those who navigate by towns) and did the route from an organised ride a few weeks before. It was stunning. Hot, bluebelly (i.e. there were lots of bluebells. Not that we had smurf stomachs), dry, dusty. One spot was breathtaking - the camera phone picture really doesn't do it justice.


Part III was something that's been arranged for a while - an afternoon for Caroline, Jon and I with Tony from UK Bike Skills. The idea was to have some fairly personal skills coaching, and Tony came highly recommended.

Tony has such a calm, relaxed, intuitive coaching style - he can pick up on the smallest thing, suggest a correction and suddenly you find things so much easier. When you are riding well everything flows, everything is effortless and there is a connection to the bike and trail.

At least, that's how it was for Tony.

For us, things were a little more, um.... patchy. Certainly at the start our feet were wrong, our wrists and heels were wrong, our vision was wrong... and Jon nearly fell off in the first 10 seconds of riding around a stick. However, with a few pointers we got better. We pumped, we dropped, we climbed, we cornered, we strung sections of trail together. We had gone from a dribble to definite signs of flow by the end.

And I didn't hit a single tree.

(For Tony's view of the afternoon, see his blog)

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Startling Discoveries

One of the advantages of mountain biking over road biking is that it brings you closer to nature. Road biking does sort of do this, except most of the nature is squished. And a squished creature is not nearly as exciting as a live one, unless you enjoy roadkill cuisine or taxidermy.

Yesterday evening it was glorious. You could smell the heat, taste the roasting asphalt in the air. No wind, clear skies and dusty trails. It would have been a crime not to ride.

I dragged the full-sus bike out for the first time since Spain and set off on a very well known loop - Greenham Common, down to the canal, up to Bucklebury and back home. I've ridden this so many times, especially the Greenham section. You normally see a few deer, rabbits, wild cows (well, common cows) and occasionally ponies. This ride brought me a three new discoveries.

Firstly, a (presumably) female duck with a dozen tiny ducklings. This isn't that strange, but I've never seen something like this running along wooded singletrack, well away from any water. Little ducklings tend to fall over a lot when startled by a mountain bike, and they don't have the sense to run off the trail - they just tumble along it, cheeping furiously. Eventually they figured it out and I was able to pass without turning them into tiny singletrack-kill.

Next, and this was a real surprise, my first UK snake. In all my time riding, walking, being out and about in the UK I've never seen a live snake. The closest has been a couple of dead slowworms - so very slow worms. I glimpsed it out of the corner of my eye as it made a break off the trail to the undergrowth, having heard me approach. And OMG... it was about 18" long! Real inches, not man-inches. Probably a python, or maybe a cobra. I concede that a grass snake may be an option too.

My final discovery was the biggest, most active, and most entertaining. Descending a fast gravel track I noticed a runner ahead, his back to me, well to the right hand side of the car-width trail. I moved left. He started to drift left. I moved even further left to the extreme edge of track and slowed, tyres crunching noisily. He moved to the left edge of the track. By now I was only a few metres behind him. Some sixth sense must have alerted him from his iPod-zombism as he turned quickly, saw me skidding to a halt and reacted like a startled fawn. He leapt off the trail, into the verge, and danced across the adjoining field shouting profuse apologies, flapping his hands in the air. I suppressed a giggle, let go of the brakes and rolled down the hill.

Thank god the snake wasn't wearing an iPod too.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Metamorphosis

It's time for a change. A transformation. After four months of turning myself into a roadie, I must now turn back to a mountain biker.

Several things need to happen. The first has already started.

That's leg hair. Shin hair to be precise, so don't get any funny ideas. I'll need to start going to the gym again to build up my upper body. Road riding has left me with tiny T-Rex arms, so I won't be able to pick up my mountain bike if it falls over, let alone heft a whole pint of beer to my mouth.

