Author Topic: Avoiding the bulge  (Read 3232 times)

Avoiding the bulge
« on: 13 April, 2022, 10:38:00 am »
Certain controls will tend to get very busy at certain times, as the peak of riders passes through.
Based on previous LEL events do we know
a) which controls get full of sleeping riders overnight?
b) can we estimate when the busiest time at each control occurs?

Eddington  109miles

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #1 on: 13 April, 2022, 12:10:58 pm »
In 2013

I slept early (9pm) on the Sunday night at Market Rasen (equiv Louth) and the dormitory was pretty empty.

Pocklington was rammed with sleeping riders on the Sunday night.

Brampton was rammed on the Tue night. I ended up sleeping in a sport equipment cupboard with my silk liner.

Market Rasen (equiv Louth) was rammed on the Wed night. Many of us deciding to use that control as our staging post for the last day’s riding.

Other than that no problems getting a bed for my other sleeps. I was on one of the last starts that year.

In 2017

Louth was rammed on the Sunday night, with a lesser bulge at Spalding.  If you were Pocklington or north that first night, no probs with beds.

On Tue night, lot of riders were spread across the Innerleithen, Eskdalemuir, Brampton controls.  As much as anything that was down to the rain and wind at the time. We were tracking Alston and that had a steady trickle but quite low numbers stopping there.

By Wed night we had seen so many DNF, plus riders so spread out on the route, that the bulge was largely neutralised.

I did do some live tracking graphs of occupancy across all controls, in the admin area of the website in 2017.  After the event, I also produced graphs for every control showing occupancy over the full time period of the event.  Not sure if I’ve kept those, I’d have to look on my PC. Danial will likely still have the copies I shared with him (maybe).


In 2022

There’s a new intermediate control at Hessle (north side of Humber bridge) between Louth and the new Malton control this year. Thus the first night bulge will hopefully be spread over more controls this year.

If you can reach Moffat by Mon night I think you’ll be ahead of the bulge and in a position to reach Brampton, Alston, or Barnard Castle by Tue night.

Tue night I think the bulge spread will be Dunfermline to Brampton.  With the extra distance this year, it may be just enough for the late morning or afternoon starters to stop at the northern turn point.   But I think the majority of the bulge will be Innerleithen and Eskdalemuir. If Danial reveals where riders have selected bag drops that may give an indication of where the bulge will sleep.  Many riders unnecessarily tie their bag drops to where they plan to sleep (IMO).

Depends on your start but the general approach to miss the bulge is one of the last starts and stay behind it.  Otherwise ride straight through the first night and sleep once most riders have woken up.   I’ve successfully deployed the sleep early (around 8-9pm) or sleep late (from 6-7am) manoeuvres to avoid having to wait for a bed.

The Weather

So much of this is weather dependent and the experience of the riders this time round.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #2 on: 13 April, 2022, 07:57:36 pm »
A lot of riders indeed tend to prefer to sleep from midnight till about 4. Only relatively few riders prefer the 3-7 range. My personal preference is to be asleep between 4 and 6. Quite often I can get a bed at a busy control as a lot of riders are already preparing to leave when I arrive for a sleeping stop.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #3 on: 13 April, 2022, 10:55:46 pm »
I must be one of the odd ones then, snatching an hour at Pock on the way north then stopping at Moffat .
A lot stopped at Brampton, meaning that was crowded so I pushed up to Moffat , arriving in the small hours.
I think that there was only me and a group from Audax Bristol still moving at the time.
That set me up for an early morning  climb up the Devils Beeftub and lunch in Dalkeith.
It helped that I had done the Brampton-Moffat stretch a few weeks earlier on the Border Raid and that I am happy with my own company.



bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #4 on: 13 April, 2022, 11:08:50 pm »
In 2013

I slept early (9pm) on the Sunday night at Market Rasen (equiv Louth) and the dormitory was pretty empty.

Pocklington was rammed with sleeping riders on the Sunday night.


Did exactly the same having started in the last but one start (not so late, think it was 10.15) - asked about sleeping facilities up ahead and told that it was better to stop at Market Rasen. I think we were up at around 3am, and then managed to get ahead of the bulge (although we didn't realise  it at the time) by having a quick breakfast at Pocklington, where it was still asleep!  Made it through to Moffat from there which was a long day, but put us one control ahead of the mass I think.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #5 on: 19 April, 2022, 04:08:05 pm »
In 2013

I slept early (9pm) on the Sunday night at Market Rasen (equiv Louth) and the dormitory was pretty empty.

Pocklington was rammed with sleeping riders on the Sunday night.


Did exactly the same having started in the last but one start (not so late, think it was 10.15) - asked about sleeping facilities up ahead and told that it was better to stop at Market Rasen. I think we were up at around 3am, and then managed to get ahead of the bulge (although we didn't realise  it at the time) by having a quick breakfast at Pocklington, where it was still asleep!  Made it through to Moffat from there which was a long day, but put us one control ahead of the mass I think.

Thanks, sounds like trying to make it to hessle with a later start will cause issues, but pushing through the first night will put me ahead of the bulge and make everything easier after that.

