Welcome to Tippy.org

Hi there! You’ve found my personal blog for all things generally of interest to me (Darren Tipton) and probably not many others. I’m a self confessed Professional Geek. Have a wide range of interests from Python hacking, Blogging, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Software Development, Photography, Growing Veg, Gardening, Fishing & Cycling to name but a few.  I’ll put the odd post on here if I can think of anything half useful to comment on.

The 400km Audax that was! The Audax UK National 400km

It’s taken some time to remember to blog about this ride. After a failed attempt at a 400km ride previously and not too much recovery I decided to have a go at the Audax UK National 400. The ride was billed as a sort of introduction to ultra long distance cycling and therefore was expecting it to be tough, but not so tough. At least not nearly the 16,900 feet of climbing that needed to be completed during the 253 mile ride.

Even though held in June, there was a mix of weather. From hot during the day to getting quite cold at night time. I met some interesting people and rode with the somewhat well known amongst Audax circles Drew Buck who has completed Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) 6 times. Of course I didn’t know at the time and Drew spent some time with me describing how he would approach the forthcoming LEL event which we were both entered.

Unfortunately on LEL after a few hundred miles I had to retire due to injury in LEL and still suffering knee issues almost 5 months on, but having learned so much about long distance cycling over the last season I intend to get well, fit and start again. I’ve somewhat got the bug for it and my only real frustration currently is not being able to spend the time on the bike that I would like. But as they say, “softly softly catchy monkey” well, at least that’s what my Physio tells me.

Here’s to the 2014 season!

Ash Thomas 400km Brevet

My LEL – Unsuccessful but an amazing experience and I’ll be back

After around a year of training and effort of putting myself through to undertake the London-Edinburgh-London Audax unfortunately I had to retire at Barnard Castle due to a knee problem. I decided to make the difficult decision and save my knee to find out what the problem is and not risk permanent damage or a very long recovery so I can get on and keep riding in the future. 5 days on since retiring and the knee is still very sore and I’ve been instructed to rest it. I need to be patient and really rest, but typical me I’m still looking at a ride for September to achieve a Super Randonneur for this season.

A huge well done to everyone who undertook the ride and completed it including my colleague Colin Davies and friends Nick Clark and Mike Henley, an amazing challenge. It was great to meet new people and get so many different views on the ride from people who have literally travelled from around the world to take part.

More info on events during the ride can be found on Twitter #LEL2013

Looking forward to Paris-Brest-Paris now in 2015 and if I’m still riding, who knows the next LEL

London to St. Ives

St.Ives to Kirton

Kirton to Market Rasen

Market Rasen to Pocklington

Pocklington to Thirsk

Thirsk to Barnard Castle

At the LEL Start
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Crossing the Humber Bridge end of Day 1 (London to Hull!)
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Ice on the knee at Barnard Castle
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My LEL Steed – The Bike

Ribble Audax (2012)

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  • Modifications /  Additions
  • Schmidt SON 28 Dynamo Hub
  • Busch and Muller Luxos U Dynamo Light with USB charging output
  • Harry Rowland Hand Built Wheels, Mavic Open Pro Rims on Shimano 105 rear hub / Schmidt SON 28
  • Continental Ultra Gatorskin Tyres in 23mm x 700mm
  • Brooks Team Pro saddle

London-Edinburgh-London 2013 route overview

This is a route overview for the LEL2013 event I am entered into. There are still some leg issues to resolve but I’m not giving up yet and this is what I am taking on!

lelrouteoverview elevations

The 400km Audax that wasn’t, Super Randonneur in jeopardy and LEL2013 in doubt with 10 weeks to go

Well…the 400km didn’t go according to plan at all. The ride was going well, if with wind much stronger than expected and had 2 hours up on my plan time by the time I got to Tewkesbury even with the strongest headwind I think I’ve ridden in. At around 120 miles then my IT band seemed to go ping just as was turning to get the wind on my back into climbing Symonds Yat just on the Welsh border. Had to cycle almost with one leg for about 20 miles to limp into Chepstow and get three trains to get home.

Good points: 140 miles in a record time for me, even with the limping. 50 mile PB with about an 8 minute improvement, into the strongest headwind I’ve ever ridden in.

Bad points: now *very* concerned about my left leg. Have booked an appointment with a doctor specialising in legs/hips and my leg is still sore after a couple of days. Hope it can be sorted out trying to rest up as much as possible at the moment. Stretching seems to be ok and not too painful hope its just a strain that can be rectified.

So my plan of an Audax UK Super Randonneur series in my first season of riding Audax’s may be all but over if I can’t get a 400km in before LEL :-(

With just 10 weeks to go until the London-Edinburgh-London event, in the grand scheme the 400 might have to go by the wayside if it means a chance of recovery. Which for a single days riding is not as far, but it does now worry me the same could happen when riding LEL.

Had Garmin issues so approx 10 miles not recorded heading into Cheltenham