Author Topic: LEL2021 - route details  (Read 11787 times)

jiberjaber

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Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2019, 05:36:45 pm »
The high DNF in 2017 was down to Danish hills rather than British hills. 2021 will have more hills because it is longer. But I doubt it will be much hillier, as in overall average climb.

Danish hills? Clearly those were Dutch mountains. (My apologies, but for Dutch folk like me being able to cycle into endless headwinds is a source of national pride.)

Anyway, thanks for the update. I'm sure 1500k or 1425k won't make much of a difference. Either way looking forward to LEL in 2021.

I was quite looking forward to climbing hills of bacon....  :thumbsup:
Regards,

Joergen

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2019, 05:40:27 pm »
With the extra you could go over to Stanhope to Hexham, bit of Hadrians Wall, Kielder Water and on to Innerleithin.  The possibilities abound.  I can also eat my way through Danish bacon hills.

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2019, 06:36:41 pm »
The high DNF in 2017 was down to Danish hills rather than British hills ...

From what I gathered the exceptionally high DNF rate (43% was it?) was largely down to a naive approach - riders not appreciating that their performance would deteriorate as the ride went on, and so not planning accordingly.

As to the new route - the Yorkshire Wolds sounds like an excellent addition. It looks to me like the event is going from strength to strength.

wilkyboy

  • "nick" by any other name
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Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2019, 07:32:09 pm »
Wilkyboy knows more than me at this stage, he is looking after the route while I book controls.

Alwyn and I have been working on this on and off since the end of LEL 2017, and intensively since the middle of last year.

I'm really excited by the possibilities that mandatory-route gives us, as we should be able to hit very close to 1500km and visit some really lovely new parts of the country, while retaining most of the classic landmarks  :thumbsup:

Alwyn has already ridden some of the critical new sections and given them the nod.  I hope to ride all the new bits in the coming months so that I can get a feel for the roads and tweak as necessary.  We're hoping to have a draft-final route in place by the summer, which we will then use to reach out to friends up and down the route for additional local knowledge and feedback.  Alwyn will do the Big Reveal when he's happy we're close enough.

And just to add: I feel honoured to be working with Alwyn on this and I hope we deliver another classic route for y'all  O:-)
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2019, 07:38:59 pm »
From what I gathered the exceptionally high DNF rate (43% was it?) was largely down to a naive approach - riders not appreciating that their performance would deteriorate as the ride went on, and so not planning accordingly.

This is a fair analysis. You could argue the vicious headwinds merely exposed poor tactics. My fault partly. I was very keen that folk started late filled the control in Spalding, so assured them they could make the time up if they were behind on day one. Unfortunately it seems the 'make time up' bit got glossed over.

I think what also caught a lot of people out was how tough the ride was. My warnings about weather were met with an indulgent chuckle by a lot of Asian riders, who seemed to presume that we don't really have weather in the UK. They won't make that mistake again!

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2019, 08:00:52 pm »
And just to add: I feel honoured to be working with Alwyn on this and I hope we deliver another classic route for y'all  O:-)

Aww shucks! The LEL route has been passed to some illustrious routemeisters in the past. It's about time you took on the challenge, especially since you wrote so much of the 2017 route.

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2019, 08:34:34 pm »
And just to add: I feel honoured to be working with Alwyn on this and I hope we deliver another classic route for y'all  O:-)

Aww shucks! The LEL route has been passed to some illustrious routemeisters in the past. It's about time you took on the challenge, especially since you wrote so much of the 2017 route.

looks like a dream team that ^

feel free to get in touch if you want any help for any of the northernmost bits. 

Planet X Paul

  • The Green Machine
Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2019, 11:32:12 pm »
The high DNF in 2017 was down to Danish hills rather than British hills ...

From what I gathered the exceptionally high DNF rate (43% was it?) was largely down to a naive approach - riders not appreciating that their performance would deteriorate as the ride went on, and so not planning accordingly.


