Year Record contender Steve Abraham is back on the bike after breaking his ankle in a crash with a scooter rider last month. But a spokesman for his support team says beating Tommy Godwin's 1939 record will now be "a tough ask".
Abraham rode almost 55 miles yesterday, pedalling a modified IceTrike recumbent with just one leg.
Most of the ride comprised 17 laps of the circuit at Milton Keynes Bowl.
The ride was a test to see how Abraham copes with riding the recumbent, and to chart a safe route to the Bowl circuit.
After six hours on the bike, Abraham had a doctor's appointment to assess his recovery two weeks after surgery.
Steve Abraham (©Andew Morris)
Today Abraham will try and ride a normal shift on the bike so that he and his team can assess what he is capable of using just one leg and after two and a half weeks' inactivity.
Steve's team expect him to improve by 10-15 percent over the next two weeks, and he'll be aiming to maintain that pace until he's capable of walking — and riding — again.
Spokesman for Abraham and his team, Idai Makaya told road.cc: "We are taking it a step at a time so we will need about two weeks before we can say if we'll stick with this approach or just stop completely until August.
"We believe this approach mitigates the losses against the record and gives him a chance to recover from the accident whilst minimising the distance he'll have to make up once he gets back to full fitness."
Abraham is now around 550 miles behind Godwin's schedule. If he is able to return to riding then he will be able to limit the damage, and then attempt to make up the losses when he returns to his planned summer schedule of very long days in the saddle.
Makaya says: "We think if it works well he has a chance of just eclipsing Tommy Godwin's record at the end of the year. But it will always be a tough ask.
"However, Steve's total mileage target was almost 10,000 miles further than the current record so he has that margin to lose in the teo months that he can't ride properly.
"Theoretically that says he has a chance."
Abraham's fans and followers greeted his return with enthusiasm and congratulations via the Strava comments.
Kieran Johnson wrote: "I tried riding one-legged yesterday because of a sore knee. Managed about 10 minutes at 20kph. Riding one-legged is HARD. Great to see you back in motion!"
Mark D. wrote: "Chuffed to see you back on the road - for your sake I hope your not hoping to build up to 200+mile days going round that loop, now that really would deserve kudos!"
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.