Saturday, August 8, 2009

London Edinburgh London 2009 Stories -- Local Knowledge

It's a safe wager that most LEL riders did bonus miles. No matter how careful you were to synch your mileage with the cue sheet, missed turns were inevitable. The reasons were varied. Some lanes didn't have names, leaving you guessing when you got near a scheduled turn. Other lanes were so narrow or inconspicuous that it was tempting to write them off as the correct choice. Only after the cue sheet stopped making sense would we circle back and give the road we'd passed a second look. The safest way to stay on course was to hook up with a British rider who 1) knew the local roads or 2) had a GPS. Thus, on the run into Lincoln, our group put a local on the front whose club regularly rode the streets we were on. He probably saved us an hour as we twisted through the central shopping district. We later heard that some of our friends got lost and climbed two or three steep hills in town. As for the GPS, fellow RUSA rider and friend George Swain rode nearly the entire event with a Brit named Robin who had meticulously programmed the route into his GPS, including waypoints at the turns. Here's his picture.

We were the lucky recipients of his labors on the last two days. Robin was a steady rider with tireless legs. He led us home with only one wrong turn, and that was within a mile of the finish where the GPS file uploaded by LEL folks deviated from the final cue sheet.

1 comment:

nikabike said...

Hi Mike!
My name is Monica and I write you from Barcelone (Spain).
I am a randoneur (I think...) and as can't ride the PBP this year (I had an accident) I am thinking of riding the LEL in 2013.
I wouls like to ask you some questions by e-mail but I can't find an address to write to.
Please, send me an e-mail (just to know yours) to: and I will be so thankful if you can help me. Thanks a lot.