In a little over 13 weeks it will be the grand depart for London Edinburgh London. Over the fast weeks and months, slowly but surely, a ride plan has been forming. As with any cycling adventure, ride plans are at the absolute mercy of the weather, how you feel as a rider, and your bike avoiding any issues. So there will be some contingency options in there too.
We’ve been given a start time of 6am. So on Sunday 28th July at 6am we’ll be pushing off from the start at Loughton. The plan on “day 1” is to ride to Barnard Castle, which is 468km. This is clearly a challenging target! For a start, it’s 50km further than I’ve ever ridden before in one go. In order to do it we will need to pass through five controls on the way, meaning at the very least 3 hours of stops for food and watering. Assuming we can maintain an average speed of 24km/h (around 15mph) that means 19.5 hours of riding. So all in, we would probably arrive in Barnard Castle at 6am on the second day. The control is at a school and has beds for around 240 riders.
Now here the plan gets a little more sketchy. I’ve no idea whether I’ll be able to sleep or not but the intention is to try to get approximately 5 hours sleep – so let’s say 6 hours in total. That would put us back on the road by 12 noon.
So “day 2” would see us aiming for Eskdalemuir, which would be a further 326km. There are four controls en route, so at 24km/h we would be looking at around 17 hours in total, meaning we would arrive around 5am. Unfortunately there are very limited sleeping facilities at Eskdalemuir so it may be optimistic to assume we will get another 5 hours of sleep here. If we can then that would be around 11am before we are back on the road.
Hopefully, “day 4” would be kicked off after a full night’s sleep, pushing off at no later than 7am, with a 300km target of St Ives. At a slightly reduced average speed we’d be looking to get there for 10pm, allowing for a good 6 hours rest and recuperation.
The final day will see a relatively short 118km, which if we start around 4am we will finish well before lunchtime, and a total time of around 100-ish hours. That leaves around 16 hours in reserve!
Have to say it sounds pretty scary just typing it!
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