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

31 July 1988 : London to Bath and back attempt 1             Back to Rides in 1988 and 1989


Having bought my first racing tricycle at the end of 1987, I was eager to break a record on it.  The London to Bath and back was appealing for two reasons.  Firstly, Dave Pitt had never held the solo record (he is, though, the holder of the tandem-trike record with Alun Millard); secondly, it is quite a convenient ride for someone living in South Bucks, as I do.

I knew very few people on the list of RRA Observers, but a call to Den Mills introduced me to someone who was prepared to give up a day for someone he'd never met before.  His son Ed was a tricyclist, and also agreed to come along.  My team was assembled.  The day I chose happened to be the day following the marriage of Den's daughter.  As I was starting at Theale at 4:30am, Den and Eddie didn't get much sleep on the night before!

(guessing the photos are by Jim Burgin.   Waiting to start)

Jim Burgin was the timekeeper, and he was waiting for us, in the dark, near the 45th milestone.  I set off, and managed to stay ahead of schedule for the first 100 miles.  Schedule was to beat Stuart Jackson's 1976 ride by a slender 3 minutes, so I couldn't afford to slip behind.

(likely to be near Theale, just west of Reading.  About 90 miles done)

I did fall behind, however, and between Newbury and Bath I lost 11 minutes to the schedule. 

The deficit stayed at 11 minutes until Marlborough on the return, the distance being 180 miles. 

In the remaining 30 miles, with a light tailwind, I pulled back some of the time needed,...

 but still finished 4 minutes outside the record, 7 minutes behind schedule.

(the mildly disappointed squad)

Having set off believing a 20 mph ride would be a formality (Stuart's record of 10.33.18 for 211.4 miles was 20.03 mph), I now realised that tough roads like those from Marlborough to Bath are a lot slower than the A12.

(if I had a haircut, maybe I'd go a bit faster...)

Back to Rides in 1988 and 1989 

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