Really ?  Can you elaborate, as I would have thought any cyclist would appreciate that their performance would deteriorate the further they went.  And how could they plan any differently?  I've been advised by a few PBP & LEL finishers not to plan as any plan goes out of the window after the first day.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2019, 11:38:19 pm »
There were a lot of people close to the closing times (or behind them) on the way north with a tailwind who thought they'd hold the same speed or better heading south with tired legs.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2019, 06:09:53 am »
Really ?  Can you elaborate, as I would have thought any cyclist would appreciate that their performance would deteriorate the further they went.  And how could they plan any differently?  I've been advised by a few PBP & LEL finishers not to plan as any plan goes out of the window after the first day.

As LWaB says, from observation this was what happened. Phil W produced some graphs from the rider data showing this too.

As to plans, it's right that a lot of very experienced randonneurs will advise you not to plan. And it's good advice ... for very experienced randonneurs, who will have an innate understanding of how these events go. For the inexperienced, especially if not super strong, having at least some plan for how to manage time is wise, even if it's simply that they should spend less time riding to Edinburgh than riding back. Ultimately, if riders don't have a plan the event has one for them (i.e. to ride 1430 km in 117 hours).

PBP helps riders by having control closing times such that it's necessary to ride the first half of the event in less time than the second half. Something similar for LEL would help less seasoned riders grok time management I think.

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2019, 06:44:09 am »
The profile for 2021 will be different, which I expect will have an impact. I expect there to be more people with years of completing LRM events, and fewer plucky newbies.

Having said that, increasing the finish rate is not a priority for me at all.

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2019, 07:56:01 am »
Riders are better prepared for PBP because of the qualifying distances, LEL can be attempted without riding the longer distances, I've ridden LEL & talked to riders who have only completed a 200 that season, if the weather is bad like it was in 2017 & you have not done an SR or some serious touring it's going to be a big challenge.

Planet X Paul

  • The Green Machine
Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2019, 08:44:54 am »
Really ?  Can you elaborate, as I would have thought any cyclist would appreciate that their performance would deteriorate the further they went.  And how could they plan any differently?  I've been advised by a few PBP & LEL finishers not to plan as any plan goes out of the window after the first day.

As LWaB says, from observation this was what happened. Phil W produced some graphs from the rider data showing this too.

As to plans, it's right that a lot of very experienced randonneurs will advise you not to plan. And it's good advice ... for very experienced randonneurs, who will have an innate understanding of how these events go. For the inexperienced, especially if not super strong, having at least some plan for how to manage time is wise, even if it's simply that they should spend less time riding to Edinburgh than riding back. Ultimately, if riders don't have a plan the event has one for them (i.e. to ride 1430 km in 117 hours).

PBP helps riders by having control closing times such that it's necessary to ride the first half of the event in less time than the second half. Something similar for LEL would help less seasoned riders grok time management I think.

It was my first time on LEL (but not I'm not new to doing ultra type events) and I planned it to death and still failed.  I planned a reducing average speed between controls, time stopped at controls and sleep time.  But what I didn't plan for was not being woken by the control staff and losing all the time I had gained on the first day.  My shoes going missing resulting in panic until they were found. My chamois cream being stolen resulting in having to go off route to buy some more.  Getting no sleep at a control and wasting 2 hours shivering as there were no blankets meaning I had to get more sleep at the next control.  And the headwind.  But you live and learn....  Perhaps next time I will factor in all these things.

S2L

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2019, 08:55:39 am »
Is it not about the experience?
Whether 80% finish within the time limit or only 50% manage, what difference does it make? As long as they all have a "good time", being that A or B type... who cares how many finish...
I think it would be sad if there was a push to be less inclusive towards newcomers. The fact that LEL is fully catered for, makes it more appealing to someone who has never covered that distance.
The hardened randonneurs who can sleep in a drainage pipe under a dual carriageway and live off Ginster pasties and Mars bars from a 24 hours petrol station can probably do it as a perm any time they like  :thumbsup:


Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2019, 09:22:40 am »
This is a fair analysis. You could argue the vicious headwinds merely exposed poor tactics. My fault partly. I was very keen that folk started late filled the control in Spalding, so assured them they could make the time up if they were behind on day one. Unfortunately it seems the 'make time up' bit got glossed over.

