Monday, October 3, 2016

JOGLE, Day 1, Thurso to JOG and back



from my trip diary originally posted at Crazy Guy on a Bike http://tinyurl.com/h6mf2fu

Day 1, Thurso to JOG and back

September 5, 2016, 42 miles (68 km) - Total so far: 42 miles (68 km)

People say I'm hardcore and maybe . . . No, I now know I am.First off there were so many points even up to this one where I felt overwhelmed, and ready to give up, but I just had to tell myself, no, no time for breakdowns.
So I finally got on the Caledonia Sleeper. My bike was stored and really it was a lovely trip--outside of the toilets clogging. When I awoke we were definitely in Scotland. I changed trains in Inverness and had 2 hours before the next one. Found some Wi-Fi and sent messages. I don't have data or GPS. So have to wing it. I am able to use maps while offline.
My second train got me to Thurso @ around 2:30 p.m.. My warmshowers host Jon (best known for doing a JOGLE while playing a tuba) left a key for me with some friends. So without GPS telling me where to turn I had to navigate and did a terrible job. But not as bad as the 5 or so people I asked where a certain street was, absolutely no consensus. Yet I managed to find where he put the key and then find his house. NONE OF THE LANES ARE SIGNPOSTED. I dropped off my bags and hightailed it, hoping to get to JOG and back before dark.
For those taking bike route 1, know this: it is significantly uphill the first 3-4 miles. You are climbing up out of Thurso. Once on a ridge you lose height but still stay high up, looking down on the coast. Everything is signposted. Yet there is considerable wind and ups that slow you down. It took roughly 2.5 hours to get there. I quickly got my pic taken wearing my Team CCO T-shirt.
Coming back was a struggle. I was so hungry but couldn't take time to eat. I just had to keep pedaling. The sky was heavy and overcast, making it feel like the sun was setting. Route 1 is very much remote, mostly fields of sheep. North Scotland is very dark at night. There is literally nothing out there. I was afraid of getting caught out there and the sun setting.
I pushed and pushed and made it back at about 7:45, totally wiped out. Riding almost continually for 5 hours with only the one break--my picture at the post. I felt like Shackleton pushing for the furthest north.
42 miles total. Hopefully tomorrow can take my time. Relax a little. Unfortunately my legs and bottom are sore.










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