Day 17, Sunday 8th June, 2014 - Helmsdale to Wick

Dist : 141.76 km
Riding time: 6:52:47
Total time (including stops) : 9:36
Stops: 3
Climb meters up/down 1,217/1,333
Max height: 233m at 9:42
Wind: 50% headwind/50% tailwind

My last day of LEJOG started with a beautiful clear sky and tailwind. The green farm paddocks down to the ocean cliffs looked even greener today, and the sheep even blah, blah a few times as I rode past. There were lots of new lambs eating well. I told them they probably had a relative in Australia!

Pre-warned about the Helmsdale climb/descent and then the more dangerous Berriedale sharp corner, I enjoyed the descents after the long climbs to as high as 233m. I was told that at the bottom hairpin was the accident location where a LEJOG cyclists had crashed last year on their final day and was airlifted out.

At Latheron, I took a left on the A9 and headed towards Thurso via a reasonably flat route. There were no towns with a general store so I ate my banana on the roadside. It continued via the interestingly named Spittal. There was a mix of sheep and cattle farms, peat farm, wind farm and a stone quarry.

About 7km outside Thurso, the two approaching thunder storms seemed to find me and I quickly covered up and cycled through some heavy rain.

Arriving in Thurso, I found a Tesco super market to dry off, get some lunch and call home. Eventally the rain passed and with the sun coming out I headed on 30km to John O'Groates. On the way I passed the scenic and possibly good surfing spot of Dunnet Bay.

As I expected JOG was an anti-climax. I took some photos, noted down the km and continued the last section to Wick.

Dinner was in the hotel, before having a look for the train station, so I could make the 8:12 train.

So my LEJOG is complete.  I felt a sense of excitement starting the last day and finished the day both tired and satisfied.

 Culgower House - just out of Helmsdale, Scotland. The nicest place I stayed- more suited to a romantic weekend then a roof for a smelly cyclist.

Culgower House - just out of Helmsdale, Scotland. The nicest place I stayed- more suited to a romantic weekend then a roof for a smelly cyclist.

Transient
 This pass was a decent climb and a great descent

This pass was a decent climb and a great descent

 Almost at John O'Groates- the headland is the most northerly point. JOG is the most NE point.

Almost at John O'Groates- the headland is the most northerly point. JOG is the most NE point.

 Thurso - a nice town and anything Murray deserves a photo

Thurso - a nice town and anything Murray deserves a photo

 After 1673 km and 11.5 days, I was rewarded with a fine days (for this moment) and the mandatory photo

After 1673 km and 11.5 days, I was rewarded with a fine days (for this moment) and the mandatory photo

Transient
 My final cycling destination in Scotland. I was tired at this point and just down the road was the culturally significant Tesco supermarkets to welcome me.

My final cycling destination in Scotland. I was tired at this point and just down the road was the culturally significant Tesco supermarkets to welcome me.