www.dadswell.co.uk  Mostly cycling records, mostly on three wheels

Three records in three weeks!               Back to Rides 1998

In April, I had been talking to Liz Milne after a race.   I mentioned that I was keen to do racing on my tandem-tricycle, and that there were records listed for "mixed crew" tandem pairings.   The idea of having a go at a record seemed to have some interest, but of course Liz already had large parts of the summer season planned out with things like National Championships and other key races.   And also, she pointed out that she had never ridden a tricycle before!  

Things were left such that she would call me if the situation changed.  Naturally, I imagined that that was the last I would hear about it.

But during June I got the call.  A few races hadn't gone as well as they might have, and so maybe the tandem tricycle was a project worth investigating. 

As I recall, the 12 hour record was our main target, with a race date in mid-August.  But we needed to get some miles under our belts before we could decide whether it was viable.   I think our first race was a Verulam CC 10 near Stevenage.  With Liz living in Newmarket and me in the Chilterns, this location was equally inconvenient for both of us.   There was a bit of learning going on, but basically the evening was a success & so we entered the 12 hour.   We added a 10 mile TT the week before, for good measure.

We did another, longer, ride a couple of weeks later.  We were ok as a partnership, but the tandem's front wheel didn't cope as well.  Somehow, we shook all the spokes loose.  It was quite alarming.  I tightened them up as much as I could, but basically it was as if the wheel had punctured - it kept on flopping from one side to the other.    In the end, rather scarily, we found that it performed best if you got a bit of speed up!   Eventually we reached our destination.

I got the wheel fixed, and after a few minor adjustments we were ready to race.

It has to be said, that riding the Charlotteville 10 was not initially a record attempt as such.  It was all about the 12 hour the following week.   However, from the Verulam 10 I had noticed that when we were riding on the flat we were easily able to hit the speed needed to get the record.   So by the time we were on the start line at Bentley, I was properly in record attempt mode.   I mentioned to the timekeeper that we were targetting the record.   Liz instantly told me to shut up and tried to play it all down!

Unfortunately I can't remember much about the race.  The course was out-and-back on the A31, finish outside The Bull pub.

(photo by the official photographer at the race)

It was quite a nice day, so I'm going to guess that we might have been slightly ahead of the record for the first 8 miles, and then sped up in the favourable final section.   We were aiming at 21.30 and produced 21.01.

All very exciting stuff.  I had been a second-claim member of the Charlotteville CC for a while, and so it really felt like we were surrounded by our mates afterwards.   A good atmosphere.

But once that was all done, we had to start thinking hard and fast about the 12 hour to be ridden at the next weekend.  It was the Eastern Counties event, so local territory for Liz. 

Another decent day, as I recall.  We had to beat a record of 221 miles.  We had my parents helping in the car and Dave Stalker out on his bike.  Alas, I can't remember much about the ride.

I'd guess we will have clocked about 4h 20m for the first 100 miles and about 4h 40m for the second.  We were cut from one of the detours or laps during the afternoon and this caused some confusion when we were given expected mileages later in the day.  Luckily we knew what we were doing & so being told we were on for 270 miles didn't bother us.

I think we only had one or two minutes off the machine throughout the day, so it was fairly full on.   No mechanical issues.

Shortly before we rode the 10, I noticed the RT East 50 allowed tandem entries.  So we stuck entries in, another potential fast course near to where Liz lived.

This would be three rides on consecutive weekends.  Would our luck hold out?

I have no meaningful recollection of the race, but we took nearly 6 minutes off the previous record so it can't have been too bad.   Something tells me that we were struggling towards the end, but then aren't most races like that?

I recognition of our record, the RT East kindly presented us with a couple of engraved glasses.  Very nice!

Back to Rides 1998

Copyright Shining Wit Enterprises 2020