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Sunday 25 September 2016

New Hour record - on a Boris bike

Published 09/06/2015 | 10:51

Rob Holden, who has set a new The Hour record of 31.285km (19.44 miles) riding one of Londons Santander hire cycles, nicknamed Boris bikes, at the Herne Hill Velodrome
Rob Holden, who has set a new The Hour record of 31.285km (19.44 miles) riding one of Londons Santander hire cycles, nicknamed Boris bikes, at the Herne Hill Velodrome
Rob Holden, who has set a new The Hour record of 31.285km (19.44 miles) riding one of Londons Santander hire cycles, nicknamed Boris bikes, at the Herne Hill Velodrome

A cycling enthusiast has followed in the cycle tracks of Sir Bradley Wiggins by setting a new The Hour record - on a "Boris bike".

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The new UCI Hour record was set by Sir Bradley at the Olympic velodrome in London on Sunday night when he reached 54.526 kilometres (33.88 miles), beating the previous best of 52.937km (32.89 miles), set by Essex's Alex Dowsett in Manchester last month.

But in his own challenge, 48-year-old Rob Holden, of Hampton Wick, west London, strapped his feet to one of London's Santander hire cycles, nicknamed Boris bikes, and set a record of 31.285km (19.44 miles) at the Herne Hill Velodrome, which was built for the 1948 Olympics.

The gruelling event was carried out to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

After completing the ride, Mr Holden, who works in the oil and gas industry, said: "Never again, but if we can in some small way get more people on to bikes and raise some money for Macmillan, then it was all worth it."

Mr Holden said there was no existing record for The Hour on the hire bike, so he just went as fast and hard as he could.

He said: "If you've never ridden a Boris bike, try it. It's 50lb, 23kg, it's got fat tyres, an upright un-aerodynamic position, and only three gears. Whilst it's a perfect bike for cruising the streets of London, in truth it's built for anything but speed.

"To reach the target speed of 30-32kph (19-20mph) I had to ride with a cadence of over 110 revs per minute. This means I needed to tape my feet to the pedals to stop them from moving around, something I didn't think about when I came to stop.

"The goal? Since there is no existing record on a Boris bike, and Wiggins's ride was just a touch out of reach, it's a case of how fast I can spin for an hour. So we just put the bike on the start line, and went for it."

The Boris Bike Hour is the third in a trio of challenges organised by Mr Holden, along with friends Matt Winstone and Ian Laurie, who have cycled up Mont Ventoux in France on a Boris bike and Mount Washington in the US on a New York Citibike to raise more than £16,500 for Macmillan.

For a video of the challenge, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsnSW9amOQo and for further details: www.justgiving.com/rob-holden-boris-hour.

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