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...
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.