uk_counties_mapOn the 27th October I will be trying once more to beat the LEJOGLE World Record. This is approx 1688 miles (as long as we don’t take any wrong turns) The record is currently set at 5 days 21 hours and 8 mins. The report below shows some of the difficulties we faced in April when I first attempted it, we are hoping not to have any snow, but this is Britain so who knows. The main difference this time is that I don’t have RAAM in the back of my mind I can give it my all right to the end and not worry about how long it will take me to recover.

This is the link to the route. It not only shows the route it also shows the elevation chart. If you want to come out and give me a shout I will be happy to see you. There will also be a page on the website once I start that will show where I am.

People keep asking me why I am doing this? The answer last time was simple there was no better way  to train for a 3,000 mile bicycle race? By doing it and running it like RAAM (Race Across America)  it was good training for both me and the crew :-) This time is slightly different  I am doing it cause I don’t like to be beaten and I never quit anything, last time I had to think of the bigger picture this time I can prove to myself and others that I can do it. I also want to raise some money and awareness of the Fraja-Ellie Appeal.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 17.02.34

Ride Report

As soon as I’d finished the LeJogLe lots of people were asking me for the details of what happened so I thought I would do a write-up about it. This is not a lot of excuses but just what happened.

We started at 10am on the 2nd as planned but that’s about all that did go to plan. The weather was dry and I could not believe my luck, with all the snow we have had I was amazed the sun was out, what I hadn’t realised was how strong the winds were.

The first 100 miles out of Lands-End I’ve always found hard, those that know me know I am not a fan of hills and those rolling hills are a killer, with the headwind just making it more of a challenge. The music from the follow car really was keeping me going. I managed 300 miles in the first day which was too slow, at some points I was doing just 50 miles in 4 hours.

I always say you can’t do anything about the weather but that didn’t stop it being frustrating, I was hoping that the night would bring a drop in the wind but all it did was bring a drop in the temperature with them hitting lows of -4. After 3 hours of sleep, a glass of Neovite and some hot food I felt strong and ready to go, I had my positive attitude back and I wasnt going to let a bit of cold and silly wind stop me.Down and Low

I set off back to 20 mph average and had a strong 12 hours, but with the wind knocking it out of me a slow and steady pace is not something you can do on a record attempt. At some points I was having to stop to get a Torq drink and if I wanted any food I was having to stop whereas normally I would eat on the bike.

I had a 2 hour sleep break just outside Preston where I was having difficulties breathing. I set back off strong and hard but unfortunately the follow car didn’t, unbeknown to me the car had broken down, instead of following me it was stuck, the team tried to jump start it but it wasnt having any of it. By the time they jumped into the van to go and find me I was 20 miles down the road, I’d got a lot further than they realised and it took a phone call from me at a garage to help them find me. I was then stuck at the garage for 2 hours until the car was sorted because it had got dark so I could not go out without it.Climbing

I also could not sleep because I had just rested and my adrenalin was going. The RAC sorted the car and we were off to Shap. By this point it was pitch black with freezing temperature down to -3 and still no let up in the wind, the team were keeping me going with all the messages on twitter, facebook and the website –  I could not believe the amount of comments but could not help but feel I was letting a lot of people, including myself, down.

The team rallied together to get my spirits back up and did a brilliant job. I decided 80 miles outside of John O’Groats that I could not make it, we were losing 2 members of the team (both drivers) the following afternoon, I was having major breathing difficulties and the weather report was saying that the wind direction was going to change so I would be facing a head wind most the way back.zipp wheel crop

I don’t do quitting but I had to look at the bigger picture, RAAM is my main race this year and this was training for it. There was no point putting myself in hospital when the record was out of reach.  I know I can do the distance, that was never the issue.

I was admitted to hospital when I got home, with ligament damage to my hand and pneumonia so nothing too bad!

I am back on the bike today and off on holiday with the family, going to come back stronger and fitter. A lot of lessons have been learnt by me and the crew, it’s these things we are going to take from the experience and keep it positive.

Will I be try it again? Never say never, but I think I might leave it till it warms up a bit I always hated the cold :-)

Thank you all for the encouragement and support, and i hope you will follow me on RAAM!

Chris ‘Hoppo’ Hopkinson

Smiling Hoppo



25 responses to LeJogLe

  1. Rick Allison on April 1, 2013 at 9:16 am Reply

    Good luck Hoppo when will you be coming through wellington/ Taunton?

    • admin on April 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm Reply

      Hi Rick, we should be coming through after about 6 or 7 hours, so approx 5pm. You can keep tabs on the ride by going to the live tracking page!

