Author Topic: [LEL17] LEL 2017 Blog Roll  (Read 19466 times)

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #150 on: October 06, 2017, 11:49:48 am »

Graeme

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Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #151 on: October 24, 2017, 04:25:19 pm »
I think with Mark Lassman's final post about his recovery, we've probably seen the last trickle of LEL blog posts. I guess that all we have left to come are Damon's films/stories which take a lot longer to create. (I loved the sheep herding video)



My blog was written straight after LEL as a memory dump of what had happened. http://balancingontwowheels.com/2017/08/remembering-london-edinburgh-london/ despite this when we met up in York for a post-LEL booze-up there were loads of other stories which came flooding out. Perhaps those things are best left with a veil over them.

The only thing I've been waiting for is the data: http://balancingontwowheels.com/2017/10/lel2017-self-indulgent-data/ - this is a totally self-indulgent blog post and probably only of interest to me. Getting the data hasn't been easy, I wondered when Phil might release it. Thankfully I was able to get screen prints of my rider data. It has been helpful to see where I gained and lost time - mainly from a comparing 'the plan' with 'actual'. Will this help me in 2021? Well, the tips of my fingers are beginning to recover from numbness, so maybe in another 3 years I'll have forgotten how hard it was.

So. #LEL2017 - thanks for the memories. Goodnight and goodbye.
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #152 on: October 24, 2017, 07:23:47 pm »
I've had to avoid reading too many blogs, as I wasn't sure if I'd need to add anything to the stuff I wrote for Cycling Plus, and there's a tendency to pick up phrases unintentionally. I've also not published many stills, as it would have been unfair to break C+'s embargo.

I was subjected to musicals in my youth, as I had to read parts for my Mother as she drove, and she rehearsed her role, so I know a surprising amount about the plots of Rogers and Hammerstein's works, hence the apparently unlikely reference to 'The King and I' in the article. The Thais at LEL had references to their late King on their shirts as well, the descendant of the King played by Yul Brynner.

It's always difficult to find music that's older than 50 years for the soundtrack of films, so LEL 2009 had songs from musicals in it, including 'Getting to Know You' from the King and I. I can reference my own films of LEL back to 2001, and PBP back to 2003, so there are loads of possibilities for in jokes, and tangential references.

It was an enormous relief to finish LEL 2017, as my eyes are getting marginal for night motorcycling. I had my second deatached retina around Christmas, and that's caused a cataract, and I'm on the waiting list for an operation. Meanwhile I've got a lot of work on, which is good, but it does mean I'm not doing much editing, as the returns on that are a tiny fraction of the amount that real work generates.

At some point they'll whack a new lens in my right eye, and I'll be supposed to avoid exertion for three weeks. That should give me time to throw something together. I might even write an article for Arrivee, as that can be useful in providing an outline for a film.

mr ben

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Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #153 on: October 24, 2017, 09:12:31 pm »
This account just appeared on FB today and it's a great read: https://rkarthikprakash.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/lel-2017-an-epic-roller-coaster-ride/
I sat in my tent this evening - a small green hole - and pondered on my short stature, love of food and ale, hairy feet and the unlikeliness of being an adventurer.

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #154 on: October 26, 2017, 09:11:32 pm »
Graeme, I see that Eskdalemuir was your longest non-sleep stop.  Recovering from the music?

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #155 on: November 23, 2017, 04:46:05 pm »
I wrote this a while ago. Apologies if it's a bit dull:
https://medium.com/@grahamparks/lel-2017-3e6dbb12a410

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #156 on: November 23, 2017, 11:00:02 pm »
I wrote this a while ago. Apologies if it's a bit dull:
https://medium.com/@grahamparks/lel-2017-3e6dbb12a410

Thanks for this Graham - my thoughts, given that you started an hour after me, are that the time spent in controls meant you got further and further behind. Less food available meant being slower still and tiredness eventually caught up with you.

How much of your own food were you carrying? I had a lot with me, which meant much shorter stops. It also meant I didn't rely so much on controls.

It's all learning ... and 2021's not that far away  :P

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #157 on: November 24, 2017, 12:17:33 pm »
Thanks for this Graham - my thoughts, given that you started an hour after me, are that the time spent in controls meant you got further and further behind. Less food available meant being slower still and tiredness eventually caught up with you.

Yeah, I hadn't done an event with large full service controls before so it was definitely an experience learning what a massive time sink they could be.