My recollection is the advice given to all riders was that missing any closing time on the way north was fine. If this was only ever meant to target a specific group that never got out. Even at the time, I couldn't figure out for whom it might be a sensible strategy.

(in hindsight, the PBP model of having asymmetric *hard* closing times seems much better)

Planet X Paul

  • The Green Machine
Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2019, 09:40:32 am »
This is a fair analysis. You could argue the vicious headwinds merely exposed poor tactics. My fault partly. I was very keen that folk started late filled the control in Spalding, so assured them they could make the time up if they were behind on day one. Unfortunately it seems the 'make time up' bit got glossed over.

My recollection is the advice given to all riders was that missing any closing time on the way north was fine. If this was only ever meant to target a specific group that never got out. Even at the time, I couldn't figure out for whom it might be a sensible strategy.

(in hindsight, the PBP model of having asymmetric *hard* closing times seems much better)

Having never done PBP, if you are late at a control, are you forcibly retired from the event?  Do you still then have to get yourself back to the start?

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2019, 10:26:38 am »
In 2017 I was making the film of the event. A very effective PR initiative prompted Cycling Plus to commission an article on LEL. I wrote a couple of treatments very soon after the event, in an attempt to avoid picking up too much from the web and blog posts. Here are those initial impressions.

Quote
A curious aspect of these long rides is music, especially as earworms; uncontrollable accompaniments to the journey. I’d met a rider from the US on PBP 2011, and we’d whiled away the hours chatting about blue-eyed soul. That led to him humming ‘Maneater’ by Hall and Oates for the next two days and nights. He reminded me of that at the LEL sign-in.

I was making a film, so I get ‘eye worms’ as well. I was constantly running templates into which the actual experience would fit. The overall idea I worked with was ‘Brigadoon’, a musical about a Scottish village which appears once every hundred years. The LEL village was on 1,400 pairs of wheels, spread out over 1,400 kilometres of road. It’s a temporary world, and a fascinating one, as the effects of extreme exhaustion and sleep-derivation give it a special character.

The danger is that the forecasting of the experience can become a self-defeating prophecy. Planning’s a big part of these rides, and boy do these people like to plan. Every move goes down on a spreadsheet for a lot of them. The collision of projection and reality comes as a shock to many.

Talking to the fastest is revealing. Anco de Jong trained with a few rapid 200 km excursions, as he likes to do the long ones every four years. Jasmine Muller, the current female 24 TT champion, started cycling to get to her ballet classes, and Marko Baloh, of Race Across America fame, found the conditions too cold and too wet for his liking. Marko and Chris Hopkinson, another stalwart of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association, had hinted at an attempt at sub 60 hours, but rain, wind and mechanicals put paid to that dream. The main contenders also faced a combination of the Tour de France and Father Ted, with a succession of Mrs Doyles plying them with tea and cake.

Understatement is part of the culture of Audax, and Brits like to display their stiff upper lip by playing down the amount of climbing, even complaining about any flat bits. The organisers ride the route in sections, and each one is designed to be ‘interesting’. It all looks eminently sensible on paper, especially compared to PBP, with its more consistent ups and downs. When you string the whole thing together, it looks a bit different. There’s 12,000 metres of ascent, but it’s concentrated. Old hands know that, but even they were surprised by the inclusion of the Lincolnshire Wolds between the Humber Bridge and Louth. Nearly everyone was chastened by the Howardian Hills, North of York. That’s a roller coaster, guaranteed to annoy tandems, velomobiles and elliptigos.

Those with local knowledge simply rode around the Howardians, and the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire Wolds as well. In most countries, the published route is compulsory, often because there’s not a lot of choice. In England there’s choice galore, but the main governing factor is safety. Since the last running in 2013, I’ve made a number of tribute films for those lost on the roads around the world. Two cases were on Audax rides in Australia and New Zealand. Soon after this year’s start, we learned of the death of a noted Dutch Audaxer on the Transcontinental Race. That prompted a discussion with a controller about the media contingency plan for any such mishap on LEL.

