February 01, 2013

A Challenge Too Far

The prospect of entering this year's London-Edinburgh-London 1400km epic was an enticing one.  It only happens every 4 years and being coincident with my 50th year it almost seemed to be a message from the gods that I should enter.  However the inescapable fact of this ride is that it constitutes 4 consecutive days of riding 300km followed by a  200km ride on the 5th day.  
In July last year I completed my longest ever journey within a 24hr period; riding a distance of 320km in an overall time of 22 hours.  If this was the LEL it would have meant that I would have had less than 4 hours sleep before setting off and doing the same distance again and then again and then again before the final 200km.  If there's one thing to be said about sports tracking tools like endomondo, it is that they preserve the reality of a ride, long after the hardships have been forgotten.  As I recall that ride now, it all went perfectly and despite the constant 10-12mph headwind I felt that I made swift progress throughout, however the stats below show how the final climbs through Devon devoured my average speed... and there's plenty of hilly stages on the LEL.  So, by the time entries for the LEL opened in January I had decided that the challenge for me far outweighed the potential for enjoyment and so gracefully chickened out.  
Good luck to the 1000 riders who are madder and faster than me and to all of the volunteers. The LEL is a fantastic feat of organisation and a credit to British Cycling!

1 comment:

  1. You're a brave man for even THINKING of doing LEL and a braver man for admitting that you should pull out.
    While I'd love to cycle the overall route, I'd rather do it over a far longer period of time, at a far more sedate pace.