I think my on-the-road speed didn't suffer that match and was still compatible with success. Something like 86 hours moving time, or 90 hours between controls. This LEL was lost at the controls.

Quote
How much of your own food were you carrying? I had a lot with me, which meant much shorter stops. It also meant I didn't rely so much on controls.

Only snacks - I put myself entirely at the mercy of the controls. Next time I'll make sure I have backup supplies (or at least know where to buy them) if the controls let me down.

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #158 on: November 26, 2017, 09:36:37 pm »
This arrived in the post yesterday. I assume not a coincidence. Thank you LEL medal fairy!


Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #159 on: November 27, 2017, 05:24:07 pm »
Graham Parks, absolute legend, that power link got me through the rest of the ride! Thanks so much for your help during a pretty low point for me, I had thought my ride was over, I was having mixed feelings of relief and disappointment, then somehow the two of you got me back on the road and feeling like I might do it.

Not only was the recumbent rider ridiculously young, but he didn't have a beard either - very strange - a guardian angel perhaps?

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #160 on: December 08, 2017, 02:02:37 pm »
Alex Stavrinides has posted this link on Fb to his account. He introduces it:
"Massively late, but my LEL 2017 blog post. One of the most epic weeks of my life."
http://www.testsubject1.com/2017/12/LEL2017.html

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #161 on: December 08, 2017, 05:46:04 pm »
Gabi Winck shared this account which I have translated (with help ;)):

LEL - THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS GOING WRONG

LEL - London Edinburgh London: 1450 km across England and Scotland

In summary: Yes, we have finished ... in time and happy to have succeeded without too much suffering. Happy and proud - considering that out of 1,500 participants, around 800 have finished the great adventure.
First my video:

https://youtu.be/xAmCNGiDjzM

Things went wrong even when travelling by car to England. Coolant water indicator signals "Stop, fill the water!" so every hour we have to top up the water. But where does the water go? Hermann suspects that it mixes with oil ... In London, instead of concentrating on LEL preparations, we have to look for a garage. For me there is an advantage: my thoughts are distracted from LEL.
No excitement ... at least not on the LEL. I would usually check my "Bag drop" a dozen times. Fortunately, a mechanic will take care of the car.
After registration on Saturday and a quiet night our start on Sunday is at 10.45. Before that we greeted other groups.
Worrying weather forecast: In addition to rain - wind - wind - wind ...

Ready? Set! Go! In the group of about 30 cyclists at the beginning there are frenetic overtaking manoeuvers. I wonder if this is a race - slightly a bit.
Hill after hill, then flat. The tail wind pushes us onwards. At Louth it's our bag drop, we want to sleep a little there.
My idea was to sleep about 4-5 hours the first and also the next 4 nights. Dream on!
Three checkpoints on the first day. Already by the first evening I'm confusing the checkpoints ... Which was the one with the traditional desserts? Where did we eat the very delicious mini-pasta (faggiolinis?)? I must say that I think we ate very well everywhere. Even the first sections in front of my eyes are also mixed up: at the beginning they are very similar with those fields and villages. How will it be after 18 stages and 12 checkpoints? 7 of which are reached on the way out and 7 on the way back.
I had a neat, printed time and distance plan as I envisaged our ride. Even by the end of the first day it changed and I lost the plan the next day. So I did not always have to compare plan and reality and feel bad if we are behind compared to the plan.

At first we are even faster because of the wind. But then come the first serious hills ... And even my idea of sleeping is not so much the same as I would have imagined.
There are only three hours because then there are people who are waiting. In any case, I could not sleep anyway and rushed into the dream kingdom for only about an hour.
We pedal. It's still dark. Quite chilly. Shortly after that it is becoming light on the horizon. Beautiful colours. Just light ... a strange noise and I notice that the air comes out of my front wheel. I shout, but Hermann cannot hear me. Start getting everything out. But I'm really a snail. I cannot imagine that other people change the inner tube within 10 minutes. My hub dynamo wheel has no quick release and I have to dig the necessary tools from the back of my luggage. Everything else on the street, clothes, toothbrush, towel, things to eat ... Finally the tools ... In the meantime, Hermann is back and dedicates himself to the task. He's a lot more experienced ... This is why I can never go faster with this kind of work. I suspect it must be a splinter or something like that. So we put in a new inner tube ... rather he puts it in ... and I order my things as befits a woman. Hahaha !!!
We continue pedaling. The Humber Bridge. Wonderful sunrise over the Humber River.
Then we continue through the fields. And "pfffft" - My wheel goes flat again. With a knife Hermann looks to find something in the tire of the wheel. And here - a tiny glass shard. The road! To Pocklington.

