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

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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

9 comments

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dodgy [224 posts] 3 years ago
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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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themartincox [553 posts] 3 years ago
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best of luck for a speedy recovery!

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pward [88 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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dodgy [224 posts] 3 years ago
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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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Simon E [3051 posts] 3 years ago
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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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dodgy [224 posts] 3 years ago
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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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Hybridman [2 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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thegibdog [103 posts] 3 years ago
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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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Simon E [3051 posts] 3 years ago
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Dominic's post-ride thoughts now online at http://www.epiphaniesllp.com/blogs