The main hill avoidance routes are the A19, A63 and A18, heavily trafficked arterial routes, marginal for safety at the best of times. Most riders were using GPS tracks, so followed the official route as if on rails. They don’t seem to have maps, so the safety risk is under control, but I don’t actually want to be making any tribute videos as a result of LEL.

There was a vast amount of experience of riding in windy plains in the LEL peloton. Vicki Tyrer from Texas said that she didn’t go out on her bike with more than 30mph of breeze. The Fens were compared unfavourably with the Hungarian Puszta, and the Nullarbor Plain, which is 1,000 miles of featureless Australian desert. One rider declared that he was never riding RAAM, on the basis of his 40mph East Anglian headwind experience. Anco de Jong described a feeling of suspended animation, a sense in which turning the legs produced no perceivable progress. He was relatively lucky, it got windier as time went on, and he actually liked the Lincolnshire Wolds.

As I’d followed LEL, I’d seen a number of stories develop, and towards the end I had to resolve them. That’s made difficult by the way that the last validated finishes unfold over a period of 27 hours. There’s a group that set off at 5am on Sunday morning, with a 100 hour time allowance, and the last 116 Hour group set off at 4pm. Anco de Jong had finished at 7pm on the Tuesday, but was socialising at the finish control, thankfully. So I got an interview after I’d shot South from my hotel in Boston to cover the last 100 hour finishes. Then I returned to the St Ives control, before filming in Cambridge.

At St Ives, the controller asked me if I’d seen 500 to 600 missing riders on my travels. it was unclear if their absence was a by-product of planning, or simply a mystery. They had to be out there somewhere, but when would they turn up? Phil had to hand the control back on the following morning, and he wouldn’t be able to house the stragglers.



The following year Heather and I ended up forcing tea, sandwiches and cake onto Audaxers at Father Ted's house on the Mile Failte 1200 in Ireland. So my reference to Mrs Doyle was a self-fulfilling prophecy in itself.

This treatment is nearer to the published article. We provided the images as well, so the text was tailored to our best pictures.

Quote
Before London Edinburgh London 2017, the nearest I’d got to Thailand was seeing my mother play Anna in an amateur production of the ‘The King and I’. During LEL I saw over 60 Thai cyclists pit themselves against the the British terrain and weather.

I was filming the event, largely out of force of habit, and I was constantly asked if I was a ‘professional’. That question brought my mum’s acting and directing career to mind. I should have been mortified by the embarrassment of seeing her on stage, but she was actually very good, and went on to stage benefit shows which would pull in an audience of 10,000 in a week. Many of that audience would be the relatives of the cast, or supporters of the charity, so there’s a a bit of collusion about the standard of the performance, but the results were genuinely enjoyable.

I’ve been involved with LEL since 2001, when I first rode it. My partner Heather organised a control stop at the Langdon Beck Youth Hostel, the highest in Britain. Controls on an Audax exist to confirm that the riders are doing the distance, and to provide services through the night; feeding, sleeping and mechanical help.

The first few LELs from 1989 used main roads, mainly the A68. But that’s become unpleasant and unsafe in modern traffic conditions,  as the rider numbers have grown from 26 to over 1,400. The route now consists of the remotest routes imaginable between Loughton, on the edge of London, and Bonnyrigg on the edge of Edinburgh. The result is that the controls are the almost exclusive source of food and accommodation for the riders. The course does pass branches of Tesco and Lidl in Thirsk, but otherwise the main shops are Co-op and Spar convenience stores.

The controls are mainly small town secondary schools, with the school dinner staff providing the food, and with airbeds and blankets in the sports hall for tired riders. At Pocklington, that hall was a converted locomotive maintenance shed with 250 mattresses.

The LEL control managers take possession of the premises the day before the riders arrive, and adapt them as well as they can. Some controllers have experience to fall back on, but there can be no  rehearsal. The event is vastly bigger in scale than other Audax United Kingdom events, so it’s not just a case of scaling up the usual arrangements.

Each LEL has sought to project the experience of past rides on to the present. There’s been a lot of computer modelling of rider flows along the course, and that informs the phasing of the starts. However, the weather and rider behaviour tend to produce big gaps between prediction and reality.

