The attempt to beat the record of just under 52 hours on a tandem is being attempted by James Cracknell (ex Olympic rower) and Rebecca Romero (Olympic track cyclist).
Having received an email from Yvonne about a tandem record attempt from Lands End to John O?Groats and after completing our ride also on a tandem we could not resist a cheese at the bike and to wish them well.
Anyway we set off at 10pm in our van complete with bedding and camped at Lands End with the word from Yvonne that it should be fine. After a rough night’s sleep due to the weather being pretty awful we awoke to a convoy of official ride vehicles, motor home and safety car all parked outside the entrance to the Lands End hotel and a rather snazzy looking Bike.
We had hoped to speak to the pair themselves but with all the media and attention to detail, it was not possible however we did get some of the inside info from a friendly support Staff who was also trying to sell us a place on the Ride Across Britain (RAB).
Basically the Tandems (there were two) were handmade customs made to fit the pair, one looked black and the other an alloy finish (it was dark). They plan was to swap between driver and stoker (front and rear) every 90 minutes thus swapping bikes as they were set up differently. Having two bikes also was to help with any bike issues they have. Both bikes were of the very highest spec in the gearing department, had Zipp Carbon wheel sets and Tri Bars and SPDs and Garmins, and both riders were wired up to the vehicles with coms.
Anyway, they left Lands End a little over dressed we thought (with their expected average speed we reckon their work rate would be incredible and therefore would produce a lot of body heat) bang on 5am. We started to follow them along the road and who should we meet walking her dogs at Sennen at that time in the morning but Yvonne! After a quick chat we continued to follow them to Penzance where they went via the A30, not the flat and smooth road us locals use via Newlyn Coombe. Anyway we followed them until they made another non-locals error and didn’t take the back road via Tesco’s garage and B&Q on the smooth Tarmac but opted again for the A30. At this we razzed down the aforementioned road and met them at the roundabout at the end of the heliport Road. Having shouted some encouragement at them on the Long Rock bypass we sped off to the garage at St. Erth where I made a quick calculation based on our usual Hayle to Penzance speed that they would arrive at 5.50am…………………….I never was very good at maths ….they cruised past at warp speed, heads down and going for it at 5.45am. Considering it took us an hour and a half to get to Lands End from Hayle (with panniers don’t forget) you could say they were literally flying.
I wonder if they will do it? They did have the wind behind them but the weather was rubbish .
Further details HERE