28-year-old computer engineer Ripunjoy Gogoi from Guwahati, Assam, completed one of the most arduous cycle rides in the world successfully. Deemed to be one of the most challenging cycling events, the London-Edinburgh-London cycling event requires the participant to ascend an elevation of 14,000 meters which is more than the elevation of the Mount Everest, testing the endurance and grit of participants.
The 1500-km self-supported London-Edinburgh-London cycle ride across the UK came to the tracks after a two-year Covid-19 hiatus to witness an overwhelming participation from 1,900 cyclists from across the world.
Ripunjoy and Dhiraj Dutta represented the northeast at the event where 172 Indians took part, second only after British participants.
The 28-year-old is an avid cyclist who has successfully completed many long-distance events in the past. He is also a Super Randonneur, who has completed the CKB (Climb Ka Baap), a 1200-km brevet with a total elevation of over 14,500 metres.
The London-Edinburgh-London cycle ride, between the iconic capital cities of England and Scotland, is considered to be one of the hardest cycling events in the UK, testing the mental and physical resilience of the participants, who have to cover a total of 1500 km in 125 hours. Along the route, there are 13 control points where the participants are provided with hot meals, drinks, showers and towels, dormitory beds and mechanical support.
The first LEL was held in 1989, when there were 29 starters and 26 finishers, all British. For that inaugural ride, the distance was 1,300 km (810 mi), and the route included a stretch of the A68 road. Finishers of that original event are sometimes referred to as the A68 Club. The inaugural ride did not start in London, but in Doncaster, the home town of the organiser. Riders headed north first to Edinburgh and back, then south to London and back.
The 2021 event was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was scheduled for the 7th and 12th August 2022. The route was extended to 1540km, with a time allowance of 128 hours and 20 minutes for the main group and 100 hours for the first group. The route extended out to Dunfermline, including a crossing of the Firth of Forth, and passed through Edinburgh city centre.