Swindon Wheelers ultra cyclist Ian To is gearing up to beat the world record for riding the 840 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats - the ultimate challenge in British cycling.
Following an abortive attempt last year, Ian is currently training in Croatia to beat the incredibly challenging current record of 43 hours, 25 minutes and 13 seconds, set by Michael Broadwith on June 17th 2018 - with an attempt lined up for some time from mid May to July 1st.
It is testament to the difficulty of the undertaking that the previous record of 44 hours 4 minutes, set by Gethin Butler, stood for 17 years.
Taking on the challenge is very much a team effort, with members of the Swindon Wheelers Club throwing their weight behind Ian’s attempt and providing a support crew and helping to crowdfund for the bid.
Ian, a 39-year-old business strategist from Liddington, said: “I'm proud to announce that my club, the Swindon Wheelers Cycling Club, will be crewing, preparing, publicising the club's attempt at LEJOG (I'll have the simple of job of riding the bike). All things being well, we can be confident of success as a strong, large and coherent team, although it will be an extremely tough ordeal, with many sacrifices - world records don't fall by trivial efforts!
“Coming up to the Club's centenary in 2023, it will be a great way to create a new story, new history, and take new records, to add to its prestigious past, such as the 1956 and 1958 24 hour records by Swindon Wheeler, Den White.
“I've got to know many of its members very well in a short space of time, especially some key figures, and I admire their passion, enthusiasm and giving attitude. They inspire me, and others, through their selflessness, always seeking to give as much as they can, with no expectation of return. In such a motivating, thriving and rapidly growing community, it feels like a home which I've missed for much of my cycling life, and I would gladly put my body on the line in order to achieve success for the club.
“We have a great number of volunteers, who have shown the typical Swindon Wheeler's attitude of passion, enthusiasm and giving. Please help support the Club's world record attempt through publicising, fundraising, or with positive moral support. Wish us luck!”
Breaking the record is only possible by cycling non-stop, with Ian aiming to cover the 838 miles in less than 43 hours and 25 minutes - riding at an average speed of more than 20mph without sleep.
During the gruelling ride, Ian will climb more than the height of Mount Everest and burn 35,000 calories. As part of the bid, the father of three will also be attempting to break the national 1,000 mile record which currently stands at 55 hours and 59 minutes.
For corporate sponsorship: email Steve Morgan: firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the record
1886 First attempt (on penny-farthing), George Mills: 121hr 45min
1908 First in less than three days, Tom Peck: 70hr 42min
1958 Dave Keeler: 51hr 9min
1958 Reg Randall: 49hr 58min
1965 Dick Poole: 47hr 46min
1979 Paul Carbutt: 47hr 23min
1982 Mick Coupe: 46hr 39min
1982 John Woodburn: 45hr 3min
1990 Andy Wilkinson: 45hr 2min
2001 Gethin Butler: 44h 4min
2002* Lynne Taylor: 52hr 55min *Women’s record