Turning my attentions towards LEL

Now I have got most of the main rides I wanted to do this this season out of the way, I can turn my attention towards LEL finally! I have 1 300km ride this weekend, out of Baldock and then that's it really until LEL.  I will keep the legs working with harder, faster short rides.

I need to start thinking about bagdrops for LEL.  I have two booked - Thirsk (400 & 1000km) and Edinburgh (705km).  My rough 'plan' is to ride the northbound section much as I have tackled all of the 600s this season (adding on another 100km obviously!) and to get a short sleep at around 400km (probably Thirsk) before pushing on towards Edinburgh and taking a proper rest.  This should put me into Edinburgh around 2-3am on the second night (I set off at 9:30am), and I can then take 5 or so hours off the bike before beginning the journey south again.

I have never ridden with bag drops before.  I have done a 1000km event in Scotland (the Mille Alba) where we rode out from a base in 300km(ish) loops.  This meant I didn't need to think about bagdrops at all - just have everything back at base.  PBP I rode with everything I needed in a larger saddlebag.

On the way up, I do not anticipate needing much other than a change of shorts.

We are limited to a small bag, and 2.5kg of stuff, so I do need to be careful in choosing what to carry.

Thirsk (400 and 1000km):

  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 thin baselayer in case of it all having got cold/wet
  • I may also put overshoes here - just in case

Edinburgh (705km):

  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 baselayer
  • 1 clean jersey
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 battery pack (for phone/GPS in case things have not worked out with my charging from the dynohub)
  • Extra Nuun tablets

I will also leave a small bag at Loughton for the end, with normal clothes (including my LEL jersey to put on at the end!) and, the greatest luxury of them all, normal shoes!

I will not really do anything different to what I have done on the last 4 600s in terms of what I carry on the bike.  Some items will be slightly weather dependent - and that will be a gamble anyway.

In the saddlebag will be:

  • Long sleeve jersey (probably) - I do feel the cold quite a lot more than most, so this has helped me on other rides
  • Arm warmers - slight doubling up on the above - but my top half does feel the cold
  • Knee warmers - one of life's essentials for summer nights
  • Longs (probably)
  • Water proof jacket
  • Reflective gilet
  • Lightweight buff - useful for allsorts of things
  • Long fingered gloves for the overnight sections
  • Waterproof socks
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 2 spare tubes
  • Gear cable
  • Brake cable
  • Chain quick link
  • Selection of cable ties
  • Quick patches
  • Tyre levers
  • Tyre boot
  • Latex gloves
  • Some plasters
  • Spoke key
  • Multi tool
  • Survival blanket
  • Spare batteries
  • Loo roll
  • Wet wipes
  • Bum cream
  • Sun cream
  • Oil
  • Cafe lock
  • Nuun
  • Couple of emergency gels
  • Silk sleeping bag
  • Very small towel (1 foot by 1 foot camping towel!)
  • Earplugs
  • Pencil
  • Battery pack and cables for phone and GPS
  • headtorch
  • Pump (on bike)

And no doubt, some other stuff I haven't listed here, but is already in the saddlebag.

I am looking forward to it a lot now.  Any ride with 1000 other people is going to be a real event and somewhat different to a typical ride in the UK.  There will be people from all over the world there - which again, adds another dimension to it.

It will be hard, it will be the farthest I have ever ridden.  But I feel prepared for it.  I have ridden 4 600s in the lead up, much more than I did for PBP.  It will be fine.  I have a rough schedule, but the time limits on LEL are so generous that by the end of the first day, I should already have many hours in hand if things do not work out to plan.