In order to abide by the code of the mountain biker, I'll also need to
  • Put on a couple of stone in weight, then spend £2000 making my bike 2lb lighter.
  • Start using terms like freeride, all-mountain and jeycore-lite.
  • Eat sausage rolls, cake and flapjack mid ride, instead of energy bars and drink.
  • Carry a huge camelbak with 3 litres of water for any ride over 30 minutes.
  • Spend much more time on the internet, instead of going out riding. Some of this will be on bike related things, most will be spent arguing with strangers over random topics.
  • Treat anyone wearing lycra as if they've just eaten my cat.
  • Race anyone on a road bike in order to prove how much better mountain bikes are, especially if I've only been out for 10 minutes and they've been out for six hours.
Right, I'm off out to roll in some nettles and decorate my arms with bramble scratches. It's what we mountain bikers do. Gnarly.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

LEJOG - Epilogue

It didn't feel that special at the end. It's strange, but as people keep saying, it's the journey that counts, not the destination. JoG is kind of what you expect - remote scenery, a couple of tat shops, man charging £10 for a photo of a sign - but it could have been anywhere. We kind of rolled up to the finish, had a few pictures taken and then got back in the camper van.

I've felt more satisfaction at the end of races - particulary my first 12-hour solo. This finish was like the end of another 100 mile bike ride (done a few now... in the past week), although a 100 mile bike ride when you have had your legs beaten with broomsticks for the previous seven days.

What has been more special has been the comments and reactions of others - we've just riden bikes for a few days, but hopefully we've kept other entertained, maybe inspired, and we've definitiely raised some cash for a good cause. We've also had great help and assistance from others - the official support team, the visitors (planned and surprise ones), the cake makers, the people at Prendas and Spokeshirts, the campsites that gave us free or discounted rates.

Certain days and sections stand out. Day two, the 218km in the cold and the rain and the wind was truely Belgian. If that had been a single day ride we'd have been talking about it for weeks. As it was, as part of a bigger thing, it was a real highlight. Also on day two we had the visit to Darren's parents, with the signs in the street, the bunting, the marching band, the flags, the 100s of people out cheering us on and the photographer from the Bridgwater Mercury. At the end of day seven we had the surprise bunkhouse, with the real roof and heating and everything. The scenery on the final day was breath taking, as were some of the sections after coming off the ferry.

Ah, the ferry. OK, so 5 miles of our route was spent sitting in the warm, but we didn't count that in the 959 miles. Also, we had to team time trial it to actually get to the ferry on time - and losing ten minutes to a puncture on the only day when we had a deadline really really didn't help. Except... it did. It made it more memorable, added a touch of spice to the ride.

We learnt a few things.
  • Under stress we all slightly lose our minds, giving uncensored train of thought monologues to the world in general. It was like the filter between brain and mouth had been removed ("Why don't we cycle on the Loch instead of along it? If we put enough air in our tyres...").
  • We will pee almost anywhere without thought to who might be watching (sorry Liz/Lynne/Becky!).
  • Tracklogs under estimates distance, but over estimates height gain.
  • Procycling must be brutal, and drugs would almost certainly be needed. You should have seen our ibuprofen consumption. Two, maybe three pills a day!
  • When planning to go through towns, study the one way systems.
  • Banana and marmite toasties are wrong.
  • Nutella in porridge is right.
  • Bunkhouses are better than tents when there is frost on the ground. May is not a warm month.
  • Eight days cycling in the wind and rain makes your face peel off.
Would I do it again? Probably not in the same style. Non-stop as a relay? Maybe. Race Across America? Would love to. Big single day races/stage races? Oh yes.

It's not about where you ride, it's how you ride and who you ride with.

Friday, 14 May 2010

LEJOG Complete

Done it.

It wasn't hard.

I lie. It was. Draining, fatiguing, wearing, um, chaffing. I didn't realise that Assos Cream pots were single serving. The knees just about held out, as did Darren's broken pedal. The riding of the past two days has been awesome – sunshine, tailwinds and amazing scenery. Let's hope Dave's pictures come out.

959 miles in total, three punctures, two ripped tyres and no falls. There was almost a submission or two though.

Highs:
The section along Loch Esk after the ferry – rolling, fast, smooth tarmac with our first helpful wind of the week.
The whole of the final day. Wow. I mean, like, wow.
Fish and chips at the end of the final day.
The 15% climb from Drumnadrochid, and the descent afterwards with 43mph clocked.
Lunch in the sunshine, Church Stretton.
Being photographed for the Bridgwater Mercury.
No cramp for anyone.
The campsites in Little Torrington and Slimbridge.
Managing to ride for 45 minutes one morning without having to stop for a wee.
The hilarity of watching others being massaged. Lizzie fixing us.
The brutality of day 2.

