London Edinburgh London
In the summer of 2013 MadeGood.films followed six cyclists on a remarkable feat of endurance.
Travelling from the heart of London all the way along the length of Britain to Edinburgh, and back again in under five days. The cyclists covered a little over 1400km, a distance many multiple times further than most of them had ever ridden before, the cyclists were not only tested physically, but faced a mental challenge that forced them to look inside and find resolve they never knew they had.
Following on from the award winning success of The Art of Repair, London Edinburgh London will be the most ambitious release from independent film company and social enterprise, MadeGood.films. Originally backed as the official film of London Edinburgh London Audax ride, the film was awarded seed funding from the organisers of the event. This money went part way to pay for the expenses incurred during the months of planning and filming stages of the production. Over the last 18 months the film has become a labour of love, as we've worked tirelessly to get it to a state that we are proud of and excited to show to a wider audience. Now that the majority of the film has been finalised and edited, we once again need to raise some more money to pay for services that will make the film complete.
No, I'll never do it again. I don't know why anybody's doing this.
Introducing the characters
LEL attracts a whole range of riders, from different backgrounds and different countries, and there are no entry requirements. If you are keen enough to get a ticket before they sell out, you're in. Let's meet some of the characters we follow in the film.
"It’s kind of difficult to put into words why somebody might cycle from London to Edinbrugh and back again, because for me at least it involves quite a lot of suffering. Maybe there’s a bit of a mid life crisis sort of a thing happening, but I’ve been going through that for sometime now, so I’m not sure. As you get closer to the event a fear factor starts to set in, you start to question whether you’ve done enough training, but I suppose it’s good to respect the distance. For somebody like me there’s no guarantee I can finish, but I have to keep telling myself it’s a possibility. If I start to believe I’ll fail, if I let that negativity creep in, then there’s a real chance I might let that happen. "
How’s the training been going? The training’s been going well. I’ll be riding a single speed bike which is a very different type of riding, It’s purer and it’s harder. In fact, it’s very hard, a lot harder than I thought. The thing is, on a geared bike you ride the bike, and on a single speed bike you ride the road, and I love that connection with the road and the landscape. I work as a personal coach in my day job and I teach people to be maverick thinkers, to go in and just challenge that conventional way of thinking. You have to live it, what’s your brand if it’s not something you live? There’s no downtime for personal brand.
"I have to admit that cycling saved my life, because in 2008 I was on my bike and I had a pain in my chest, so the next day I went to the doctor. I had quadruple heart bypass surgery. But I said, ‘It’s do or die’, I would rather die on a bike than just do nothing. In most countries you have to qualify for this kind of ride, but you English are crazy. They say, ‘If you think you have the stamina, then have a go!’. But I promise my wife I’ll always be safe, and she allows me to do this so long as I promise to go and come back in one piece. So this is always in the back of my mind. But this is my first time travelling to the United Kingdom, and the first time doing the legendary 1400km London Edinburgh London, so I’m sure it will be out of this wold for me."
"My Dad is probably the most competitive man on the planet, so I guess he passed that on to me and my brother- though just for the record, I am the fastest sibling. I don’t believe that ‘can’t’ is a word, and if someone doubts I can do something it just spurs me on harder to do it. I don’t really like sitting still and doing nothing, I’d rather be doing some sort of challenge because I get a buzz out of it. If you stop doing those hard things and go back to doing something easy, it’s just… disappointing. I have this worry that because I’m always trying to find the next thing, the longer thing, the bigger thing, that it’ll never be enough. Where do I draw the line?"
"It’s difficult for me to talk about ‘Englishness’ but for me it’s bad breakfasts. Other than that I’m not really sure, but you have nice motorbikes and you drive on the wrong side of the road. So for me London Edinburgh London will be a crazy ride. I can meet some local, rural guys and share the race out on the road with them. In some ways my work life and sporting activities are the same, because I have a very clear goal of what I want to achieve, but in other ways they are completely different. Out on the road I can completely relax, and it’s just me and the bike. "
Paula & Steven
"He’d just started work on a mental health ward and I went to work there as a student nurse. The first engagement we had was when a lady had become incontinent in her chair. I was round the corner and I overheard Steven say, ‘Go and get Paula, she’s a student nurse, she’ll sort it out!’. Finally he asked me on a date and he took me out to an Indian. I got all dressed up and when we sat down at the table he leant over and said, ‘Try and keep it under a tenner, would you?’. We have a lot of fun together and I think that’s what’s kept us ‘rolling’, in a way. We’re quite different in our personality and our make up, but I’m in awe of who he is as a person and what he does. I don’t say it very often, but yeah, you’re just a really great guy."