Pocklington: good meals again. It's a lot. I do not need anything to eat between control points. Actually I feel like a ruminant animal ... Heartburn. My throat burns. I'm not used to the food: I like it very much but it’s cooked with more fat. Now the first serious stage with a difference in height. The landscape is wonderfully panoramic. Up and down through the Castle Howard park land. Stages follow to Thirsk and Barnard Castle. Shortly after Thirsk we meet Vonni but then Hermann breaks his gear cable. He can ride only in one big gear, but fortunately there are not many slopes. Relatively flat. Relatively ... at least for us that will change ... Hermann goes on faster - we hope the mechanics at the next checkpoint (Barnard Castle) can help. The Barnard Castle school seems to be an ancient castle. Meals are available in the main hall. Wonderful rooms. We eat while Hermann's bike is in good hands. There are difficulties and after two hours we are still there. The derailleur cable cannot be made taut. If the problem cannot be resolved, I must continue pedaling alone. Help!! More than half the distance to go! Several cyclists give a hand - thank you very much! Thank God everything will be fine and we can continue - together. The landscape changes. We reach the mountains of the North Pennines. Climb. And it starts to rain. At the end of this stage we want to take a break to sleep. Pedal and pedal. But it seems to us that the end is moving further and further away. We will be there [at Brampton] in the middle of the night. A waiting list is in front of the dormitory. Shower. We eat something and we line up. We will get an inflatable mattress and two blankets. I put the plugs in my ears. I'm concentrating on finding out if I still feel something. But still with the ear plugs I hear loud snoring. Counting sheep to fall asleep does not work. But then, after (it seems to me) a long time, I get lost in the dream kingdom. To be woken up immediately. It's already been three hours? It is already dawn when we leave. And soon it starts to rain. Hard. I wear all rain clothes. Of course, then the rain stops. The border with Scotland. Photo. Then we continue through the Scottish hills to Moffat, where we have a fantastic breakfast. We meet Petra and Gernot.

