LEL (london edinburgh london) 2022

I had my bike fit on Friday and he changed absolutely everything :smiley:

New bars, stem and saddle, and the saddle is about 3" higher than before.

So I thought I had better test out the new position and did 200km on Saturday… 7.5 hrs, 0.76 IF* (200W NP, 170W AP). Was obviously a bit tough at points, especially with a headwind/cross-head for over 50%, but it went really well, new saddle and saddle height especially fixed a lot of issues I have been having.

I was a bit tired the next day but still able to go and ride 75 very hilly km with some friends - previously I would have had quite a bit of saddle and hand pain after a long steady ride like that. So a great success I think!

Got a rest week next week as I am away for work but then it will be Badger Divide coming up pretty soon.

*I clearly won’t be able to ride LEL at 0.76 IF :smiley: … however if I get my FTP back to pre-COVID levels then what I did Saturday will be closer to 0.7 anyway, so NP around 170-175 (IF ~0.6 at that FTP) seems like it would be achievable.

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Thanks again, y’all, for all your thoughts. With my 8:15 start, I will be very happy if I can get through to Malton the first night, and find a bed there. Hessle, where my bag will be, sounds too full. That plan will leave me with a bit less than 300k for the succeeding days, and accommodate the inevitable slow down.

I particularly appreciate the advice to eat and sleep before making any decision to drop out. I don’t want to unless I really have to…

It’s one of those nuggets that comes from experience. The decision to drop out can often be down to the toss of a coin. Being tired or lacking in energy, on top of the problems you are experiencing, can weight it in favour of stopping. Food and sleep gives you a chance to recharge and then try to turn those pedals and seeing where it gets you. One pedal stroke then another.

Remember even if you slow down a lot on the road, as long as you can average 12 km/h you are not losing time whilst moving. It can be enough to keep you in the game and a strategy I’ve used to deal with stomach problems where I couldn’t eat, and had to keep the intensity low enough that it was pretty much all powered by body fat oxidation.

I also believe that not finishing is rarely down to one thing. It’s usually down to 3 or more mistakes you’ve made by not tackling minor issues or niggles before they escalate and become ride ending. That means taking care of any minor problems with your comfort, fuelling, hydration, alertness and bike before they escalate. If you tackle these things in the early stages, the rest usually takes care of itself. Recognising the early stages is again an output of previous experience of these things. A rider who feels good, with a well functioning bike, usually takes any set backs in their stride, and keeps forward momentum.


Excellent advice!!

Re: slowing down… probably worth noting for @Dorange benefit (and any other non-UK riders who may read this…) we typically have a South Westerly prevailing wind in the UK, so there’s a pretty decent (better than evens) chance that at least some of your Southbound leg will involve a headwind…

Pretty much my biggest fear is having benign conditions all the way up to Edinburgh then a change in the weather to a solid 15+mph headwind all the way back… Which is definitely possible… Of course this does mean a tailwind going North is pretty likely too, so if we’re lucky it could work out well :grimacing:

Just worth bearing in mind - there’s obviously nothing you can do about the weather but it’s another factor which could lead to slower speeds on the return (on top of the fatigue), so may affect planning. Definitely if we get a tailwind going North it would be best to “make hay while the sun shines” and get as far ahead as possible, which Phil says above is something that led people into a false sense of security and stopping earlier for rest in past editions.

Very helpful, Phil.

Donna M. Orange

As greatest fears go, that’s a fairly tame one. I didn’t finish because the weather was good for the first 750km is one I’m yet to hear.

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Just sleep as per need. Don’t worry about what time of day you are at a control. If you’ve slowed down significantly or have the dozies a sleep will recharge the batteries. Hopefully you’ll come into the event knowing what’s the minimum amount of sleep you need to sustain you. Thus you don’t think you need 8 hours each night , during the event, then panic when you can’t spare that long for sleep and still be within the time limits.