Eddington  109miles

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #6 on: 21 April, 2022, 05:54:08 pm »

Thanks, sounds like trying to make it to hessle with a later start will cause issues, but pushing through the first night will put me ahead of the bulge and make everything easier after that.
With your speed (eg on a hilly 600) you will make Hessle in <13 hours and find a lot of people there. Riders who stop at Louth (246km) that first night (for more than a couple of hours) are setting themselves up for failure imo, and I think I've seen stats to support that.
There is a risk that Hessle will be like the 2013 Pocklington and to be avoided for those that aren't members of the 'just ride and see what happens' brigade. I'd be amazed if there were any data accessible to riders at Louth desk to predict to riders what Hessle occupancy rate was likely to be was going to be 3 hours hence.
Starting "later" you (recognising your competence and vmg) will be bound to pass through the 'bulge' at some stage: two choices: Monday dawn or, with more issues, on Tuesday.
Push through and get a dawn bed at Malton (took me 13 hours to the bridge last time) and Malton is only another 70km.
Can someone post a link to the fantastic data visualisation that a skilled person produced from the 2013 control arrival time data?
@red marley - LEL Visualisation by jo

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #7 on: 21 April, 2022, 09:53:47 pm »
This might be close enough.
Big up to Jo

https://www.gicentre.net/blog/tag/data+visualization

NB the event was smaller and start times will consequently appear more compressed than this year
Reasonably Inconsiderate

alfapete

  • Oh dear
Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #8 on: 22 April, 2022, 08:51:49 am »
This might be close enough.
Big up to Jo

https://www.gicentre.net/blog/tag/data+visualization

I'd forgotten all about that. It's wonderful information, especially the video of rider flow through each control
alfapete - that's the Pete that drives the Alfa

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #9 on: 27 April, 2022, 02:07:37 pm »
Riders who stop at Louth (246km) that first night (for more than a couple of hours) are setting themselves up for failure imo, and I think I've seen stats to support that.
...
Push through and get a dawn bed at Malton (took me 13 hours to the bridge last time) and Malton is only another 70km.


with a start at 13:00, I would expect to get to Louth some time around midnight, based on fenland friends last year, seems like a good time to sleep, and I would likely not stop for more than 4 hours.
Pushing past the busy control at Hessle, only to sleep immediately and let the largest mass of riders get back in front of me seems inefficient. I think pushing on to 500km to 550km before sleeping as per PBP or borders of Belgium would be a better idea. By the time I reach Malton, the sun would likely be coming up, making continuing easier. And as I don't have a dynamo hub sleeping during daylight adds other pressures around recharging lights

that said with a deadline of 19:45 on Friday to get to the finish, I could ride 250km each day (sun, mon, tue, wed, thu, fri) and finish on time, staying behind the bulge all the way, I suspect those who stop at Louth on night one, are typically those arriving later, rather than doing it through choice, and leaving having slept with several hours still in hand But I've always been keen to build time in hand where possible so I might struggle with this approach.

Eddington  109miles

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #10 on: 27 April, 2022, 04:31:06 pm »
Your deadline will be 18:00 on Friday, not sure where you’ve got the other time from. In terms of sleep, if you need a doze have one, if you don’t crack on.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #11 on: 27 April, 2022, 07:27:09 pm »
Riders who stop at Louth (246km) that first night (for more than a couple of hours) are setting themselves up for failure imo, and I think I've seen stats to support that.
...
Push through and get a dawn bed at Malton (took me 13 hours to the bridge last time) and Malton is only another 70km.


with a start at 13:00, I would expect to get to Louth some time around midnight, based on fenland friends last year, seems like a good time to sleep, and I would likely not stop for more than 4 hours.
Pushing past the busy control at Hessle, only to sleep immediately and let the largest mass of riders get back in front of me seems inefficient. I think pushing on to 500km to 550km before sleeping as per PBP or borders of Belgium would be a better idea. By the time I reach Malton, the sun would likely be coming up, making continuing easier. And as I don't have a dynamo hub sleeping during daylight adds other pressures around recharging lights

that said with a deadline of 19:45 on Friday to get to the finish, I could ride 250km each day (sun, mon, tue, wed, thu, fri) and finish on time, staying behind the bulge all the way, I suspect those who stop at Louth on night one, are typically those arriving later, rather than doing it through choice, and leaving having slept with several hours still in hand But I've always been keen to build time in hand where possible so I might struggle with this approach.

I tend to go for the 550km before the sleep approach as well. The only time I had to sleep during the first night during LEL (2009 edition) I arrived hopelessly out of time. So pushing on to Alston or Brampton is necessary for having a chance of finishing in time (for me).

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #12 on: 02 August, 2022, 05:16:05 pm »
Your deadline will be 18:00 on Friday, not sure where you’ve got the other time from. In terms of sleep, if you need a doze have one, if you don’t crack on.

probably from working step by step with the route stated distances, and applying 12kmh average speed.

I notice a discrepancy (20km) between the sum of the stages and the overall route on https://londonedinburghlondon.com/route, hopefully that is split fairly evenly around the route.

