LEL 2017

Discussion in 'Audax, Brevet and Randonnee' started by martint235, 3 Jun 2014.

  1. iZaP

    iZaP Über Member

    My memories: no beds or food at Lough, but no problem, push to Pocklington overnight with another guy, crash at Pock for a couple of hours with a lot of snoring people, eat and push to Brampton but stop at Alston to recover from the rain and wind at Yad Moss with a blanket + hot soup, push to Brampton (got there at midnight Tuesday) which seemed all downhill, sleep there and push to Edinburgh and then repeat. Views were stunning in Scotland and Penines!

    I also stupidly lost one of my overshoes on my way up in Pock..left them on my bike to dry out but forgot to remove them when I transitioned over to the beds building...:sad: I told the story to a guy after this, and he said that he forgot to even pack them, made me feel a bit better :biggrin:
    Last edited: 9 Aug 2017
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  2. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    Because of their bulk - mine are 3mm neoprene ones - I decided to go without and just use/take toe thingies. Right decision for me: just a couple of hours rain on Wed evening (Humber Bridge to Louth) and wore the toe thingies most of the time, except when it was warm. I acknowledge I was lucky: an hour either way would have dramatically increased my time in rain, but I slept from 11pm to 4am each night (approx) so missed all the overnight rain and was ahead/behind the daytime showers. As an added bonus leaving Moffat at 6am the low cloud base rose as I climbed the Devil's Beef Tub climb, clearing before I reached the top.
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2017
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  3. Nebulous

    Nebulous Über Member

    Mine contributed to my downfall. I should have bought new ones. I had a pair of wrap-around velcro ones that I also used for work use with flat pedals and work shoes. I carried them in my saddlebag throughout. I stuck them on at Innerleithen, as much for cold as for water. Then I missed a clip-in between Inerleithen and Eskdalemuir, fell off and broke a rib. The overshoes made the clip-ins more difficult than usual.
  4. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    Hard luck @Nebulous GWS. My 'off' a fall at 0mph: clipped out but bike 'chose' to go other way only resulted in grazes and bruising, and easily rectified damage to my bike. In the dark of Thursday evening, in Toot Hill, with an hour to go.
    Last edited: 17 Sep 2017
  5. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
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  7. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

  8. PMarkey

    PMarkey Über Member

    A tie wrap around the bottle cage then around the derailleur mount job sorted ^_^

    Last edited: 15 Aug 2017
  9. TheAdventureCapitalist

    TheAdventureCapitalist Darren Franks

    Part one of my write-up on racing LEL from the 5am group

    SteveF, Ajax Bay, StuAff and 3 others like this.
  10. middleagecyclist

    middleagecyclist Call me MAC

    I have all LEL online shop sticker order details. I'm on holiday at moment and will be sending them out by end of August.
  11. redfalo

    redfalo known as Olaf in real life

    Brexit Boomtown
    I eventually managed write something on London-Edinburgh-London. Shied away from the traditional ride report though but tried to compare it to my experiences two years ago in France on PBP

    LEL and PBP – how does it compare?
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  12. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    Olaf - I thought your @redfalo blog was insightful as well as very readable. Interesting to find how many of those that have shared, went for similar sleep plans. Yours was Pocklington, from a later start, Gretna (hotel), Alston and Louth. My plan was Hull (South Cave travelodge), Moffat, Barnard Castle and Spalding (would give me 315km x 4 plus 180 to finish off) but ended up as Hull, Moffat, Alston and Louth.

    A bed(room) at Hull (South Cave travelodge) could be mine from 1500 Sunday to 1200 Monday so not knowing my start time when I booked it was 'not an issue'. Previous experience has suggested that getting a good first night (when you're not 'really tired' is sometimes difficult and was keen to get my ride off to two good days. I also decided to use a motel that Sunday night (0100-0600) to mitigate the 'first night mayhem' that one might expect (cf 2013 at Pocklington). Given the larger field, much wider spread of start times also going on much later, I thought that Louth was liable to be in 'over demand' as a first night sleep spot, especially for those (200 odd) who'd asked for a 0900-1030 start time but would be relegated to 1430+. My expectation was that after that first night I would be ahead of the bulge - and so it proved.
    My plan remained intact but I could not resist the siren calls of Alston at 8pm Tuesday (no mast to tie me to) and, as I understood it, they were using the youth hostel as 'back-up' accommodation: this sounded attractive (very). The kindness of the volunteer team (combined with a bit of persistence from me) got me a YH bunk (mattress, duvet, charging, adjacent shower/loo) from 2130 till 0330 - result (and the top of Yad Moss as dawn broke was a bonus - instead of riding it in the dark).
    I still planned to make Spalding but in the event attempting a 365km day on Day 4 was a control too far. By Louth at 2140 (which as an additional positive twist, was where I'd selected a 'bag drop') I'd had enough (I'd dried out from the 2 hours of rain - the only 'jacket time' on the whole ride btw). Saw @DCLane at Louth who was setting out for Spalding (he likes riding in the dark, apparently) - chapeau. Bed in the 1/4 full gym was excellent and sustained though, and I left at dawn. As an aside, when I enquired (at about 0420) about 'breakfast type stuff' (eg cereal or porridge) I was told that it wouldn't be 'on' till 5am - that was the chef's plan - and no amount of 'influence' from the controller and her volunteers could persuade him to bring that forward. I guess the concept of riders breakfasting at 0330 onward to get away at or before first light had not crossed his radar (and he'd not had the experience from catering for the north-bound riders to draw on). He did get a pan on (how hard was that) but by the time it was at the servery (about 0455), I was about to leave. The controller came and (genuinely) thanked me for raising the request with the chef: they had been trying get him to move, with no result up till then.
    Apart from St Ives (after 100km) I ate at every control, without any delay/queues.
    I wonder if there a strategy one could recommend to those (fairly) full value riders to avoid the challenges of the dreaded 'bulge'. Being prepared to ride through the first night from an afternoon start perhaps and only sleep when you have enough time in the bank to sleep and leave before the control closes (ie not Louth). Also, be prepared to sleep in the daytime, when the gyms will be fairly empty.
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2017
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  13. Redlight

    Redlight Active Member

    Blackheath, London
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  14. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    Great write up @Redlight and I'm really glad you made it in less than 117 hours.
    I think I saw that garish top at Spalding (I started with Deano in 'V'). And then at the end (having finished after dark on Thursday) I was on volunteer 'duty' at the bike park entrance when you arrived on Friday morning, in haste.
    When you're up against time (and normally I'm not but found myself in this situation with 300+km of a 600 Permanent to go earlier this week after oversleeping my alarm by 2 hours (!)) the lesson from your story is to keep going and minimise time at stops, commensurate with not having so little sleep /food that one slows right down.
    Last edited: 1 Sep 2017
  15. jiberjaber

    jiberjaber Senior Member

    Good write up Rob, I bumped in to Alison on the R&R and I think her and Barry are signed up for Flatlands to get their Essex SR.. they asked me what it was like and whilst haven never ridden it, I just laughed and I think they got the message LOL... I'm in no rush to revisit teh dutch hills of the Fens either..

    Hope the mojo reappears :smile:
    Ajax Bay likes this.
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