The London Edinburgh London is a 1500km self-supported cycle ride across the United Kingdom. It is not a race, but you have only 125 hours to complete the cycle. Gareth Ruck and Laurens Peters have decided to take on this formidable challenge and at the same time raise funds for Cancer Research. Here they share their stories and reasons for taking on this incredible ride.
I saw a feature length documentary about the 2017 London Edinburgh London ride around 2 years ago, right in the middle of the covid pandemic.
Cycling 1500km from London to Edinburgh and then back to London, with a time limit of 125 hours and having to be self-sufficient on the road, the simplicity and brutality of the concept caught my interest straight away. I have a modest background in endurance events, previously doing Ironman distance triathlons, 24 hour nonstop mountain bike races and a few long distance charity rides. The LEL without a doubt trumped all my previous experiences, due to the relentless nature of the event. Notwithstanding the fact that, during the last few years, I have enjoyed a slightly more sedentary lifestyle riding a motorbike instead of a bicycle, the pounds have piled on slightly.
I looked into the ride and saw that due to covid the 2021 version had been postponed until a further date, the event is only run every 4 years. I put the idea on the back burner and almost forgot about it. Last year however myself and a few work colleagues began cycling more, doing the London to Brighton event twice. I pitched the idea of entering the newly moved event to my 3 colleagues, only Laurens Peters seemed to have any interest in doing it. So we entered the lottery and both got accepted. The prospect of having to commit and sign up was very daunting. Logistically having to look after yourself on the road while doing an event like this raises so many questions. Will you have enough lights and batteries to ride through the night? What if your GPS fails, will you be able to navigate? How much equipment to carry etc. However, here we are a few weeks out, as ready as I will ever be, at this point.
One of the things that has been a huge motivating factor during this time has been the fundraising aspect. We will be trying to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK. This is a charity that sits very close to my heart, my mother-in-law, Regina, unfortunately lost her battle with cancer last year. Also within the #bmFamily💜💚 we have had several team members who have been affected or have family members that are affected. With cases on the rise, this is a disease that will affect so many of us, and our loved ones, in the years to come. This is a great charity to get behind and raise much needed funds for.
What started off as a crazy idea is becoming a reality, very quickly. Gareth Ruck and I are going to cycle from London to Edinburgh and back to London……. in 5 days!
That’s just over 1500km, so roughly 300km a day. We will do this to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK. The idea was raised to 4 colleagues, but only the two of us were crazy enough to take this on. I was hesitant in the beginning as I only took up cycling about a year ago and have never completed a race or sportive before, so to say I’m jumping straight in the deep end, is probably an understatement.
Should have signed up, have I trained enough? Do I have the right equipment? Will my experience be enough to get me through? But in the end, I feel my determination will guide me through to the finish. The determination made even bigger, with in my mind, raising money to find a cure and better cures for the terrible disease that is cancer.
For me, the choice of charity to raise money for was an easy one, so many people die, way too young, from cancer and everyone will have experienced someone around them who lost their life from it or had to battle through tough treatments to overcome it. In my case, this was my mother and grandmother, who both had to get through chemotherapy and were thankfully cured from breast cancer. This I feel shows there is hope, but more research is needed to find the right cures.
We are getting ready for August 7th, when we are setting off from Debden on our journey to raise as much money as possible. All we have to do, is keep pedalling!
To support our ride, please donate here