Paris Brest Paris is the other main endurance ride of this type. That requires qualification via 200, 300, 400 and 600 kilometre rides, and provides more consistency from the field. LEL aims to embrace the current crop of riders from the ‘sportive’ and ‘charity’ ends of the distance riding spectrum.

Heather and I have seen five LELs and five Paris Brest Paris rides. PBP works at the next level, with 5,000 participants, but draws on an annual week-long cycling festival called Semaine Federale, which has over 10,000 riders on the road every day. PBP therefore has a greater depth of volunteer resource to draw on, explicit backing from government, and works with professional caterers.

But these are still volunteer events at heart. That implies give and take between the organisation and participants. There often isn’t a fence between the two, they’re the same people. There’s the same sense of collusion that we find in amateur music and theatre. Heather is also the volunteer secretary of a choral society, and they have professional soloists and instrumental players to add some polish. It will be interesting to see how LEL develops. As long as it stays challenging, diverse and inclusive, I can foresee a bright future.   

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2019, 10:56:31 am »
Having never done PBP, if you are late at a control, are you forcibly retired from the event?  Do you still then have to get yourself back to the start?

PBP has the tradition of Hors Delai (finishing out of time and not validated but still recorded) so most people continue riding round. I guess a few jump on a train, and for those in a bad way, the route controllers (patrolling in cars) might send out a broom waggon but of course they don't want to publicise this too much - the guy I stopped to assist wasn't really in a fit state to ride anywhere. The main issue is the controls will shut as soon as their closing time has been reached, so you can find yourself pretty much on your own once that happens. Last time as we started in the very last group (84h, Monday morning) and were grinding it out on fixed at the back, pretty much all I saw on the way back were the 90h dropouts struggling to get round at all.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2019, 11:23:28 am »
Before 2007 there were a small number of HDs, possibly those who'd made the last control, but not finished in time. 2007 was very difficult, and riders were encouraged to ride back to the finish, and that was acknowledged as HD to bring the drop-out rate down from over 30%.
2011 saw the introduction of timing chips. The finish-line recorder is only turned off when the final finish time is reached. As the start is staggered, you can still be recorded when you are out off time, or HD as it's known.

Planet X Paul

  • The Green Machine
Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2019, 11:58:47 am »
Having never done PBP, if you are late at a control, are you forcibly retired from the event?  Do you still then have to get yourself back to the start?

PBP has the tradition of Hors Delai (finishing out of time and not validated but still recorded) so most people continue riding round. I guess a few jump on a train, and for those in a bad way, the route controllers (patrolling in cars) might send out a broom waggon but of course they don't want to publicise this too much - the guy I stopped to assist wasn't really in a fit state to ride anywhere. The main issue is the controls will shut as soon as their closing time has been reached, so you can find yourself pretty much on your own once that happens. Last time as we started in the very last group (84h, Monday morning) and were grinding it out on fixed at the back, pretty much all I saw on the way back were the 90h dropouts struggling to get round at all.

Interesting.  My only experience of French organised ultra running events (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc Race) is that if you arrive at a control after the cut-off, you are forced to retire and are transported back to the finish venue.

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2019, 12:11:34 pm »
I'm curious as to where the additional 70 kms are going into the route.  I suppose I'll just have to wait until Danial stops teasing us  ;D

A bit more of the extra distance will create a new route to our new “Edinburgh” control, which will be in Dunfermline at the brand new, huge, high school. This allows two crossings of the now traffic-free Forth road bridge. You don’t get to ride on the road, but the path is really wide and they’ve upgraded the access onto the bridge. There’s even a pedestrian crossing on it now!

