After Olympic Gold Medallist Rower, James Cracknell read about Matt Richardson’s World Hour record he set on his MK1 Chopper in May 2015, he contacted Matt and after much planning, James rode his own “Chopper vs The Hour” at the Lee Valley Velopark (London Olympic Velodrome) as part of last weekend’s Sport Relief. Matt said, “James and I spent many weeks exchanging ideas with Rikki Pankhurst of Pankhurst Cycles (Pangbourne) about the event and the best way to modify James’ Chopper to make it as fast as possible. Rikki worked to a tight deadline in order fit racing handlebars, larger and thinner wheels, slick tyres, a fixed gear and racing pedals to the vintage frame. All the brakes, mudguards and anything else unnecessary was removed from the bike to make it as light and fast as possible.”
Matt from Henley set his World Hour Record distance of 31.87km (19.8mph) in May 2015 on his unmodified MK1 Raleigh Chopper at Palmer Park Stadium velodrome, in Reading, Berkshire when he raised over £6,000 for the Fireflies ride in aid of leukaemia research charity, Bloodwise.
Guinness World Records refused to acknowledge Matt’s World Hour Record last year despite it being on a standard, factory specification 1969 Mk1 Raleigh Chopper. Unsurprisingly, they also refused to acknowledge James Cracknell’s Hour on a heavily modified machine.
Because of this, James worked with Sport Relief and Guinness to devise an event which would be recognised as a Guinness World Record. It was agreed that a record would be set for the furthest distance ridden in one hour by a relay team, each rider doing 1km turns (i.e. four laps of the Olympic velodrome). This ride was completed at the Olympic velodrome at the same time as James’ Chopper hour last Friday evening, the first four laps of James’ hour making up the first four laps of the relay world record.
“James very kindly obtained a place in the team for me which included James himself as the first rider to complete 1km, After his first four laps, James continued to ride the remainder of his hour around the track while the other relay riders including myself, Sally Gunnell, Alastair Campbell and Mike Bushell each completing their 1km. The total distance ridden by the team was 40km, setting a new world record!”, added a delighted Matt.
The highlights are still available on BBC iPlayer @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0752b9h/sport-relief-2016-5-the-sport-relief-games-show (20 mins in)
If you would like to donate to Raleigh Chopper vs The Hour, you can do so my clicking here https://bloodwise.org.uk/fundraising/raleigh-chopper-vs-hour-fireflies-tour-2015
Matt concluded, “I haven’t yet decided what my Chopper related fundraising exploit will be in 2016 but I would like to thank James Cracknell for his support and the incredible opportunity and experience of the past few weeks.”