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

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In 2011, James Cracknell and Jerone Walters tried to beat the tandem-bicycle record for Land's End to John o'Groats.

It was James' second go at the End to End.  He had previously ridden about 500 miles with fellow Olympian Rebecca Romero as his partner.  On that occasion, it was difficult to believe they would get to the finish on time.  
They had a schedule that required a level speed throughout.  I'm the first to agree that at times people need to challenge conventional wisdom.  But to believe you will ride at the same speed for more than two days straight seems quite a big ask - even if it's easy at the start!    Anyhow, they got about as far as Dave & I had managed before stopping.  Although James did accurately claim that they were ahead of their schedule, they were not (by any 'conventional' measure) ahead of the target to set a record.  And their schedule was going to feel much tougher as the ride progressed!

On this second occasion, though, I really did think they were going to make it.  It all looked good until suddenly we heard that they'd stopped.  Evidently James had some problems that I'm not sure the article really explains.   But I'm pretty certain that you don't climb off after Inverness unless you really have to.
What I would say, though, was that they shouldn't have started on the day they did.  I realise that sometimes you have to go with plans made some time in advance.  But if you're trying for the End to End, you really don't want to be doing it on a day where temperatures reach 30 degrees.  October 1st 2011 was surely the hottest October day ever.  A friend of mine saw the pair at Bristol and reported that whilst Jerone seemed to be coping, James looked like he was suffering badly with the heat.  You can get over that sort of thing, but it must surely have an effect on you later.
I'd also question the wisdom of starting at 3am.    This was presumably to avoid riding through a whole night at the end of the ride, although I'm not sure I quite get it.   The advice I followed was to get a decent night's sleep before you start.   Surely starting at 3am means you're already sleep-deprived from the off?

Anyway,this is what James had to say.

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