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2019, 12:13:44 pm »
From what I gathered the exceptionally high DNF rate (43% was it?) was largely down to a naive approach - riders not appreciating that their performance would deteriorate as the ride went on, and so not planning accordingly.
Really ?  Can you elaborate, as I would have thought any cyclist would appreciate that their performance would deteriorate the further they went.  And how could they plan any differently?  I've been advised by a few PBP & LEL finishers not to plan as any plan goes out of the window after the first day.
There are 'planners' and 'plan avoiders' and I guess a spectrum of approaches in between.
On LEL you 'planned it to death', Paul. My plan (start V) survived till I deliberately chose to take an option (which I had recognised during planning) to stop at Alston in the dusk of Day3, as opposed to pushing on to Barnard Castle in the dark over Yad Moss.
I think that it's worth investing an effort into a plan and starting with it but recognising that 'stuff happens'. For example there may be a nice tailwind going north (or indeed a headwind - an aside: I wonder whether a strong headwind to the Humber in 2017 would have had the same effect on DNF rate as the Thursday Fen winds did).
(An aside: weather forecasts posted (and renewed) regularly at each control would be a 'good idea'. Just as they do in YHA youth hostels. But perhaps people are expected to access this on their phones, if they want to.)
A plan needs to build in a safety margin for this 'stuff'. But if you can't ride fast enough, a realistic plan (ie one reflecting the speeds you can achieve, decreasing as the ride progresses, probably) can't include this margin (and from your reports, Paul, this sounds like what happened in summer 2017).
Fwiw my (newbie) PBP plan envisages riding speeds of 26kph (with trains for first 200) dropping to 21kph, allowing 30 minutes at each control and 12 hours sleep. Within our weekly pub group others' plans are: ride hard outbound not stopping (to sleep) till Brest, and tour back. But I ride better with some decent daily sleep.
"Do you still then have to get yourself back to the start?" What options had you in mind? The LEL controls reportedly went 'the extra mile' to help particularly our foreign guests who'd decided to pack, to get back to London (by train).
A bit more of the extra distance will create a new route to our new “Edinburgh” control, which will be in Dunfermline at the brand new, huge, high school. This allows two crossings of the now traffic-free Forth road bridge. You don’t get to ride on the road, but the path is really wide and they’ve upgraded the access onto the bridge. There’s even a pedestrian crossing on it now!
Excellent!

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2019, 01:31:53 pm »
The high DNF in 2017 was down to Danish hills rather than British hills ...

From what I gathered the exceptionally high DNF rate (43% was it?) was largely down to a naive approach - riders not appreciating that their performance would deteriorate as the ride went on, and so not planning accordingly.


Really ?  Can you elaborate, as I would have thought any cyclist would appreciate that their performance would deteriorate the further they went.  And how could they plan any differently?  I've been advised by a few PBP & LEL finishers not to plan as any plan goes out of the window after the first day.

Not so much naïve as I recall but unfortunate...  similar analysis from the previous LEL seemed to show a lot of people close to or behind time up to Scotland making it up on the return. ... especially the fens being favourable.
For 2017 this was definitely not the case .. and riders who might have recovered the previous time couldn't.

(We were already behind our plan and unlikely to make it up even in good conditions but lets say that it didn't help matters!)

Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2019, 01:52:29 pm »
The fens were not favourable on the return in 2013; there was a stonking headwind that year as well.   It was also 34C in the shade and 38C in direct sunlight.  Time was certainly not being made up.

You have to assume that at best you will maintain your contingency, but most likely lose a bit of time, returning across the fens

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: LEL2021 - route details
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2019, 01:53:39 pm »
I'm curious as to where the additional 70 kms are going into the route.  I suppose I'll just have to wait until Danial stops teasing us  ;D

A bit more of the extra distance will create a new route to our new “Edinburgh” control, which will be in Dunfermline at the brand new, huge, high school. This allows two crossings of the now traffic-free Forth road bridge. You don’t get to ride on the road, but the path is really wide and they’ve upgraded the access onto the bridge. There’s even a pedestrian crossing on it now!

That crossing is a bit of a pain, it'd be better if once the works are done, they opened both cycleways and made them directional.
The main carriageway is tempting but it's an all vehicles prohibition with a limited number of exemptions (local buses, taxis and <125cc motorbikes), the justification for not putting cycles on the main carriageway seems to be the expansion joints suitability. It'd be much more pleasant than dealing with oncoming cycles while weaving through hoardes of pedestrian tourists.

Also as Iroromono and I found out wind conditions get scary long before the bridge is shut to cycles and pedestrians. (60mph gusts I think).