Lows:
The cold and the rain and the headwinds..
The Belgian style cobbles in North Devon.
-5C, the lowest temperature recorded in May in Cumbria in 20 years. When we were camping.
Knees.
Preswick Airport campsite. Meany owner.
The campsite North of Oban. Another meany owner, with stupid petty rules. Hmm, there's a theme here. Scottish campsites? Dave nearly clocked him, and he would have deserved it.
The pain of being massaged.
The brutality of day 2.

I'm sure I'll remember more, but for today that's it. I'm going to have a few more beers and pass out. Thanks for all the comments, sponsorship and support – you've been inspirational.

Recovery ride tomorrow.

Puncture!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Why nutrition is important

Obviously, as we're riding 8+ hours a day, we have to eat quite a lot. We have a number of different foodstuffs available. Let's look at some of the popular ones.
  • Little Snickers. 244 kcal, 24g carbs, 13.5g fat.
  • Malt loaf, ¼. 172 kcal, 36g carbs, 1.2g fat.
  • Torq bar. About 220 kcal, 65g carbs, 1g fat.
  • Pringles, small handfull. Um, small amount of carbs, quite a bit of fat (I've lost the packet..)
  • Scotch egg (you really don't want to know)
Notice that some have quite a lot of fat, and some don't have much fat at all. As we're exercising, carbs are good. Although we are mainly burning fat, you need carbs to trigger the reaction. We all have lots of stored fat, so we don't really need to eat any more. What we need to eat is lots of carbs. We can store carbs in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is good.

Let's look at a couple of examples. For lunch, we could have
  • Rice, pasta
  • Ham, other lean protein
  • Energy bars
This would give lots of energy that is easy to use, and easy to digest.

An alternative, hypothetical, lunch would be
  • Several handfuls of pringles
  • Cake
  • Scotch eggs
Hmm, that's a little fatty. What would happen in this case hypothetically would be that all the fatty stuff would sit in your stomach, making you feel lethargic and bloated. What would also happen would be that you would fancy eating any of the nice energy products that are stashed about your person. You would be doing pringle flavoured burps and trying to sip water, but failing. However, you'd feel OK for a bit due to having some stored glycogen (carbs).

OK, for a bit.

Until you start to run out of stored glycogen.

And then... you have trouble burning fat. Your vision goes a bit blurry, you start to shake, and you have trouble turning your legs round. This would happen, hypothetically, about 2km from the camp site.

When you got to the camp site you would fall off your bike, collapse on the floor, beg for recovery drink and be generally pathetic. Hypothetically. You would then eat a whole malt loaf, two torq bars and a couple of pints of water.

Of course, none of us would ever do this, as it would leave us so tired that we would be unable to write a blog entry.

We're much more professional than that.

(Now North of Dingle, which is a real place! Assault on JOG tomorrow. Tim plans to ride, so it could all end in casualty)

I have no comment

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Stage 5 - A day in the life of a Badajapadlejog rider

This is how we live.

