Lands End to John O’Groats (or in reverse), can be one of the most demanding rides many of us are ever likely to face. Whichever route you choose, be prepared to cycle at least 850 miles, face headwinds and cross winds and, this being Britain, a variety of all weather conditions. As well as being a challenging adventure, It can also be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying events you’re likely to take part in. I completed my ride over April/May 2010 in 7.5 days. Many people will opt for the more scenic routes taking in stunning views while others will choose the shortest, flattest routes and to hell with the traffic!

For anyone thinking of embarking the route in any format, here are our 10 top tips;

1. Prepare yourself. Riding in a group of friends can take your mind away from aches and pains. Riding alone and unsupported can be draining, emotionally as well as physically. Make sure you can ride your chosen distance not just one day but over several days consecutively. Many parts of the route are dreary, bleak and unforgiving and if you’re feeling low, the surroundings are not conducive to helping. I have in mind Caithness (although I’m sure the Scottish Tourist Board would describe it as unspoilt and natural)! There’s lots of sportives about with varying route profiles and distances to help give you the training you need.

2. Make sure you’ve ridden your bike with the weight of luggage you intend to take.  You may be riding with twice or more the weight of your normal bike so get used to additional weight, especially if you intend to carry some of that weight on a rucksack.

3. An obvious one but prepare your bike. New tyres and inner tubes and plenty of spares are recommended. You don’t want to waste time trying to find taxis/bike shops when a bit of forethought could have resolved the problem. Make a list of all the tools and spares you’re likely to need.

4. Choose your saddle carefully.  There are some really good anatomically supportive saddles (such as Rido). For a ride like this you don’t want or need the sharpest,  lightest saddle available.

5. Travel light. I tore the map pages I needed out of an atlas and then ditched each one when completed. Don’t consider a daily change of clothing; wash what you need for the following day in a sink! However do think about things like mobile battery charger, spare glasses/contact lenses (just in case).

6. Plan your route. Sounds obvious but when you’re in that Wigan/Warrington conurbation, it’s good to have a pretty good idea of the places and roads you’re heading for next.

7. If you are camping then you’re braver than me! I used mainly Premier Inns. Bring a directory and they’ll happily let you take your bike in your room so no worries about it being stolen. You also know pretty much the standard of the room and that it will be reasonably priced.

8. Plan your food and drink requirements. I ate little but drank lots. Everyone’s requirements are different but plan what you need for the following day. It may not always be available en route.

9. How are you going to get to/from John O’Groats? If you’re riding alone, train seems the most obvious choice. However you need to book your bike slot well ahead as there are limited places. Booking ahead also helps to keep the overall cost of the trip down as rail fares can be cheaper.

10. Bring a pen and some paper. When you finish your ride, you’ll truly be a warrior! It will be great in the future if you’ve written some thoughts about each day of your ride.

Don't forget those mountain bike lights either!