John O’Groats to Land’s End ‘JOGLE’ is the ultimate bucket list cycling challenge in the United Kingdom, travelling from the far northeast of Scotland, right down to the southernmost tip of Cornwall, covering some of the island’s most dramatic landscape.
Through months of home confinement earlier year, Cyclists’ Marcus Leach put pen to paper and began planning out his own JOGLE adventure, but with a unique twist – opting for the far from straightforward ‘scenic’ route, that would travel 2,605km over many-a road less travelled.
The carefully mapped out route would venture over some of the UK’s most challenging climbs, along relentless terrain and in testing conditions, including a cruel 33,300m of climbing along its course. The suffering endured, however would quickly be forgotten thanks to the breath-taking scenery on display, encompassing countless stunning stretches of road, mythical surrounds and truly captivating views.
“The terrain has been equal parts brutal and bewildering, the elements unforgiving at times, but the memories and joy from riding through such landscapes bountiful,” described Marcus on his day two recollection.
When Factor received word about Cyclist’s intrepid JOGLE plans, we naturally wanted in on the adventure, so came on board to sponsor the ride and supply the perfect bike, fit for the occasion – the Factor O2 disc.
Why the O2? The O2 was specifically designed to deliver speed and comfort for long days in the saddle. Strong, yet light in weight, ensuring the right match to meet the demands of the undulating, rough country roads endured daily for hours on end, along the scenic JOGLE route in place.
Marcus on the O2
“There’s always the worry when you get a new bike that it will take some time to get used to, and that aches and niggles will set in while you adapt to a new setup. That fear is hugely amplified when you are setting off for a ride of over 2,500km on a new bike.
I shouldn’t have worried. The Factor O2 arrived at my door specced to my exact requirements, and as soon as I started riding it felt as though the bike and I had been partners for a lifetime.
The O2 is Factor’s all-rounder road bike – not the lightest, nor the most aero, but designed for long days in the saddle. Yet the O2 is still at heart a racer, being light enough to skip up hills and stiff enough to respond quickly in a sprint. It gleefully soaked up all the punishment I could throw at it.
As a rider over 90kg who has a penchant for doing very long distances, I tend to put greater demands on my bikes than most people, so it was an impressive display. The flawless Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset helped, as did the lightweight and robust Black Inc Thirty wheels. All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a more reliable, fun and supportive partner for my journey across Britain.”
When lockdown restrictions were eventually lifted, Marcus embarked on the adventure mid-July with his young family in tow via motorhome, as support crew. He set out on the journey of discovery with a ‘no-race’ approach, and a target of riding 185km per day, to reach the eventual Land’s End a mere 14 days later, exhausted, yet incredibly elated.
Follow the Journey in Cyclist Magazine
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