  2. Peter on April 3, 2013 at 3:00 am Reply

    What is the average moving speed for the whole ride expected to be if going close to world record time?

    Good luck!

    • admin on April 3, 2013 at 4:49 am Reply

      Hi peter, good question, 17mph for 20hrs a day will get Chris back in exactly 5 days

  3. Stuart Mole on April 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm Reply

    WOW! Good luck with the record attempt. I am doing a JOGLE at the end of May, but mine will be in a rather more sedate 9 days.

  4. Cliff Harrison on April 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm Reply

    Good luck, following your past achievements I’m sure you will succeed.
    Here at The Lands End John O’ Groats Association we will be shouting for you.
    I served in REME and cycled for the ACU in 1958.
    Your record makes my LEJOG ride pale into insignificence..
    Nevertheless all of us from the LEJOG Assn. are willing you to succeed.

  5. Cliff Harrison on April 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm Reply

    I will try to be on route to give you a shout on the return journey

  6. Bikehound on April 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm Reply

    Good luck mate, hope you can get the support car fixed quickly.

  7. ian and ali on April 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm Reply

    So its now mac hoppo!!!
    You’ve taken a wee paddy on a cross border raid
    Understand the battered Mars bars and battered pizzas are good
    Keep pushing chris we are all watching in awe and are right behind you
    Please get out of there before they re build Hadrian’s wall

  8. Craig on April 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm Reply

    Hi Chris..Im the guy that joined you at Lands End and rode behind you for a while…sorry things didnt work out mate, but as you say, bigger picture and bigger fish eh !
    Hope to follow your RAAM..its a dream of mine to compete one day..but first i feel the need to prove something…so Im making plans for my own attempt at a LEJOGLE 2014…maybe you could crew for me ?..will have plenty of backup as i will do it for Help for Heroes..brother is RAF and can sort logistics ect.
    Anyway, enjoy the holiday mate..all the best..and Rock The RAAM ;-)

  9. Herbie on April 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply

    Don’t know how you got so far in those conditions – it was bad enough just going out for a short ride during the day! Hopefully some useful training, and a test of logistics, car, equipment and all the rest to learn from – probably some great insights from this! Will we be able to follow you in RAAM too?

  10. andy black on April 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm Reply

    Thanks for the inspirational ride I ride the Dunwich Dynamo and this piece describes why I return and why you will return. Great Effort .

    “Somewhere during the night you will hear a voice say, “Why am I doing this? I am never doing this again!” Look forward to this voice. Welcome it. Laugh at it. Embrace it. Look forward to hearing it again next year. Just know that it will come and that you will ride past it and be stronger when it fades into the shadows.”

    – Chris Tirpak, 4x Sufferer of Canaan and Moab

  11. Tony Wood and Nancy Rudge on April 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm Reply

    Everything consider Chris you were incredible and did an amazing job.
    Hope we get the chance to follow your progress on RAAM .. is there online tracking for that too ?

    Best of Luck .. you should be proud of your performance .. you did great

  12. Phil Cox on April 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm Reply

    Chris, all of this stuff was outside of your control, you went with the hand that was dealt to you and still came out smiling; no one has been let down. If you are ill, you cannot function as you would normally, simples.

    A lot of us are in absolute awe of your cycling ability, I know you will do the RAAM and do it well; will be following all the way. Fantastic effort, glad I could follow you on the tracker.

  13. Richard Sterry on April 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm Reply

    Well done Chris, you didn’t let anyone down, instead you probably inspired more people to ride LeJog. It was fascinating watching you on line and you did well to survive those bitterly cold winds.
    Use the lessons learnt for RAAM, drill into the detail so you are as prepared as you can for something amazing in America.

  14. BrianDawson-Chairman LEJOG Association on April 9, 2013 at 9:25 am Reply

    Fantastic effort. I know how you feel and look forward to welcoming you all into membership of the Association.
    Hope you soon recover . With your determination you will succeed.
    Best wishes for the future

  15. Jack Adams on April 9, 2013 at 9:54 am Reply

    Hard Luck Hoppo, it takes some guts to take on such a record at any time, but in the weather we are experiencing at present it was always going to be a big ask. From what I have heard about you ‘as ARNIE SAYS’ YOU WILL BE BACK.

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  21. Phil Cox on October 24, 2013 at 8:52 am Reply

    All the best for an epic ride Chris, I know you’ll get this one. Ever thought of writing a book? ;o)

  22. soo berry on October 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm Reply

    Just past you on the A30 heading towards Exeter. Hope u don’t get blown off. Good luck. Will keep track

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