Discussion in 'Audax, Brevet and Randonnee' started by martint235, 3 Jun 2014.
You would be fine at 65. Just keep the fitness going and prepare well.
One if the I guys I rode with in LEL was at least 70 years old, he has ridden 5 or 6 PBPs and this was his 5th or 6th LEL as well!
300k a day for 4 days allowing 18 hours (<17kph) and taking 6 hours stop each night (4) gives the rider 250k to finish off in 19 hours say, with more than an hour to spare. So I recommend a rider do a 600 to confirm (to themselves) that they can do back to back 300s and at what speed.
My experience was doing the BCM (600) in 36 hours: Day 1 at 22kph and Day 2 at 19kph with a 7 hour stop and 5 1/2 hours sleep.
On LEL Day 1 310 @ 23kph, Day 2 320 @ 19kph, Day 3 260 @ 17kph, Day 4 290 @ 17kph and finished off with 270 @ 16kph (NB wind) with 4 'sleep' stops of an average of 7 hours (arrive to leave timings). Six hours with lights on. 3% rain (as in 'jacket on'). Lots of fun and great memories.
LEL makes a point of not requiring 'qualification rides' (connect @PpPete 's PBP thread) but any sensible rider aspiring to ride LEL would be wise to do some 'normal' audaxes first: in fact perhaps an SR in the months running up to LEL. Proves the bike; proves and hardens the contact points: tests the sleeping routine / deprivation effects; gets loads of great miles in the legs; positions the mind.
If I recall, Roger Cortis rode his first PBP in his late sixties, having ridden LEL two year earlier but only having taken up Audax a year or so before that. In your case, though, it's worth noting that the next two are 2019 and 2023, so if you volunteer next time, your next shot would be at 63, in which case it will be a piece of cake :-). I would recommend getting in some miles and at least one 400km ride (preferably a 600km) this year and going for it next year. Why wait?
I thought LEL was every 4 years?
Oops - it is, as is PBP, which is what I thought you were asking about (I think I somehow linked to this from a PBP thread). So, you're right, the next LEL is 2021. If you are thinking of riding it, I would recommend trying a PBP first though, to see how you get on with the ultra distance. LEL is (IMO) a much tougher event and having one 1200 under your belt is a great advantage when tackling it for the first time. So - PBP in 2019 and LEL in 2021. Then you can always rife them both again in 2023 and 2025 if so inclined
I'd echo @Redlight 's comments - PBP for me was easier. Others view it differently due to the slightly longer time limits. Itmay be due to me doing a 750km ride 2 weeks prior to LEL!
They are different rides though. I'm waiting to see if I'm medically fit before considering riding PBP again.
An SR series this year would be an indicator but I'd never gone over 300km before April 2015, I rode PBP 4 months later.
Not only the longer time limits for LEL making it easier. Controls on LEL are far better organised (albeit for 1/3 the number of riders) and so far less queuing than at PBP. Also the late pm start on PBP sets you for sleep deprivation before you've even turned a pedal.
I can't comment on whether PBP is easier or harder than LEL, as LEL-2017 has been my one and only Audax.
But I find the discussion of what makes suitable preparation for the event quite interesting.
Whilst suggestions of an SR etc clearly have good foundation, eg in testing out your bike and kit, and yourself, for multi-hour and multi-day rides, it certainly isn't the be-all and end-all in being able to complete an event like LEL.
Ultimately, like most things cycling, it is whatever floats-your-boat.
My personal prep for LEL was 170miles a week commuting, plus a long Sunday ride.
From about mid-March my long rides were 100-135miles at an average 18-20mph (remember I live in the flatlands of the East of England).
My intent for LEL was always to be full-value, and enjoy the event, route, and experience.
Hence I reasoned that the intensity of my training would balance against the significantly lower speed requirements of LEL, but significantly longer hours.
At the start of LEL I had 8K miles under my belt for the year.
As it turned-out, I completed with about 4hrs to spare, and 67hrs of actual riding.
I never felt in physical trouble during the event, but the sleep deprivation did start to catch up towards the end.
My biggest mistake (lack of experience) was not to take (or put in my bag drops) warmer clothing for the continued soakings up-North.
If anyone has the slightest interest in riding LEL I would say go for it - it's great fun.
I'm thinking of volunteering in 2021 and riding again in 2025 (celebrate reaching the big sixty).
But that seems a long way away at the moment...
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