London–Edinburgh–London (LEL) is a randonnée bicycle event of approximately 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) over an out-and-back course between the capital cities of London (England) and Edinburgh (Scotland). It has been described as a contender for hardest cycling event in the United Kingdom.
The event has been held every four years since 1989, with the eighth event in 2017.
Description and history
1989 to 2001
The first LEL was in 1989, when there were 29 starters and 26 finishers, all British. For that inaugural ride, the distance was 1,300 km (810 mi), and the route included a stretch of the A68 road. Finishers of that original event are sometimes referred to as the A68 Club. The inaugural ride did not start in London, but in Doncaster, the home town of the organiser. Riders headed first north to Edinburgh and back, then south to London and back.
For the fifth edition in 2005, there were 306 starters and 246 finishers, from the UK, mainland Europe, and other countries including Japan, Russia, Australia, the USA, and Canada. Riders set out from Cheshunt, on the northern outskirts of London, or from Thorne, close to the original Doncaster start.
31 nations took part in the 2009 ride, which started and ended at Cheshunt.
The 2013 edition was held between 28 July and 2 August and 34 nations took part. In a departure from previous editions, the route took a loop through Scotland, and for the first time passed over the Humber Bridge.
805 riders finished the event in 2013.
The 2017 edition took place between 30 July and 4 August 2017, attracting 1500 entrants from 55 nations. The 2017 route was 1441km long and had 11,128m of climbing.
The ride started and ended at Davenant Foundation School in Loughton. The control points/accommodation stops were at:
- Great Easton (southbound only)
- St Ivo School in St Ives
- Spalding Grammar School
- King Edward VI Grammar School in Louth
- Pocklington School, Coxwold
- Thirsk School
- Barnard Castle School, Alston
- William Howard School in Brampton
- Moffat Academy (northbound only)
- Eskdalemuir (southbound only)
- Innerleithen (southbound only)
- Gracemount High School in Edinburgh
All other controls were used in both directions.
810 riders finished the event in 2017.
- Sam Dansie (3 August 2013). "London Edinburgh London ride 2013 - gallery". bikeradar.
- Tony Farrelly (22 April 2009). "London-Edinburgh-London: Britain's toughest bike ride needs your help!". road.cc.
- Audax UK http://www.aukweb.net/results/archive/2013/listevent/?Ride=13-1
- Spalding Today, http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/tuesday-talk-tale-of-two-cities-told-on-two-wheels-1-8096486
- DnG24, http://www.dng24.co.uk/major-cycle-race-will-pass-through-region/
- Audax UK http://www.aukweb.net/results/archive/2017/listevent/?Ride=17-1
- Andy Allsopp (2010). Barring Mechanicals – from London to Edinburgh and Back, on a Recumbent Bicycle. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-4452-5510-1.
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