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1993 Biking Britain

Against the wind: John O’Groats to Land’s End

The 874 miles (1,398km) between John O’Groats at the northeastern corner of Scotland and Land’s End in southwest England constitutes the longest distance in the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, 6 July 1993, in a light drizzle and a wind strong enough to cancel the ferries to the Orkney and Shetland Isles, I mounted my trusty steed southwestward bound.

I had bought my black and red Giant Rincon three weeks before leaving for Britain. As I had not been on a bicycle since my cycling trip in Korea in 1987 and had cycled about 5km without my laden panniers by way of training, it was with some trepidation that I began my epic journey.

Before I had cycled out of the John O’Groats parking lot I met a father and son, hair wet and eyes sparkling, who too were beginning the journey south. “Are you doin’ it?” grinned dad. “End t’ end?” Instant camaraderie! “Yes, I’m doing it!” said I, and with those words began my adventure.

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