Attempting 100 mile world record - 9 July 2015, UK

It’s taken us a few years to get a plan together to make this actually happen, but on 9 July 2015 Roger Davies and I are going to each* have a go at breaking the 100 mile world record.

There’s a web page about it.

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If anyone is near enough to Croft Circuit in Darlington, UK and wants to come along, please let us know (it’s not a generally public site that day). We could use a few more people willing to be witnesses too.

  • The idea is that Roger will do it on an ungeared 36, for the Guinness World Record rules (which prohibit gearing on this particular record), while I am going for the IUF world record which is what we normally know as ‘unlimited’ - so I’ll be using my geared 36. We only have the track for one day, so will do our rides at the same time. To avoid drafting we will ride in opposite directions!

Good luck guys! I look forward to following the updates.

Why aren’t you doing a staggered start to allow you both to break the IUF/Guinness records? If Roger started an hour earlier, and you both get your target times.

Surely the track will allow an extra hour?

Very cool. I look forward to hearing how this pans out.

Sounds like a heck of an awesome challenge! And to complete 100 miles in 6 hours on an UNgeared 36er, that would be an average of 16.67 mph…and that’s with no breaks! Btw, how dd you contact and get GBWR to come out and cover your event?

wooooow ! just wonder what’s the size of the cranks you use ?

Thanks! Yes, we considered this but it will already be tight to fit in our attempt within the access we have been offered which is during their 9-5 office hours. My aim is for us to arrive, warm up and get set to start at 10am, and then be finishing around 4pm. If we both manage to go under the existing time then we’ll still have the unofficial satisfaction of knowing we broke it too, even if the other broke it by more!

The target times are pretty ambitious and also very unknown - it is very different riding on a smooth, long, uninterrupted track compared with any other normal ride, but without doing more testing in that situation than we are able to actually do we can’t really have much more than a guess of how fast we could be going for the duration. We can but hope for good, calm weather too!

GWR only come to adjudicate in person if you have a few thousand quid to burn (they’re a commercial media company first and foremost), so most record attempts are just done to the rules they send you when you register on their website, and you return your evidence to them to be verified afterwards.

No breaks is the plan! (Snacks and water can be passed to us while riding - what else would you stop for in only 100 miles? :slight_smile: )

I am using 145mm cranks on my Schlumpf 36, and Roger is weighing up whether to use 100mm or 90mm ones on his ungeared 36 wheel.

Good luck Roger and Sam !

I am going to the track on Tuesday to give it a test. It will give us a good indication of the speeds possible on this track.

The track is not brilliantly smooth and it also has a little altitude change over the lap. Lets see, yes tough but possible I think. The thing that will kill it most is if it is a windy day.


Croft circuit

Someone’s already been round:

Looks like a great course - a race track built on an old airfield! Wind could be a problem, but I’'m sure you’ll overcome it just like Wiggo dealt with that extra air pressure in London the other week.

Best of luck guys.

Wow, finally taking on the big 100! Since that record was set in 1987, I don’t know if anyone has made serious attempts to beat that except as part of longer rides. It was just a very fast record for then, and still is now. I think you guys can do it. Will either of you be attempting to break the other record from that day – zero dismounts?

My understanding of the 1987 race (Takayuki Koike vs. Floyd Beattie from Ohio; not sure if there were any other riders) was that it was on a bike path which was probably very flat, with tight turn-arounds at each end of the path, or section they were riding on.

Can you share a copy of what the Guinness people sent you as rules? I didn’t know they had anything in great detail. Would love to see a copy. I know the rules were less detailed/stringent when I did my Guinness 100 meter record (also 1987, about a week before the 100-miler). We were on an athletics track with experienced officials and, something pretty rare for the time, electronic timing. All the official Unicon III races were done with hand-held stopwatches. :slight_smile:

Yes the course is used regularly by bikes, I am actually going to a bike event to do the testing (they are being very supportive). Strava does not tell you what the surface is like though… I will report back on Wednesday.


Will someone will be on hand to capture this event – at least part of it, that is – on video?

We’ll both be aiming to do it non-stop, but not sure whether we’ll feel the urge to keep going another 6 miles to break my non-stop record set during my 24 hour record.

I’ve attached the specific rules from Guinness. They don’t suggest to me that they are familiar with or care very much about this record - it looks cut and pasted from rules for a track sprint (probably the 100m!). The section about ‘fastest contraption’ is also superfluous. There isn’t any consideration of a record which would take many hours (using witnesses in shifts, people not being able to witness the whole thing, timing start and finish separately etc) and be run in laps on a circuit. I contacted them about improving these, and about the requirement for no gears, and they weren’t interested, just saying these are the rules.

Yes, we’ll be recording video of the event as part of the evidence, and will aim to put it online as soon as possible afterwards.

GuinnessWorldRecords-100-mile-requirements.pdf (169 KB)

Cool - I haven’t looked at this forum for yonks so didn’t know about this. Good luck with the ride!

Well strictly speaking, reading the rules you’ve just posted it seems a geared up penguin with a single gear would be allowed. I’m tempted to think that it would even be allowed to use a “jackshaft” design - though as the rules appear to state a single chain you’d have to have a slightly torturous system involving idler wheels.

And that’s an awfully long way to ride without a dismount also! My personal record is the Marathon race (42k) at Unicon XIV. My crotch was SO pissed off with me by about the 35km mark, but I wasn’t going to stop at that point! I was on a borrowed uni.

I think you’re right. The first two iterations of the Guinness 100m record were done on tracks (possibly the same track). The next (and current?) record was done on a non-track space in Las Vegas, specifically as a publicity event for a water park that no longer exists there. It’s possible those details were written up for that record, which I think was done in 1991 or so.

The Fastest Contraption section uses the same basic timing rule used by the organization that tracked land speed records (for motorized vehicles) starting in the early 1900s. Timed over a set course, with the time averaged by runs in each direction, done within one hour.

A few years back, I remember hearing from Guinness that they would rather have some other, officially recognized unicycling body be in charge of the requirements for records. Many years after that, the IUF has created some standards. These are what Guinness will hopefully adopt in the future.

Yes! Though strictly speaking I have never seen any unicycle which would meet their requirement that it be made up of ‘a single pole’. One-legged frame anyone?

Well, there are MTB forks that are 1-sided, why not… :smiley:

Make the entire uni frame out of one single pole, and just have the seat bolts offset to the side to account for the wheel being offset to the pole. Don’t ask me how to have a seat and a wheel jut out the side of a pole like that without serious strength issues though… :astonished:

I had a test ride with an aero helmet today to check out how my aerobars position worked for it. Surprisingly well! I’ll have to see how comfortable this will be for several hours. I suspect my back will hurt.

This is with a Shadow handlebar bracket, on the middle, level, setting and the drooping down T-bar attachment.

(This isn’t on the track - I don’t think there are any castles in the background there.)

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Awesome picture Sam!