Posts Tagged 'Literature'

Andy Allsopp’s London-Edinburgh-London Adventure

I just received in the post my copy of Andy Allsopp‘s book ‘Barring Mechanicals – From London to Edinburgh and back, on a recumbent bicycle‘.

Andy is one of my friends from the Friday Night Ride to the Coast (FNRttC) and I met him properly in November 2009.  As we rode through the night towards Brighton, in cold and wet conditions, he was telling me how he had ridden his recumbent from London to Edinburgh and back in July 2009.  It wasn’t just something he’d done for a laugh, but was an Audax event that takes place every four years and draws cyclists from all over the world.

Andy Allsopp: Barring Mechanicals - From London to Edinburgh and back, on a recumbent bicycle

An Audax, or randonnée, for those of you not in the know, is a non-competitive endurance cycling event in which participants aim to complete an unmarked route within a set time limit, collecting stamps at ‘controls’ along the way to prove that they’ve followed the course.  The London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) is Audax UK‘s flagship event with a distance of 1,400 km and a time limit of 116 hours and 40 minutes, which is a bit under five days.  The LEL is a ride that I have recently found myself thinking about quite often.  I haven’t really taken part in Audax events before, but I did enjoy a bit of cycle touring when I was a teenager.  The next LEL is in July 2013 and I think I’d like to have a go.  Watch this space.

Bits of Andy’s story I had already read in his LEL forum thread on CycleChat, but it’s nice to have a printed copy containing a foreword, which gives a bit of history that I wasn’t aware of (and mentions a few familiar names), and a number of pictures and charts.  It’s a good read, so if accounts of heroic two-wheeled battles against Mother Nature, mechanical failure and sleep deprivation are your sort of thing, then go and buy it!

I’ll be seeing Andy and the rest of the bunch on tomorrow night’s FNRttC.  The destination is Brighton and this month’s edition is a rather special one.  This is the first time that a FNRttC is being combined with a charity fundraiser.  Martlett’s Hospice are sending 65 riders who are all taking part to raise donations for the charity via sponsorship.  They will join 60 of us more regular FNRttCers as we depart Hyde Park Corner at midnight and pedal to the south coast via Sloane Square, Clapham Common, Reigate, Horley and Ditchling Beacon.  Whilst this is a nice social ride for us regulars, it could be a big challenge for some of the fundraisers, so our job is to provide technical support, guidance and most of all encouragement.  The Hospice is putting on mid-way refreshments at a Scout Hut in Horley for this one rather than us making a café stop.

Although I’m not fundraising for this ride, some of the regulars have decided to and I’ve sponsored Greg Collins.  If you would like to make a donation to the Hospice, you can find Greg’s Just Giving page here.

I’ve been keeping a good eye on Metcheck for the last week to see what kind of weather we’re going to be in for tomorrow night.  It’s gone from extremely heavy rain all night, to less than a millimetre, to constant but moderate rain and a headwind, to the current forecast which is for no rain at all and a very light, near negligible, headwind.  That’s quite a nice prospect, so I hope it doesn’t change again!  Whatever the weather though, it’s bound to be a fun and memorable ride.  The last FNRttC I did was in November and it was very cold and we got rained on very hard.  One person from work who I had convinced to come along had to abandon half way and two others made it to the end but didn’t seem too impressed.  It was still a memorable ride, though maybe for all the wrong reasons.  Wet and cold together are not so fun.

But, of course, if Andy Allsopp can find it in him brave the elements day and night for 116 hours solid, then I’ve no excuse for being bothered by a little spot of rain!


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