"When I was sixteen I had an horrendous accident. I was on my Cousin’s bike and I came off it really really badly. I smashed my teeth up, completely wrecked his bike, spent days in a hospital with a bruised brain and they weren’t sure I’d come back to so called ‘normality’. Some say I still haven’t but ten days later I was out of hospital with severe memory loss and teeth all over the place, and it took me a good four years then to get back on a bike. I’ve had a fair few accidents since then, too. I knocked some teeth out falling off a mountain bike before I met you guys, my front few teeth are implants. I suppose in my own way I try and make light heart of tragedy I suppose. That’s my way of coping, I guess. "
"My wife doesn’t understand long distance cycling. Every time I go out for a ride she says, ‘Who allows you to do this? Who allows you?’. She thinks I’m completely mental riding a bike such a long distance. But my wife is from Thailand, and they don’t have a cycling culture at all. ‘A car or motorcycle is easier’, she says, ‘Why do you do it by bike?’. But my family in Japan thinks it’s good, and my father loves cycling. That’s how I got into cycling. So they’re quite positive, but they probably don’t have any idea how far it is from London to Edinburgh, and back again. "
"My wife’s in Japan and I’m single here. We both enjoy our own lives separately. I have a son and daughter, and Grandchildren, all living in Japan. Sometime’s I report that I’ve finished a long ride but that’s it, they don’t interfere. I don’t have that kind of headache, they are open minded. "
"I used to be a rodeo trick rider when I was younger. I would travel the country and ride my horse, jump off and on and run hang and drag. When I quit that, life was almost boring, until I found the bicycle. In America we usually ride from one convenience store to another, which is great because we can buy all the things we might need, but it’s also a bit impersonal. I always wanted to come to England, it’s kind of like the Mother country to me. I was amazed when I went to France, I didn’t see one pick-up anywhere. I thought that was really strange. Back where I’m from in Texas we have what we call ‘Rednecks’. They always have a pick up, and they might even have a shotgun. "
"I’ve only really been riding a bike as an adult for 3 or 4 years, and I’ve never ridden for one full day, then started again at the beginning of the next day. I also quite like my sleep, but I’m hoping that the sense of occasion on London Edinburgh London, and the excitement of people getting up to ride, will pull me through. I’m a little worried that I have aspirations beyond my abilities, and I’m not really sure how resilient a person I am. That remains to be seen. "
"It’s not usually the people at the front of a ride like London Edinburgh London that are the happiest. Because even though it’s not a race, they’re racing. And that’s fine, it’s their event too, but they’re not very happy. And certainly the people behind them aren’t very happy, because they want to be at the front. You get this dip of happiness, then once that’s passed the riders coming through get happier and happier. The riders that are the happiest, are the ones who are frankly dossing at the back. They’re relaxed, they have plenty of time. They’re enjoying the ride. But for me all the excitement is over before the event has even began. I’ll have to pack all this stuff into a lock up in Doncaster, which I know from four years ago is an extremely dispiriting experience. It’s like the world’s biggest house party. "
In Autumn 2015 MadeGood.films reached out to the London Edinburgh London riders community and was successful in raising over £9,000 to complete the post production of the film. Mainly the money went to pay for custom music to be composed, as well as the sound design and colouring of the picture. In addition to this, we were able to put on a full size cinema screening of the film in the Hackney Picturehouse in London. After the packed to capacity screening we held a party for the stars of the film, friends, family and donators to the film in a nearby nightime venue.
Fundraising - now closed
This is your chance to become part of an amazing film, and for a limited time only we are pre-selling copies of the movie to pay for the following;
- An original score to be written for the film.
- A professional sound mix.
- A professional colour grade to our footage.
An original score is one of the most important aspects of the film for us, because we know how much it will help to convey the drama and emotional highs and lows of a cycling adventure like this; the freedom, the exhilaration, the exhaustion and the suffering.
We have been working on the film for almost 2 years. Before the event we interviewed our selected riders. During the event we split into two teams and followed our riders up and down the country capturing their individual trials and tribulations and the general spirit of the challenge.
We have invested hundreds of hours and a lot of money in this project and want to make it look and sound the best it possibly can. We want the film to do justice to the unique charm and epic beauty of the London Edinburgh London ride and with your help we can achieve this.
We have identified the people we want to work with and they have given their time to help us make our trailer. With your support we can get them working on the film with the aim of having it finished by summer 2015, when we will enter it in to film festivals and find a distributor.
For a very limited time we are offering a chance to become part of London Edinburgh London. We have the backing of both London Edinburgh London and Audax UK, who have kindly said that anyone donating £20 or more can have a GUARANTEED ENTRY onto LEL 2017. Sorry, our allocation of guaranteed entries is sold out.
All donations are handled securely through paypal, but if you can't afford to, or don't want to donate to the film, then you can still help us out by giving us a shout out on your favourite social media channel. Remember, donations close on the 31st of December, so get your copy of the film whilst you can!
If you want to claim your guaranteed entry into LEL 2017 then you must opt-in below. All of our allocations of guaranteed entries into LEL 2017 have now sold out.
Wow, thanks to everyone who donated, tweeted and generally spread the good word about our project. We were totally overwhelmed with the response, and thrilled to have met our original target in under 24 hours of going online. Thanks to you, the film will now definitely be completed, and to the high standard we'd hoped.
We are still receiving requests to pre-order the film, so have decided to leave this page open to run it's course. The proceeds from any additional donations will go towards the costly fees of entering the film into film festivals around the world. We want this film to be seen by as many people as possible, and promote the London Edinburgh London around the world. We have adjusted the target from £8,000 to £11,000.
Before this funding page went online, the organisers of LEL and Audax UK kindly offered to donate £1000 each to support the film. In light of the larger than expected number of donations so far, we felt it made more sense if they keep this money to invest into next years event, and Audax rides in the UK. I have adjusted the running total accordingly, which explains why you might have noticed it decrease.
Purchases are currently closed, but please keep an eye out for further releases.