The record for the furthest distance covered in one hour has always been considered one of the most prestigious in cycling.
There are currently three versions, two of which are sanctioned by the UCI along with a third which allows recumbent bikes using fairings. There is, however, no record that we know of for riding the hour one-legged... at least until now. Last weekend 67-year old Pete Matthews from the Liverpool Mercury Cycle Club set a mark for the challenge at the Aintree race track, alternating legs to post an unofficial one-legged hour record. His efforts were all to raise money for the Liverpool-based respite centre Zoe's Place.
Pete was British Amateur Road Race champion in 1968 and notched up more than 350 race wins throughout his long career on the road. He recently retained his National Veterans Road Race Championship title for the third year in a row.
A wheel-builder of some repute, Pete has built wheels in the past for the likes of Chris Boardman and Robert Millar.
He said: “As far as I am aware, there is no record for anyone trying it with one leg. I've done a fair bit of training for it but I've always hated time trialling so it's been a real effort. It’s quite demanding to ride with just one leg at maximum effort for a full hour, so I swapped legs every so often making sure only one was being used at a time. Unclipping and re-clipping at speed with a fixed wheel is a skill in itself!"
Pete makes it clear that his was just a one-off unofficial record for charity. "I didn't do it for publicity or to get in any record books. It was just a bit of fun to try and raise money for a great cause."
As for the distance covered, Pete and his team are keeping that a secret until after a guess-the-speed element of the fund-raising effort is concluded. The result will be revealed this weekend but we are told he averaged over 18mph.