Paria rider, and all round top girl Jess Fawcett is training for and will be riding the London-Edinburgh-London audax.

Her preparation has included riding London to Paris in 24 hours, amongst many 4.30 am starts to smash in the roads around London. So we thought we could give you a bit an insight into her prep….

In the words of Jess….:-

I said in my initial LEL post that I’d keep blogging about the lead up to LEL. Well, guys, the lack of posting is indicative of how the lead up to LEL has been.


The last few months have been rammed full of bicycle riding, and sleeping and eating to fuel that bicycle riding. Which has been ace, and we’ve done some stonking rides; however, this last month, I’ve started to feel the strain a tiny little bit. Mainly because I’ve realised that life outside of riding my bike (…what?! This exists?!) has been put somewhat on hold.

When I heard about this ride, it sounded like an epic challenge and I imagined myself riding with friends all day, for 5 days straight, stopping only to eat and sleep. Sounds dreamy, right‽ However, I severely underestimated the impact it would have on my life in the months leading up to it and it has truly been eye opening.

Apparently, it isn’t possible to half-do LEL. You can’t just rock up on the Sunday morning and roll along happily for the next 116 hours… Well perhaps if you’re a seasoned randonneur/randonneuse you can; but, as a newbie to the world of long-distance riding, this isn’t the case.

The training, planning, purchasing and logistics involved in this adventure have been a challenge in themselves. My weekly cycling mileage has gone from around 120 miles to as high as 400 miles. To fit this in, sleep has taken a hit and I’ve averaged out at about 5.5 hours per night. Where I used to run 3-4 times a week, I’m now lucky if I get 2 short ones in. I can’t stop eating. I’ve spent massive chunks of my wage each month on bike maintenance, equipment, kit and travel for training rides (and snacks). I’ve missed friends’ birthday events and nights out (too tired/no spare cash/need to ride long the next day). I’ve cycled to Paris in 24 hours to basically eat a pastry and then get the Eurostar back.

My little finger went numb for about a week after doing an awesome weekend riding to and from Malvern. Hannah, James and I nearly cooked ourselves alive cycling to Brighton and back on the HOTTEST DAY EVER.

I now look (even more) RIDICULOUS naked (cycle tan lines are not my most bestest look, but also… I secretly love them). I’ve cried more than usual and my brain can’t process anything past August 3rd, so any plans after that date JUST HAVE TO WAIT…

With all this in mind, I am so, so glad that Hannah, James, Ellie, Ele and George decided to enter LEL that fateful day back in February. Without the WhatsApp group, sporadic organisation meetings and lovely rides together, the run up to LEL would probably have been very overwhelming and much less fun. So, I’d like to thank them all now for everything we’ve done together so far. We are all so different, and each and every member of Sixual Wheeling has brought something awesome to the table(l).

It’s going to be long, it’s going to be hard. But more than anything, it’s going to be a great adventure and I couldn’t ask for better people to ride with.

The thing is, I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of gal; whether that’s doing a sporting challenge, a piece of work … eating a large plate of food. I never half-do it. So LEL has become my A-L-L and I think, after all this prep time, I’m ready to do it NOW. I’m scared, I’m excited, and I’m really intrigued as to how it’s going to go.

I’ll be sure to let you all know.

Wish us luck. Please send positive thoughts – I’m sure there’ll be a few points where we’ll really need it!

For those interested, this is our plan of action [distance (elevation)]:

Click here, if you’d like to track our progress next week.

J x

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