Monday, August 28, 2006

Cardiff to London Tandem TT Record

The chap with the stylish sideburns is a much younger Richard Oddy, enroute to breaking the London to Cardiff tandem record on 21st October 1973.
The bike is a Mercian, which Richard still owns.
Gearing was 5 speed, 57 t chain ring, with a 13-22 cluster for a short 20% on the course.

DB: Was this a specific record attempt, or a time trial event?
RO: It was a specific record attempt.
There are many place to place records: London – Edinburgh, London – York, London – Brighton, etc. In addition our club had its own place to place records, such as High Wycombe to Cheltenham and back, 142 mi (229kms).

For National Records it was necessary to notify the Road Records Association; they have observers enroute to make sure you don’t cheat (take a train, draft behind a truck) – you are also followed by the time keeper who overtakes just before the finish.

Only one bike or tandem can make an attempt on a record on any one day.

DB: Who is the stoker?
RO: The stoker (guy on the back) is Gordon Wright, my club mate in the High Wycombe C C. He was the club coach.
A week or so before the record attempt we rode over the course on solos, having taken the train from High Wycombe to Cardiff.
The biggest problem with city to city record attempts is the traffic – you can start early to avoid traffic in say Cardiff, but it then becomes a problem in London, which counters the improvement in road surfaces and better bikes

DB: What was the time?
RO: We took 6 hrs 13 min 26 sec for the 163 miles (263kms) and beat the old record by about 10 minutes – can’t recall exactly, but could look it up in the copy of the RRA handbook.
I died badly towards the end as I was really a short distance rider, 10 miles being my forte. (I have a collection of certificates from such events)

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