3am, get up for a wee. Depending on how cold it is, you'll either go a discrete distance away or as near as possible without getting anyone's tent wet.
4am, still awake so hunt around the tent for a Torq bar. Eat bar, play with phone.
6am, vaguely aware that people are moving nearby.
6:30am, unzip top half of sleeping bag and put on down jacket. Wait for jacket to warm up before removing rest of self from the sleeping bag and liner.
6:35am, coffee. It's important to get this in first.
6:40am, porridge with dried fruit, broken up digestive biscuits, cut up energy bars and anything else within reach. We're trying Nutella tomorrow.
6:50am, coffee has worked its magic so dash to the loo.
7am, start getting dressed for the ride. Chamois cream, shorts, socks, leg warmers, overtights, base layer, jersey, soft shell, HRM strap (oops, that should have gone on before the base layer...), inner gloves, MP3, hat, outer gloves, helmet, sunglasses, bars and gels in pockets. It's complicated. And cold.
7:30am, now dressed, so start bike faffing - tyres, water bottles, GPS etc.
8am, start riding.
8:45am, stop for Jon to have a wee.
9:15am, stop for Jon to have another wee.
10am, first food/water pick up.
10am-lunch, stop for wees, more food, remove layers of clothing, add layers of clothing as appropriate. Wave to photographers.
1pm, Lunch. Eat a lot, drink more coffee, get cold, put on down jacket, get warmer.
2pm, more riding/food/wees/photos.
4pm, start to get a bit dispirited. Curse something random. Bloody lambs, always getting in the way.
4:10pm, afternoon food stop. Scotch eggs, snickers bars, kitkats...
6pmish, finish. Slump into a chair, drink recovery drink, get up, stretch.
7pm, get massaged/tortured. Shout and giggle a lot.
8pm, dinner. Eat a lot. Although you've generally been eating constantly since 6pm anyway.
9pm, write blog, argue about the next day's route, chat, eat. Might have a beer, might not.
10pm, go to bed.
Midnight, go for a wee.

Repeat until John O'Groats.

We're now well into Scotland, three more days riding to go. We get a ferry ride tomorrow as well!

Thanks for all the good wishes and comments too, both on here and on Facebook! And please check out Dave's blog for the photographer's point of view - Widge

We're not in England any more

Crossed the boarder about an hour ago. Jon won the sprint.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Stage 4 - Somewhere South of Warrington to Penrith

I don't want to say it's grim up North

But today, we were up North, and it was pretty grim. The temperature had dropped about 10C overnight, so the 4C ice warning bell was going off in Dave's car. A band of rain had settled across the Liverpool – Manchester area, making our route of Warrington, Wigan and Preston somewhat wet. The towns themselves were lovely – clear cycle lanes, considerate drivers and light traffic.

Oh, hang on, I must have drifted off for a moment there.

The towns themselves were hellish. Busy, confusing, dirty, traffic lights every 50 metres, one way systems that made no sense and bore no relation to our marked route and lorries that were having a “closest to the cyclists” competition. The ambulance won, a mere 3cm away. We did have a slight amount of fun in the pedestrian precinct of Warrington, but I do mean slight.

Sponsors – you got your money's worth today.

We stopped for coffee, partly to get out of the cold, and partly to meet Dave M's Dad. It was great to see him and the hour stop gave us a chance to get some more clothes on.

More riding, more North. Dave M had picked up another visitor for lunchtime – Gavin Baxter, again great to see him.

Then Lancaster. We got lost in the one way system and broke several traffic laws trying to escape. When your marked route goes over a bridge, and the bridge happens to be one way (the wrong way), do find yourself cursing road planners. The same lot had been at work in Kendal – it took us three laps to escape.

Finally, the big climb of the day – Shap Fell. 10 miles of distance, up to 1400ft. There was snow on the surrounding hills. Jon took the mountains jersey, beating Phill over the top. We were all pretty tired by this point – the top of the climb was almost exactly the 100 mile point of today's route. It was more or less downhill from there to Penrith, where we ended today – another 115 miles done.

Scotland tomorrow. It's got to get warmer at some point surely...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

This is why.

This is why we get up at 6am in the middle of winter and ride 25 miles before work. And then do the same on the way home.

This is why we pour over bike magazines for those latest training tips or “vital” piece of kit.

This is why we plan big weekends away, freezing night rides and 100 mile training rides.

This is why we go to bed wearing compression tights.

This is why we we give up our Saturdays to spend the day punishing ourselves.

This is why we spend £1000s on bikes instead of cars.

This is why we suffer sports “massages”.

This is why we spend hours on a turbo trainer in the garage, watching episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on a laptop.

This is why we force down pints of energy drink instead of pints of lager, and energy bars instead of chocolate bars.

This is why, on very rare occasions, and when we really really have to, we shave our legs.

This is why holiday plans have to fit in with training plans.

This is why we thank our long suffering friends and family.


For mornings of sunshine, clear fast roads, stunning English countryside and like minded people – this is why.

 
[Disclaimer – not all of the above applies to all of the riders... but I'm not revealing what applies to whom]

Lunch!

