It's unclear whether the LEL organizers will be publishing a list of riders, somewhat odd behavior from folks in the land of CCTV, where every street corner has a camera. The organizers did list the number of riders from each country, which indicated there were at least 13 U.S. riders signed up.
Before the event, we were in the dark as to who they were. I knew about the four NC riders, including Cap'n Ende, Will and Jimmy, and I knew Phil from SC was riding. I'd also corresponded with George in NY, and I'd seen that Spencer from Missouri planned to be there.
Luckily, RUSA has lots of official clothing, and that made it easy to spot many of the other fellow Americans. All that gear also gave our riders a strong national identity -- riders from other countries occasionally commented to the effect of "there's the RUSA team." Here's one of my favorite shots from the ride. That's Spencer from Missouri, representing the U.S. fixed gear contingent, Cap'n Ende from North Carolina and Phil from S.C.
The above shot shows three RUSA riders -- Laurent, Rick and Todd -- lined up for the 8:45 start. I love that SF jersey. And Rick's sash. I've corresponded with Todd, who sounds like he had a fantastic and successful LEL, apart from someone making off with his only pair of socks at Eskdalemuir. We saw Rick at the finish, sporting an impressive shiner from his accident.
Lev, above, is a RUSA member who lives in Israel. We connected with him before the ride as we walked up to the Windmill pub for lunch. That's him sitting with Ende. Check out that crazy rooster picture in the background. Lev was great company and we enjoyed two days of his delightful humor. Unfortunately, he packed at Thorne, I believe, but loaned his Independent Fabrications bike to Rick after Rick's bike was totaled in an accident. For that selfless act, the N.C. Randonneurs made Lev an honorary member and presented him with one of our official, albeit slightly aromatic, jerseys. Thanks, Lev.
Here are the two other North Carolina riders at the event: Jimmy and Will. A big congratulations to Will for finishing the event. Prior to LEL he had not ridden anything longer than a 400k, but he managed the additional 1000K with no apparent difficulties other than a strained knee. That's Will with his foot in the soup -- what a joker! ....
And here's Jimmy waiting for a train to pass.
The above picture shows George, a NY rider who blogs as the Hudson Randonneur. We rode with him quite a bit, especially during the last two days. He is a strong rider who often set the pace in our little peloton. I believe it was his first ride of more than 600K, so a tip of the hat to him on his successful finish.
One fun connection was with Mark R from Seattle. The last time we met we were both on the train heading to bike inspection at PBP 07. It was great seeing him at LEL. He sent me a note to say he made it to Edinburgh, where he had to pack because of back pain stemming from an injury last spring.
And below is Glen from Pennsylvania, who has joined the N.C. Randonneurs on at least one of our brevets.
There were others, including Ole from Seattle and Barry, a RUSA member from Australia, that I failed to photograph, and there were a few I didn't meet. If you have any other updates, please pass them along.
A big congratulations to all of the participants.