Then mountains and an infinitely long valley. Funny, because I can talk in English (fragmented) with Corinne, an American girl who also speaks a bit of German.  Edinburgh. Halfway!! The sun beams from the sky. I put to dry all my wet stuff. I hanf it all around the bike and put the bag open so the rest of the clothes dry. Waiting for meals. However, we have to queue for about half a mile. After I apply the sunscreen and go out ... Nooooooooo !! There has been a real downpour. All my clothes not just wet like before, but soaking. Somewhere in the back of my bag you can find a pair of dry socks. Now I can use my plastic bags. So I did not pack them for nothing. With dry feet in the bags ... a wonderful idea - a patented recipe for warm feet. The remaining wet stuff is hung around the bike: pity I forgot the clothes pegs. I look like a tramp. Shortly thereafter it starts raining again. Violently. I throw myself in rain clothes that after the "soak" are wet even inside. But at some point someone turns off the tap and stops the rain. And the clothes dry quickly, because you ride in the wind; no, against it ... The wind in the mountains is still a relatively harmless breeze. But this is forecast to change the next day. Up to 40 ... no not kph – miles per hour ... sheep, sheep, sheep. I'm counting them ... and the tiredness reaches me ... That did not work at night – but counting sheep on the bike works brilliantly. The next check is Innerleithen. Volunteers welcome us in tartan skirts, again there are very tasty dishes, especially desserts. And then you go up. Again steeply. A chat with Nadia and Enzo, who make the way with the tandem - great! After Exdalemuir, another stage awaits us in the dark. Pedal and pedal. Stopping is not very nice ... there are thousands of "midges" - very small mosquitoes that jump over me when I stop. I hope not to bite ... In Brampton, another dorm waiting for us, is around midnight again. We do not have much time to rest and so after a little breakfast at dawn we got back on our bikes. Now everything is going the opposite way. Sometimes I see places I recognise from the way out. Big difference: we have a strong wind against us and now our legs are not fresh. Sometimes a shower catches us and this means: dressing, undressing, dressing and so on. The hours fly quickly by and again the night is upon us. In fact, we wanted to sleep in the next check, in Louth, but we're still in Pocklington and it's already completely dark. I am very tired and I would like to sleep an hour, but we decide to continue our journey, still 97 kilometers to Louth. According to Hermann, we do not have to spend a lot of time there. False hope. After another puncture for Hermann, his third: our mood is at its lowest point. But the situation should get worse ... The journey never ends. Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. Flooded streets. Fatigue. Fatigue. Shots of sleep. Humber Bridge in the dark. Then forest, forest, forest, forest. I see a light. Light? A voice, "Hi Gabi, I'm Robin". Hallucinations? Who knows me here at the end of the world? In the dark? Robin had fallen asleep in the saddle, fallen, and lost his Garmin somewhere in the long grass. In vain we help to look for it. Standing, my weariness disappears for a while. We continue. We meet another group. Susi and his friends. They got lost and took an hour to get back on track. What a pity. In that circumstance I might have had a hysterical attack. Now it is not much further (to the control) and together we travel better. Hermann had calculated badly, we spent almost double the time scheduled for this stage. The deserved rest. Two and a half hours of sleep. This time I fall asleep immediately without counting and without the noises around annoying me. Soon we were back in the saddle. Puncture twice. Rain every so often. We are in a good mood and we hope to be able to do it on time. A Eurofighter above us brings a little diversity in the day still young. What speed of the plane! Not like us ... And we slow down even more. And this on the stages in the flatlands ... The wind, sometimes a stiff breeze from the front, then again gusty on one side. We are not lucky, another flat ..., thank goodness still on the bank of the canal that we follow and not on the busy road to St. Ives. The wind seems to rob me of all energy.
I am very happy to have arrived at the penultimate control. In St. Ives it is already in the late afternoon of Thursday. My project had been to be back at this moment in Loughton. But everything had moved back, so we decided to pause in the last checkpoint, Great Easton. But we have not yet arrived there, we still had to travel about 65 kilometres.
But what a surprise: almost no wind and a nice path on the cycle path along the "guided bus" route to Cambridge. Never seen such a thing: A bus that can go without a driver in a kind of concrete tank. Even the road crossings offer something new: the traffic light setting for horses. When it gets dark we reach Cambridge, a breathtaking setting of historic buildings. On the road I hear my name. Who knows me here? It is Zoe who has retired and is now volunteering. We do not get bored: another flat: my fifth. That's enough! My husband, usually the patience in person reacts slightly hysterical. I take an old tire out of the last corner of my bag. Ready? Road!
Above us of airplanes, every minute one. London is not far. The last checkpoint in a nursery school. Eat. Fall sleep. Then gently shaken by the shoulder. ?? Above me a volunteer and next to him pale and with eyes without expression - the next candidate for the bed. Cozy breakfast. We have no stress ... We still have five hours to spare for the last 44 kilometers. It's still dark. The Hermann bike begins to move frantically: During our stop the air of its rear wheel has come out. Meanwhile, we drilled 9 times ... If this continues, we will not return to Loughton until 8:00. Come on! Fast! I do not want to join the numerous DNFs. We will hear after the finish that 34% withdrew and 11% did not make it in time. Will this be our destiny too? Now; after such a long journey? No, absolutely no!! I want to do everything in my power ... With greater speed as our legs are able to pedal we start from Great Easton.
With the increase of speed we head towards the dawn behind the wheat fields. Wonderful. Sleepy villages. Pedal and pedal. Every strange noise of my bike makes me fear another failure. Once within 10 kilometres of the finish I am a bit 'relaxed’. From here (at worst) I could even walk and I would do it in time. About seven o'clock we arrived in Loughton. I can not believe it yet.
I thought in the worst moments of my journey that I should cry at the finish ... now I'm just happy to be able to share this madness with so many crazy people like us and especially with my husband Hermann.
I meet many old and new friends, we exchange experiences. I am slowly forgetting the suffering (insomnia, fight against the stormy wind, fight against time, tired legs, ...) and these are making room for great pride.
Immediately we have to bring the car into a garage, but this venture is also successful.
This "vacation" by bike was pure adventure, from every point of view.
What did we learn from LEL?

New tyres before an event of this length

Doing a plan is ok, but do not forget, that this is usually not valid for a long time. Better to do as I did: Lose the sheet ...

Counting sheep on a bicycle has an effect that induces sleep. Counting sheep in bed (mattress) does not work - at least for me ....

Plan for reserve time in the plan. This can then be removed from sleep. We did well ... because I had planned to sleep 5-6 hours (but with this abundance of sleep we would not have got to the finish in time ...)

