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

Report of the London to Portsmouth and back ride     5 July 2000     Back to Rides in 2000

The weather forecast had seemed fairly neutral, and we were both fairly pleased with our race results from the previous weekend, so Dave Johnson and I decided to go for an RRA record on Wednesday.

The route chosen was the 146 mile London to Portsmouth & back, and the machine was the Tandem Tricycle (as usual). It seemed that this one should have been comfortably within our grasp.

As the day approached, the weather bulletins were all emphasising the awful (ie wet) weather which would be experienced in Southern England on Tuesday & Wednesday. We even received news of flooded roads during the Tuesday. which made us think hard before deciding that we would still have a go. If the weather had been really unsound (ie lots of spray), then we had agreed that we would abandon, rather than run the risk of an horrific accident.

Like with my previous attempt, the start/finish point was on the Kingston bypass.  This allowed the London end to be covered early and gave a likely very fast finish.

We arrived at the start point just prior to the 4am start time, to hear from my brother Tim that conditions near Guildford included large amounts of standing water - and were rather dangerous.

We set off in steady, but unexceptional, rainfall. Progress to and from Hyde Park Corner was just in advance of the Dave Pitt & Alun Millard record, and when we reached Guildford at around 6am, the flooding seemed to have subsided.

At Hindhead (53 miles), the climb to the Devil's Punchbowl had reduced us to be level with the record. We then gained a few minutes on the run to the Portsmouth turn.  Unfortunately, we then gave all that advantage back within 10 miles of leaving Portsmouth. When we were back at Hindhead (113 miles), we had lost another couple of minutes.

Fortunately, there's a fair bit of descending before reaching Guildford, and we regained a status of "level" with 22 miles left. From Guildford, road conditions are quite favourable, and despite there being no assistance from the weather, we finally got back to our start point with an advantage of nearly 6 minutes from the Pitt/Millard ride.

Our final time was 6h 5m 0s, which was better than we'd expected for most of the day!


Back to Rides in 2000

Copyright Shining Wit Enterprises 2020