Well no, but (as bobmcstuff says) that may mean it will be against you on the second 750, as it was in 2009, resulting in a high drop-out rate. Even in more benign years the notorious headwinds on the fens are often a struggle when you are already depleted.

Haha, you missed the second part out!

Obviously it would be worse to have a massive Northerly wind for the first 750 which then switches to a Southerly for the return leg… But that’s probably not really credible…

One of the many mistakes a large number of riders made in 2017 was either avoiding riding at night or waiting for the weather to improve or spending too long stopped at controls. On these type events the clock is always ticking and the longer you spend stopped the harder you have work when riding.

Have a look at the graph that James Hayden has drawn on this page. It shows distance covered per day vs. number of hours sleep. It’s illustrative to get you thinking about what’s the optimal sleep for you to complete the event in good order?

“Note, this graph is just made up, it’s not my data or real”. It seems to show 3 as being optimal.

I do get the point though. I certainly was not planning on 8hr per night. Like I said before (and as James says there - you can’t really train for sleep deprivation) I am mainly worried about not sleeping enough earlier in the event and then suffering later as I simply do not know how I will cope after 4 days of limited sleep - and doing the 600 I have booked in will not really help with that as that is still effectively a 2 day ride. I already know I can muddle through one day of poor sleep (although trying to cycle 300km both days will be a bit novel!).

Based on my start time I think I will probably ride through till Malton (6am/400km ish) for sleep. I think I am just going to have to play it by ear with the sleeping.

This is the best approach

“The best way to stay awake is go to sleep”

Sleep as you need it, regardless of time of day during the event. Two shorter sleeps a day rather than a single longer one can be just as effective.

Another topic: the phone numbers I have for MissBus don’t go through. Anyone reading this from the UK and know how to contact them? I really need to get myself and a bike box from Heathrow to Loughton. Thanks.

I’m not on Facebook but a quick search brought up that she has this page and can be contacted on Whatsapp.

If you still wish to ring you need to prefix the number with 0044 and drop the leading zero off it, so 0044 7…, note the listed number is a mobile and would be expensive from abroad.

Thanks, Phil. Fortunately they answered my email, so I’m all set!

Badger Divide completed, great fun - 7hr day, 12.5 hr day and 5hr day, went pretty well all things considered…

Dynamo wheel and lights being fitted this Friday - should have all kit sorted then.

600k preparatory Audax coming up first weekend in July :grimacing:

Quite nervous :smiley:

How’s everyone else’s preparation coming along?

Fairly chilled, with 6.5 weeks till the start. Just got a mid July route check of my 300 audax to do. Training has been consistent and fitness progressed well without interruption or illness. I have over a decade worth of events over 1,000km, thus don’t need much in the way of the longer audaxes in preparation. Just a couple of 400s now successfully done to test the current setup and myself.

Want to order some spares for the event, such as a gear cable, disc pads. I’ve also got some bike changes to do soonish, new tyres etc. The golden rule of audax, don’t do any unnecessary fettling or changes close to an event. Everything should be tried and tested. Thus I want my LEL setup to be what I ride on my 300 audax route check.

Last couple of weeks before event will be just maintaining fitness and shedding any fatigue I’ve built up in training. Thus another 4.5 weeks of training to get done before the event.

A bit less chilled than @PhilW . Although I have not gone this long before just on a bike, I know I can finish. Unfortunately for me I signed up for the 100 hour finish… just before life got busy and consistency not as ideal as I would like. I do know that I can do the time and work with limited sleep etc so as long as I dont get any serious issues or mechanicals should still make the 100…:crossed_fingers:

Anyway as you say a few weeks of work left including one more hilly 300 for me. Will do the same and fit new tyres etc over the next couple of weeks so bike is being ridden ‘race’ ready for a bit of time! The countdown is on…

Thanks all, and best wishes for a good LEL. I have developed severe spinal stenosis (probably hidden for years), with sciatica so bad I need a walker. So had to scratch LEL for this year—truly heartbreaking, as I don’t know if there will be another chance.

But I will be thinking of all of you!

Donna M. Orange