In Scotland, do not put on your rain jackets at the first shower ... it usually stops raining unless you wear nothing ... ahaaaahhaaa

and ... and .... is …. I could quote a lot more, if I could only remember .... No, I'm joking. I think so many things intuitively we did it right. Therefore joy reigns over suffering. LEL 2021? I cannot say it yet, but maybe ...




Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #162 on: January 04, 2018, 07:13:21 pm »
Recently written/shared first half (to riding out of Edinburgh) report by Patrick Douglas. Seven hour B&B sleep stops.
http://leedsfitnesstrainer.co.uk/london-edinburgh-london-scotland-bound/
"we still had nearly one hundred miles to ride and it was already seven in the evening [Tuesday]. I knew it would be pretty late (sic) when we’d get back to Brampton…………."

Graeme

  • Priest, Preacher and Prophet
  • @FatherHilarious
    • BalancingOnTwoWheels
Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #163 on: January 05, 2018, 10:40:01 am »
I've had to avoid reading too many blogs, as I wasn't sure if I'd need to add anything to the stuff I wrote for Cycling Plus, and there's a tendency to pick up phrases unintentionally. I've also not published many stills, as it would have been unfair to break C+'s embargo.

I was subjected to musicals in my youth, as I had to read parts for my Mother as she drove, and she rehearsed her role, so I know a surprising amount about the plots of Rogers and Hammerstein's works, hence the apparently unlikely reference to 'The King and I' in the article. The Thais at LEL had references to their late King on their shirts as well, the descendant of the King played by Yul Brynner.

It's always difficult to find music that's older than 50 years for the soundtrack of films, so LEL 2009 had songs from musicals in it, including 'Getting to Know You' from the King and I. I can reference my own films of LEL back to 2001, and PBP back to 2003, so there are loads of possibilities for in jokes, and tangential references.

It was an enormous relief to finish LEL 2017, as my eyes are getting marginal for night motorcycling. I had my second deatached retina around Christmas, and that's caused a cataract, and I'm on the waiting list for an operation. Meanwhile I've got a lot of work on, which is good, but it does mean I'm not doing much editing, as the returns on that are a tiny fraction of the amount that real work generates.

At some point they'll whack a new lens in my right eye, and I'll be supposed to avoid exertion for three weeks. That should give me time to throw something together. I might even write an article for Arrivee, as that can be useful in providing an outline for a film.

It is really good to have your two part film released - and given the effort you've put in I was happy to pay to watch them. We all have our personal experiences of LEL, but the collection of blogs and your film give a wonderful broad picture of the whole thing. From those who experienced heart-ache and distress, to those bouncing along happy as anything. From those who rode in sunshine to those who rode in rain. There seemed to be only two commonalities: It was LEL, and the Fens.

Link https://vimeo.com/ondemand/132873/ to trailer, part one and part two.
37. Because travel is the finest educational system of all; and cycling the cheapest, easiest, and most educational means of travel - Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #164 on: January 08, 2018, 08:52:31 pm »
We had a busy weekend, with a hedgelaying competition, and a trip to Yad Moss for some skiing, parking where Drew was dispensing tea on LEL.

I got Heather a copy of the film 'Everest' for her birthday, and we watched it with friends on Saturday, I also got her the one book she didn't have about the events on the mountain in 1996.

Watching the film, having read the various accounts, is interesting. I was constantly wondering what has been left on the cutting-room floor, and how that shaped the story. Interested parties will question the judgements made, but the film has to carry those with no pre-knowledge. The LEL film is constructed from events that happened, but they still have to be chosen.

Re: LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #165 on: January 10, 2018, 08:55:16 pm »
I've recently finished my write-up. Please note it's quite long (11,000 words) but I wanted to capture the whole event as a note to my future self.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pdhsczi1xu4ni6p/LEL%20Report.pdf?dl=0

mr ben

  • Some routes may be arduous.
    • ramblings and randonees
[LEL17] LEL 2017 Blog Roll
« Reply #166 on: February 01, 2018, 11:00:00 am »
I wrote this a while ago. Apologies if it's a bit dull:
https://medium.com/@grahamparks/lel-2017-3e6dbb12a410

That was great to read, I could relate to a lot.  So glad you got a medal, very well deserved!  We must have left Barnard Castle fairly close together heading north.
I sat in my tent this evening - a small green hole - and pondered on my short stature, love of food and ale, hairy feet and the unlikeliness of being an adventurer.