A teacher from Matlock is claiming to have broken the 133-year-old world record for the fastest time cycled from Land's End to John O' Groats on a Penny Farthing, raising almost £8,000 and counting for Children in Need in the process.
55-year-old Richard Thoday set off from Land's End early on the morning of Saturday 20th July, and during a live social media broadcast was shown arriving at John O' Groats just before 6pm on Wednesday evening - an unofficial new record time of 4 days, 11hrs and 52 mins. The route featured 31,850 feet of climbing, and Thoday averaged around 200 miles a day.
The previous record was set by George Pilkington Mills way back in 1886, who at the age of 18 complete a LEJOG route by penny farthing in five days, 1 hour 45 minutes. He also rode the route on a tricycle in the same year in five days and ten hours exactly, knocking over a day off each of the previous records.
Thoday will now have to submit documents and proof to Guinness World Records and await confirmation that the new record officially stands. On his Justgiving page, where he has already raised £7,875 for Children in Need at the time of writing, he says: "I love riding the penny farthing as it makes people smile and talk. It brings people together. I want to help BBC Children in Need as it helps to bring a smile to faces of children who are having a hard time in life and need a helping hand. Hopefully my ride can help them."
The latest updates on the Penny Farthing End to End Facebook page last night said Thoday was having "a few well deserved drinks" to celebrate...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.