And sunshine too!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Stage 2

I mentioned the massages yesterday. Osteo Liz is our medical support, which means we are getting pro-level massages each night. These take place in the comunal tent, so we all get to observe the reactions. There are three types so far:

- The giggling screamer. Both myself and Jon fit into this category. Very amusing to watch, or listen to.
- The stoic. You can tell it hurts, but reactions are limited to the odd grunt or involuntary twitch of the leg. This is Phill and Dave.
- The corpse. Darren. He has no nerve endings.

[Update - Phill is a giggler when subjected to "The Thumper" on his quads. His was the first ever to shout "turn it off, turn it off!"]

Today's ride was tough - 218km according to my GPS, 95% into a strong headwind. Nine and a half frickin hours. I'd describe it in more detail but I had my eyes closed most of the time.

Thanks to:

- Darren's family, who variously fed us at lunchtime, entertained us with decorations, visited the campsite and generally seemed more excited by the trip than we are
- The support crew for doing all the supporty things
- The makers of various energy products who got us through the day

No thanks to:

- Rain, rain, rain
- Wind, wind, wind
- The road makers of Devon who base their resurfacing plans on Belgian cobbles
- Inconsiderate drivers
- Hot oil splashing Lynne (a little, she's still functional)

Word of the day: Brutal

Friday, 7 May 2010

Stage 1

Thankfully, by the time we left the camp site at 8am the rain had eased. We were resplendent in our matching Peugeot tops, carefully hidden under various un-matching rain jackets. Arriving at Land's End we discovered that the famous signpost with all the distances to various places (including John O'Groats) gets taken away every night for safekeeping. Still, we did the photos by the empty post – we'll photoshop the full one in later.
And then... we were off. Bit of a subtle start, no cheering crowds and the massed bands of the Coldstream Guards were late (again!). Darren and Dave indulged in a bit of cyclocross over a gravel track and had to retrace their pedals as it ended in a fenced off car park but we managed to reform.
Sunshine. Who'da thought it? The idea of a 1000 mile bike ride is much easier to deal with in the sun. Beaches, little fishing villages, boats, trucks thundering past at 60 mph three inches from our elbows. On a quiet road we stripped off a little, exposing chicken white flesh to the light, blending in well with our various black and white clothing combinations.
One feature of the ride was Photo Dave and Osteo Liz who kept overtaking, stopping and then taking photos. Dave seems to be trying to vary his style, variously hiding in bushes, under a bridge, running across the road with his bits hanging out after a roadside comfort break, suspended from a crane by his feet – I can't wait to see those!
Jon and Phill were very strong today – they kept pulling away from the rest of us, although we reined them back by the simple tactic of not letting them have a map. This made them stop at junctions so we could catch up, though it did mean they missed the final turn and had to do another 10 miles and 300m of climbing.
Tonight we're staying at Smytham Manor campsite in our own private walled garden camping area! It's in Little Torrington and highly recommended.
Tomorrow – I'll tell you about the massages.

Night Zero

It rained. It thundered. The giant super tent leaked, but only a little. It did however leak on Liz, so that made things a bit more amusing. At 2am I was woken by a flashing light outside the tent - as if someone was outside with a flashing headtorch. If there was someone outside the tent with a flashing headtorch then they weren't moving either. Maybe they were having their own personal rave? At a wet windy campsite near Land's End?

I had to investigate. Jon's bike light had decided to turn itself on and go into flash mode. I put Jon's bike light in the leftover soup. That calmed it down a bit.

Morning. Real, proper, "I'd never noramlly go out in this" rain. We crawled out, looked each other in the eyes, begging for someone to crack, to admit that this whole thing was a silly idea.

No-one cracked.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Day 0 - Near Land's End

Spirits are high. Phill's tent has turned out to be the size of my house, the gazebo and awning by the camper van create a homely living area, and spag bol is cooking on the stove.

It was a bit rainy on the way down, and a bit up and downy too. I'm sure the hills will have eroded by the morning though. The camp is calm for the riders with everyone else rushing round us. We have beer. Currently, Jon and Phill are comparing their shaven legs.

More tomorrow, as there isn't much exciting to report yet!

