THE ROUTE

Cycling Plus - - GEAR GUIDE -

LEL is de­fined partly by the qui­etest way of get­ting from Lon­don to Ed­in­burgh, and partly by where the con­trols are. The south­ern sec­tion uses rem­nants of ma­jor roads, the old A10 in Hert­ford­shire is one ex­am­ple, and those fast roads are daisy-chained to­gether by small lanes. Many of the south­ern roads are the his­toric ‘drove roads’, and th­ese tend to be on high ground so as to be pass­able in win­ter. The re­sult is that it goes through the hilly bits of North Lin­colnshire and East York­shire, which most think of as flat. Two mis­con­cep­tions about Eng­land are dis­missed by LEL. We all know that Eng­land is very densely pop­u­lated, and is flat­ter than Scot­land, yet LEL goes through no town with a pop­u­la­tion of more than 15,000, and reaches 2000ft on the Cum­bria/Durham bor­der. Sur­prise at con­ti­nen­tal-style climbs in their own coun­try by the English was ri­valled by amaze­ment at the dif­fi­culty of deal­ing with the wind on the open fells ex­pressed by rid­ers from North Carolina, used to climb­ing in the Blue Ridge Moun­tains.

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