Tandem LEJOG record attempt abandoned after rider collapses

Dominic Irvine says fellow rider Glenn Longland collapsed in Cumbria - taken to hospital, but "ok"

by Simon_MacMichael   May 5, 2014  

Dom_and_Glenn_2

An attempt to break the record for a tandem ride from Land's End to John O'Groats has been abandoned after one of the riders, Glenn Longland, collapsed in Cumbria.

Writing on Twitter, this morning, his partner in the attempt, Dominic Irvine, said: "Sorry to say we've had to abandon the ride this morning. Glenn collapsed - he's ok but on way to Carlisle Hospital to get checked out."

Earlier, photographer Joolze Diamond, who was accompanying the pair on their record attempt, tweeted a photograph of them riding through the mist on the ascent to Shap Summit.

The current record of  two days, two hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds has stood for almost half a century and was set by Pete Swinden and John Withers in 1966.

Yesterday evening, Swinden was out supporting Irvine and Longland on their ride.

It's the second time that Irvine has been thwarted in an attempt to beat the record. In 2012, riding with Ian Rodd, Irvine fell ill early on in the ride. They completed the trip non-stop, but missed out on the record by more than eight hours.

9 user comments

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This record seems more a function of the wind direction as much as anything else. Though this latest attempt was very slightly wind assisted.

I'd also say that traffic conditions in 2014 v 1966 might have a part to play.

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posted by dodgy [114 posts]
5th May 2014 - 10:12

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best of luck for a speedy recovery!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [330 posts]
5th May 2014 - 14:10

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Err Dodgy, I ask with respect, have you tried sitting on a tandem for half a day, let alone 2 days ? Sure enough weather conditions are always going to be a consideration for place-to-place RRA style record attempts, but I suggest there is a little more to this one than just waiting for the right weather window…. That is why the solo record is so much faster than the tandem one, despite a tandems advantage aerodynamically. It really is bloody difficult to work together after you start to get tired.
The guys were absolutely drilling it & must be pretty choked to have had to bail out at over half distance, close to being on schedule to break the record by a fair chunk.

It doesn't get easier, you just go faster.....maybe

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posted by pward [88 posts]
5th May 2014 - 18:13

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pward wrote:
Err Dodgy, I ask with respect, have you tried sitting on a tandem for half a day, let alone 2 days ? Sure enough weather conditions are always going to be a consideration for place-to-place RRA style record attempts, but I suggest there is a little more to this one than just waiting for the right weather window…. That is why the solo record is so much faster than the tandem one, despite a tandems advantage aerodynamically. It really is bloody difficult to work together after you start to get tired.
The guys were absolutely drilling it & must be pretty choked to have had to bail out at over half distance, close to being on schedule to break the record by a fair chunk.

You completely misunderstood my post.

Imagine the best tandem crew in the world, by a long shot, attempting the record with a massive headwind. Then, a week later, the 5th best tandem crew attempting the same route but with a tailwind.

That's what I'm on about.

At least a roughly circular route goes some way to cancel (but not completely, it's physics) out the wind.

I have the utmost respect for anyone attempting records of this nature, it's amazing.

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posted by dodgy [114 posts]
5th May 2014 - 18:45

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dodgy, it's simple - the best tandem crew in the world wouldn't do it into a headwind; anyone who is serious about attempting to break the record would wait for favourable conditions.

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posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
5th May 2014 - 19:15

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Simon E wrote:
dodgy, it's simple - the best tandem crew in the world wouldn't do it into a headwind; anyone who is serious about attempting to break the record would wait for favourable conditions.

Most if not all attempts at this record are planned months ahead of time, you just have to suck it up if the wind isn't in your favour. I don't recall any attempts being abandoned before even turning a pedal due to a headwind, put it that way.

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posted by dodgy [114 posts]
5th May 2014 - 19:33

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To be honest, I think a lot of people are just not 'getting' how good the existing record is. People are saying it is well do-able, and comparing it with the solo record. You have to understand, current record holders since 1966 Pete Swinden and John Withers were old school cycling hardmen - with a capital 'H'. Read the previous related posts from their sons who talk about the mileage their fathers used to do - not just in training for this record - but for 'fun'. Over the bank holiday I was in a group of 13 riders on a five day tour around the Peak District. It's 'hilly' to say the least. This is a regular 'Mayfest' event that we do every year based at a different location. As one of the original group, Pete Swinden always attends the event, this year being no exception. I can tell you that at 78, Pete has lost none of the grit and determination that saw him and John take that record. So, when the next attempt takes place I hope that both riders and supporters will understand that as well as all the high tech training, diet and equipment, the team will need an extra big dose of grit, determination and the ability to suffer for long hours in the saddle to prise that record from Pete and John. Oh and don't forget, the present day route is invariably shorter, and the roads much better. The tandem LEJOG is NOT an easy record waiting to be taken, some crack modern day riders have tried - and failed. But good luck to them all.

posted by Hybridman [2 posts]
6th May 2014 - 16:30

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dodgy wrote:
Simon E wrote:
dodgy, it's simple - the best tandem crew in the world wouldn't do it into a headwind; anyone who is serious about attempting to break the record would wait for favourable conditions.

Most if not all attempts at this record are planned months ahead of time, you just have to suck it up if the wind isn't in your favour. I don't recall any attempts being abandoned before even turning a pedal due to a headwind, put it that way.

Most record attempts I'm aware of were planned around favourable weather conditions... No point in investing all that time training if you're just going to ignore the weather and destroy your chances of setting a record.

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posted by thegibdog [72 posts]
6th May 2014 - 23:40

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Dominic's post-ride thoughts now online at http://www.epiphaniesllp.com/blogs

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posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
7th May 2014 - 16:08

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