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
- 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
- Cafe lock
- Couple of emergency gels
- Silk sleeping bag
- Very small towel (1 foot by 1 foot camping towel!)
- Battery pack and cables for phone and GPS
- 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.