Eddington  109miles

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #13 on: 02 August, 2022, 05:32:46 pm »
Your deadline will be 18:00 on Friday, not sure where you’ve got the other time from. In terms of sleep, if you need a doze have one, if you don’t crack on.

probably from working step by step with the route stated distances, and applying 12kmh average speed.

I notice a discrepancy (20km) between the sum of the stages and the overall route on https://londonedinburghlondon.com/route, hopefully that is split fairly evenly around the route.

Max time fixed at 125 hours, I.e. 5 days 5 hours. No extra time for any distance above 1500km.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #14 on: 03 August, 2022, 08:00:24 am »
Your deadline will be 18:00 on Friday, not sure where you’ve got the other time from. In terms of sleep, if you need a doze have one, if you don’t crack on.

probably from working step by step with the route stated distances, and applying 12kmh average speed.

I notice a discrepancy (20km) between the sum of the stages and the overall route on https://londonedinburghlondon.com/route, hopefully that is split fairly evenly around the route.

Max time fixed at 125 hours, I.e. 5 days 5 hours. No extra time for any distance above 1500km.

And if you use 12km/h for your calculations then you’ll be over 3 hours behind schedule at the end. 12 and a third is the number I’m using.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #15 on: 03 August, 2022, 10:00:59 am »
My plan is to ride through the first night and sleep on the second in either Moffat or Dunfermline, this should put me far enough ahead of the bulge that I can take it a bit steadier heading south but maybe I'm feeling a little too confident after completing Pan Celtic

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #16 on: 03 August, 2022, 10:10:06 am »
It’ll be interesting to see what riders do this year. Certainly in 2017 we were shocked at how many riders stopped early first night as the next leg would have involved them riding in darkness. Despite that stonking tailwind blowing.   If you get to a point where you’ve been through a really busy control, and the next leg is dark with not many riders about, you’ve likely just passed the bulge.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #17 on: 03 August, 2022, 10:39:22 am »
I started quite late in 2017 (about 15:00-16:00 if memory serves) and pushed through the night to Pocklington for sleep in the morning after being greeted by the cluster fuck that was Louth, sunrise as I crossed the Humber Bridge was something to behold.

Only made it to Edinburgh owing to a knee injury so, this is unfinished business that I'm well prepared for.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #18 on: 03 August, 2022, 11:13:44 am »
It’ll be interesting to see what riders do this year. Certainly in 2017 we were shocked at how many riders stopped early first night as the next leg would have involved them riding in darkness. Despite that stonking tailwind blowing.   If you get to a point where you’ve been through a really busy control, and the next leg is dark with not many riders about, you’ve likely just passed the bulge.
Probably people ahead of where they expected to be, I don't think it's possible to complete LEL without ever riding in the dark, so the first night seems the best time for this.

Eddington  109miles

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #19 on: 03 August, 2022, 12:40:22 pm »
It’ll be riding into the night most days of LEL for me. I’m not fast enough for daylight only riding. Luckily I like night riding and run a dynamo with no charging requirements. ;D

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #20 on: 03 August, 2022, 08:01:04 pm »
It’ll be riding into the night most days of LEL for me. I’m not fast enough for daylight only riding. Luckily I like night riding and run a dynamo with no charging requirements. ;D

Same here. Last time I passed the bulge lounging in Louth only to be passed by them again.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #21 on: 03 August, 2022, 11:17:59 pm »
My plan is to ride through the first night and sleep on the second in either Moffat or Dunfermline, this should put me far enough ahead of the bulge that I can take it a bit steadier heading south but maybe I'm feeling a little too confident after completing Pan Celtic

Good plan, what’s your start time? I’m 10:15 and that was my initial plan but I’m currently thinking I might need to take it easier than I was originally planning speed-wise.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #22 on: 04 August, 2022, 04:59:45 pm »
My plan is to ride through the first night and sleep on the second in either Moffat or Dunfermline, this should put me far enough ahead of the bulge that I can take it a bit steadier heading south but maybe I'm feeling a little too confident after completing Pan Celtic

Good plan, what’s your start time? I’m 10:15 and that was my initial plan but I’m currently thinking I might need to take it easier than I was originally planning speed-wise.

Starting at 11:30

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #23 on: 04 August, 2022, 08:02:29 pm »
In 2017 I slept in Brampton, Brampton and Louth and was ahead of the bulge the entire time with a 12.15 start.

I aim for the same this year, but likely I'll have a 90m nap in Malton too. Getting to Brampton will be slower this time, I am slower and then there is the expected headwind plus the Yadd Moss extras.

Re: Avoiding the bulge
« Reply #24 on: 06 August, 2022, 05:19:25 pm »
In 2017 I slept in Brampton, Brampton and Louth and was ahead of the bulge the entire time with a 12.15 start.

I aim for the same this year, but likely I'll have a 90m nap in Malton too. Getting to Brampton will be slower this time, I am slower and then there is the expected headwind plus the Yadd Moss extras.

Headwinds both ways according to the forecast I am seeing

Eddington  109miles