London Edinburgh London is AUKs premier event which has been run every four years since 1989.
At 1400kms it is 200kms longer than Paris Brest Paris, and some would say more demanding, because of the extra distance and the hilly ( and possibly cold) northern section.
The 2005 event saw 276 starters from two separate starts, one at Thorne (95) the other at Lee Valley (181). Four continents were represented with riders from the usual European countries, plus the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and more unusually Japan, Hungary, Israel and Russia.
I was a Thorne starter and this is my account of five days in July.........
I don't remember when I started to think about riding the 2005 LEL, but it had been at least 4 years, ever since I failed to enter the 2001 edition!
In the interim, PBP had been and gone, and my longest ride was still a mere 600k.
In March 2004 I decided to work on the Randoneur Round the Year award run by Peak Audax. This entailed riding a 200k (at least) for 12 consecutive calendar months.
One year later, quite a bit fitter and a bit lighter, LEL was looming on the horizon. I decided that 2005 was going to be the year that I pushed the boat out and attempted something a bit more demanding than a 600k. Initially I held back on sending off the application form, hoping to get an SR under my belt before I made the final decision. With several 200s a 300 and a 400 completed I took the plunge and wrote out the cheque and sent off my entry the week before my first planned 600k of the year, the Bryan Chapman. I was committed. Everything now was geared towards the start on 23rd July 2005. Training in earnest had to start!
I'm not a training type of person!
Ideal training would be riding to the pub, having a few pints of real ale and cycling home!
I checked out the LEL FAQ and took Simon Doughty's advice and planned a series of rides which would hopefully see me through to July when I would be fit for the ride.
I planned to ride two SR series before the event and added in a few other rides to maintain my fitness level.
In the end, the year running up to LEL consisted of the following Audax rides.
This was complemented with daily commuting and club runs which amounted to about 150 miles per week on top of these events.
|10/07/2004||National 400||400 Kms|
|07/08/2004||Dr Foster's Summer Saunter||202 Kms|
|12/09/2004||Kidderminster Killer||201 Kms|
|03/10/2004||Falling Leaves||101 Kms|
|16/10/2004||Across the Cotswolds||209 Kms|
|06/11/2004||Upper Thames 200||211 Kms|
|12/12/2004||Severn Bridge High Loop Permanent||200 Kms|
|03/01/2005||Midlands Vale 200 permanent||200 Kms|
|05/02/2005||Marlborough Connection||200 Kms|
|12/02/2005||Cotswold Corker||106 Kms|
|19/03/2005||Cheltenham Flyer||204 Kms|
|30/04/2005||Brevet Cymru||401 Kms|
|08/05/2005||Billy Waggledagger's Long One||201 Kms|
|21/05/2005||Bryan Chapman Memorial||617 Kms|
|12/06/2005||Cotswold Connection||201 kms|
|18/06/2005||Worcester and S Cotswold 300||302 Kms|
|02/07/ 2005||Droitwich 600||606 Kms|
|09/07/2005||National 400||408 Kms|
|17/07/2005||Club 100 in 8||100 miles|