Rendevouz at Whiddon Down

Dave catches us up at the services, where Jon swaps to the camper van so Dave can pick up Phill from Newquay airport. Complicated this logistics stuff.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

T-35 hours

The first mention of LEJOG on this blog was August 14th, 2009. The first confirmation was December 27th, 2009. That's a while ago.

Since August 14th, according to Training Peaks, I've done 197 hours of road riding, covering 7785km. Plus 57 hours of mountain biking covering 718km. Is that a lot? It seems like a lot. I've done early morning pre-work rides, a 100 mile after work ride, several big Saturday rides in the Cotswolds and a couple of sportives. On the road, I've had exactly one puncture. I've fallen off a few times off-road, but never on-road.

We've put a team of five riders and five crew together, planned a route, raised over £2000 for Air Ambulance (so far...) and spent a scary amount of money with Torq. We've got matching bike shirts and custom t-shirts.

Tomorrow lunchtime we leave Newbury for Land's End. Friday morning, at about 8am, we start riding in a generally Northerly direction.

I'm excited.

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Itinerary

This might be a first for me - an informal, factual post. We'll see how it goes. Just in case anyone fancies coming to say hello, either on route or at one of the stops, here is the route.

Thursday, 6th May - Newbury to Lands End
This should be the easy bit. Get into appropriate vehicle, travel to Lands End. In reality it's a bit more complicated, with Jon getting picked up from a motorway services, Liz working in the morning and Phill somehow contriving to fly to Newquay from Stockport. Tents will be pitched and we'll be starting the great eat-a-thon.

Friday, 7th May - Lands End to Great Torrington (actually Little Torrington), 179.4km, 2605m of climbing
This is a pretty tough way to start - a good distance and very up and downy. Darren will be test riding his new bike, I'm not really sure why he's chosen an 8 day 950 mile ride to see if it fits or not.

Saturday, 8th May - Great Torrington to Slimbridge, 214.7km, 2766m
Through Taunton, Bridgwater for lunch (with Darren's parents), then through Glastonbury, Wells, the gap between Bath and Bristol, Yate (is that a place?), Wotton Under Edge, Dursley and then Slimbridge. Jon and I know some of these roads quite well - part of the Cotswolds training district. Probably a visit from Jem and mini-Jon/Jem. Hang on - did I just type "214.7km"?

Sunday, 9th May - Slimbridge to Winsford (South of Runcorn). Only 204.5km, 1708m
Thankfully an easier day - longish but flatish. Gloucester, Leominster, Ludlow, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch.

Monday, 10th May - Winsford to Penrith, 181.7km, 1841m
This one almost counts as a rest day. A day of two halves, with some towns - Warrington, Wigan, Chorley, Leyland, Preston - and then up to the Lake district through Lancaster and Kendal before finishing at the campsite Tim, Darren and I rode through when we did our SMBLA Trail Cycle Leader training. We get struck off if we can't find it.

Tuesday, 11th May - Penrith to Ayr, 191.1km, 1823m
Today we enter Scotland, and I've got the Proclaimers and Big Country on the MP3 player to provide an appropriate soundtrack. Carisle, Gretna and Dumfries are on the way, and there's a whole lot of countryside in there too.

Wednesday, 12th May - Ayr to Barcaldine (not many towns around here), 198.5km, 2723m
It's starting to get hilly again. Barcaldine has some marked cycle trails in the forest so we can explore those if we are feeling energetic. We follow a lot of coast today, and have a ferry ride to look forward to - Greenock to Dunoon. Don't worry, we'll ride round and round the deck so we're not cheating. It's not a very long ferry trip.

Thursday, 13th May - Barcaldine to Dingwall (North of Inverness), 177.7km, 2863m
This should be pretty spectacular - up to Fort William then following Loch Ness to Inverness, then up a bit. What's that coming out of the Loch, is it a monster, is it a monster?

Friday, 14th May - Dingwall to John O'Groats, 168.8km, 1847m
We should be there about 4pm. Ice cold beer please, and a Solero.

Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th May - Travel back.
There will be a lot of eating, some sleeping, and a chance of some drinking.

Total riding - 1516.4km (947 miles) ish. Maybe a bit more, we're bound to get lost.