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

Scorching Along the A11   Aug 2000         Back to Rides in 2000

While Mike Hutchinson was winning the battle against Kevin Dawson in the mainstream section of the Shaftesbury CC 50, there was (as ever) a tandem tricycle desperately trying to catch them both.

A vain chase, as you might expect, but one that bore some esoteric fruit, nonetheless.

This was the third time Dave Johnson and I had made a serious attempt to beat the 1996 time of 1.47.43 set by Knapp and Cosgrove.  We needed to record 21-32 for each of the five 10 mile splits - something we were sure that we could do, but just something we hadn't actually done on the previous couple of tries.

In simple terms, the course is just "out and back" using the A11 & A14 as it goes past Newmarket.  However, there's always that fiddly little bit for the first few miles, and the last few.  And the fiddly bit involves four roundabouts each way - no bother on any machine, except a tandem tricycle.

So, we were down on schedule after 5 and 10 miles.  But by this time Dave was getting warmed up, and we clawed our way back to the required speed.  So when the 24 mile turn point was reached, we were about 15 seconds ahead.

I was nervous about maybe discovering that we had been gently blown towards the turn.  However, there didn't seem to be a breeze in our faces when we made our way along the return leg, and this allowed us to steadily increase the difference between us and the record.

As we reached the 45 mile point, the record was in the bag, and the only thing we needed to worry about was crashing.  Happily, the roundabouts didn't give trouble, and we swept through Great Chesterford to finally hit the finish point in 1hr 45 min 16 sec.

This was 2 min 27 sec faster than the previous record, and is our fourth record as a tandem pairing.  I'm still harbouring the uneasy feeling that my principal roles were to provide the machine, drive to the start, do the steering etc ...... and if you'd seen me changing the gears at one point, you'd be wanting to sack me from that job as well.


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