Into the heart of darkness

“My undercarriage is ruined, my hands are numb and I can’t remember my own name.” So says one of the riders in the London-Edinburgh-London ultra-Audax from 2013 in a new film about the ride due for release on 1 June.

Why would anyone want to cycle 1400km in five days? It’s a very odd thing to do. The pain, exhaustion and jeopardy these riders put themselves through is pretty extreme. It’s the kind of ride that any cyclist would love to be able to say they’d done but very few would actually want to go through it.

Every cycling breed is represented in this excellent documentary, from Strava segment bashers on their carbon race bikes to innocent newbies who have no idea what they’ve taken on, and wizened old ultra-distance riders with steely eyed determination and trusty tourers.

Every rider has their own reason for attempting this ridiculous distance. Some are raising money for charities close to their heart. Some are negotiating mid-life crises. One was simply celebrating the fact that he was still alive following a quadruple bypass operation.

Together they go off rather too quickly in high spirits under sunny skies. And together they cycle into the heart of darkness, losing their sense of time and place and even self as they push deeper and deeper into their reserves to beat the broom wagon.

They pedal relentlessly on through breath-taking scenery and dreary cityscapes, trying to snatch minutes of sleep before they slip into unconsciousness in the saddle through sheer exhaustion.

It’s a great watch – and made all the more fun because the 2017 event is already fully booked up so there’s no danger of being sucked into the madness, however inspired you might be by it (and you will be inspired, trust us on that one).

You can see a trailer for the London Edinburgh London official documentary here The kind folk at MadeGood.films, who produced the documentary, have offered Simpson readers a 10% discount code. All you have to do is enter the code 'lelpresale' at checkout, or follow this link before 1 June.