Roger Adams cycles End-to-End
Land's End to John O'Groats

Final Summary from Roger

What was End-to-End like?

What were the best bits? The worst? What were the highs and lows? What are the memories and the bits I'd rather forget? What is it like to have finished?


  • Rannoch Moor - it was windy and wet, but the scenery was superb and the climbs not too steep on the longest day of the trip.
  • Descents in Dartmoor - set my fastest speed of the ride here - 46 mph
  • Cycling over the Clifton Bridge - I'd never been there before and man, it's high!
  • Meeting people on the way - some were really interested in what I was doing and many were generous with their money
  • Meeting other End-to-Enders and cyclists - this always cheered me up no end - and sometimes gave me someone to chase!
  • Completing the Glencoe day - I regretted this at first as the wind was so strong that I couldn't get faster than about 12 mph downhill!
  • Strathnaver - a remote and beautiful glen south of Bettyhill
  • The long downhill approaching Glasgow - easy riding and I should have carried on right into the city.
  • Sprinting to the finish - even though I had to stop and let Ruth overtake me so she could see me finish!
  • Getting fitter and beginning to enjoy climbing more than purely flat roads.
  • Meeting the girls (all 3) for lunch - a real boost every day.
  • Ferry crossings in Cornwall - 3 in total.
  • Cycling the Kirkstone Pass - the ascent was easier than I'd expected, and the descent was great - sustained 40+ mph for a couple of miles.
  • Cycling over the Forest of Bowland - although I didn't appreciate the roughly 9 miles of nearly uninterrupted ascent.
  • Staying with friends and chilling out at sunny campsites.


  • Rain through Fort William - though I couldn't help laughing as I've only once been in FW when it wasn't
  • Colder Scotland - get wetter from inside while I keep the chill off by wearing my windproof
  • The last few miles of Day 7 - seemed a long way up the hill in a cold wind when I felt completely knacked.
  • Feeling lost - especially Cornwall on Day 1 and the Midlands where there are no meaningful signposts (it seems).
  • Feeling like the big hill I just descended was the wrong way!
  • Dropping my bike at the very end - putting a nasty dent in one of the seat stays.
  • Feeling a bit saddle-tired (rather than really sore) making long days less fun and flat roads (where you sit down more) more uncomfortable.
  • Feeling unmotivated at the beginning of the day, and it not getting better.

Overall I enjoyed my trip. There are a lot more ups than downs. I found it harder psychologically than I did physically and probably could have put in some longer days if I'd been motivated to. It's a mind game.

Cornwall & Devon were definitely the most challenging part of the ride. They are the hilliest, and the easiest to get lost in. Once that was over I had 3 days of pretty flat riding. The Midlands were somewhere to pass through quickly, and I was glad to cross the border into Scotland, but it was already getting colder. I found the heat in the first week or so to be fine - although I had to drink more I didn't have trouble getting cold from sweat - in fact I got hotter if I stopped! It was more difficult to control my temperature in Scotland.

Finishing was strangely anti-climatic. The 30-odd miles were my fastest, despite having to wait for Ruth to overtake me. I sprinted into John O'Groat's and up to the signpost. Ruth & the girls were there, and I was happy to have finished, but not elated. Maybe it's because JOG is so disappointing in itself (how many Germans have driven all the way to find this out?).

Funny that, not being exhilarated at finishing. I'd grown used to being on the bike every day, and do miss it in some ways. It felt free and unfettered, and even on busy roads felt calm. It was relaxing and a great way to forget the last year at school. I don't think I thought about work during the ride at all.

Would I do it again? Maybe, but in a different way, fully loaded, perhaps with the whole family, taking longer. But that's a few years away.