Friday, 9 August 2013


So LEL2013 is now completed, a little over 1,500km in 5 days from home to Edinburgh and back.
Sunday 28th July, home to Pocklington (Yorkshire), 379km
Left home at 05:00, rode to The Mall where the Prologue started at 6am.  Royal Parks had forgotten to close the road as agreed, but TfL Road Events Supremo Gary McGowan flagged down a passing police car and the road was closed to motors five minutes later.
The Queen must have overslept so there was no wave-off from the royal balcony by the time we needed to get rolling at 06:15... to the official start in Loughton, Essex.  A quick breakfast and I was on the road at 08:15.  Fine weather and a strong tailwind plus strong legs on the first day combined to produce a fast ride across the plains of Herts, Cambs & Lincs, over the Humber Bridge and into Yorkshire just before closing time for a pint with the hearty locals at the Red Lion in Market Weighton.  Controlled at 23:44 at Lyndhurst School, followed by hot dinner, quick shower and camp bed in the gym.  No trouble sleeping despite cacophonous symphony of farting and snoring from several hundred weary randonneurs.

Monday 29th July, Pocklington to Moffat (Dumfries & Galloway), 371km
We made it into Scotland by around tea-time, and were with beer in Moffat before dark.  A delightfully scenic route across the Pennines via Alston where we stopped in the splendid Moody-Baker tea rooms and I ate all the cakes.
Tuesday 30th July, Moffat to Brampton (Cumbria), 227km
An early start saw us in Edinburgh for breakfast, then we turned south - time to go home.  At the Traquair control I was alarmed to discover a splitting rim on my rear wheel.  Luckily there was whisky.
Suitably fortified, I was given a lift into Peebles by one of the volunteer controllers where the nice man in the bike shop said he could build me a new wheel for the next day if I was in a hurry.  I explained just how much of a hurry I was actually in, then went for lunch in the pub.  My wheel was ready to collect just as I was finishing my lasagne and pint of heavy.  I'd obviously needed a new wheel, and lunch, so no time wasted, but that did set me back three hours so I only made 227km today back to Brampton - really did not fancy going over Yad Moss atop the Pennines in the dark, leave that for the morrow.

Wednesday 31st July, Brampton to Market Rasen (Lincs), 301km
A grey day today in the Yorkshire drizzle.  Crossed back over the Humber in the company of Stuart "Bikefix" Denison and Dominic "Wheeler" Trevett.

Thursday 1st August, Market Rasen to home, 311km
The final day, the party's all over too soon Strong headwinds across the flatlands of Lincs and Cambs but got into a useful group with a couple of Yanks and made stonking progress, only interrupted by frequent visits to local hostelries in premature celebration of our achievement.  Final brevet card stamp at 22:53

Really nice medal!

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