In 2016, Otley CC member Iain Findlay broke George Baxter’s 47-year old club 24-hour record of 427.9 miles with a ride of 441.686 miles in the National 24-hour Championship (see separate report). Not content with riding so many miles non-stop to break a club record Iain is now going for a world record.
He will be attempting to break the record for crossing Europe later this year. Iain is well qualified on the needs of endurance cyclists as director of Pain Free Power, a company that provides a service to cyclists to help them find their ideal riding position, counting several Otley CC members amongst his clients.
Here’s the story so far of Iain’s planning for the record attempt.
‘My name is Iain Findlay and I am an ultra-endurance cyclist. I have been riding since the age of 15, initially enjoying touring and having ridden across over 20 countries in Europe as well as lots of riding within the UK. In 2013 I competed in the inaugural Transcontinental Race across Europe from London to Istanbul. I unfortunately did not finish this due to being hit by a lorry near the Bulgarian-Turkish border but managed to ride 3380km self-supported in just under 14 days on this adventure (241km/day). This shows my capacity for back to back riding of the distances required to complete my record attempt. I also become adept at navigating, route planning and finding food/sleeping areas during the training for and racing in this event. I have since done other endurance rides such as taking part in the UK 24 Hour National TT Championships in 2016 completing 710.1km during the day. This allowed me to finish 13th overall and 1st place for a ride from a Yorkshire based club.
I have been planning to attempt a world record ride for the past couple of years and feel my fitness levels are now up to that which I require to undertake a challenge this summer. In July/August 2017 I am planning to break the record for time taken to cycle across Europe from the furthest east point (Ufa, Russia) to the furthest west (Cabo da Roca, Portugal). I fly to Ufa on 15/07/2017 with a view to beginning the ride on Sunday the 16th. The route I have planned for this will take me around 6200km through Russia, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. The current record for this was set by James McLaren in May 2016 at 29 days 18 hours and 25 minutes. I am aiming to ride 250km per day which should be reasonably comfortable given my current riding and based on historical trips I have undertaken. For example a recent training ride on 18/03 incorporated 240km overnight from Leeds to Blackpool and back between two full days of work, so given a full day to ride the volume of riding per day should be certainly manageable. This plan of 250km/day will allow me to break the record and finish in just under 25 days. I am planning to do this record entirely self-supported and will be recording videos of my journey on route for a vlog I will be running through my team at home to generate some interest in my ride. I will also be setting up a live tracking feature I intend to run through my website so that followers can track my progress.
In my training for this attempt I just returned from the first of two 3 week blocks out in Mallorca over April and May where I managed to get in 1200km of riding and should get in slightly more so on my next trip. I am also planning a few multi-day rides up to Scotland with overnight camping in June on my return. This will be a final chance to build some distance into my training and will allow me to familiarise myself with my new kit and fine tune my packing. I have set myself a structured training plan which I am confident will bring me to the start in Ufa in perfect condition to break the record by a sizeable margin.
I am currently looking for support from any parties who may want to be associated with my ride. In exchange for any help I would be able to offer regular social media and blog updates on my progress during the training along with video and photo materials throughout the ride itself. I have been very active on social media around this in the build-up, with my most recent tweet on the subject receiving around 4000 impressions and 425 engagements and my following is still also growing. In addition to this I would be open to any required media obligations in exchange for help in supplying kit for my ride. So far in my planning I have received backing from Vaude who have provided me with some incredible camping kit for use on my trip for which I am hugely grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will look forward to hopefully hearing from you’.
Good luck Iain! If you or or anyone you know can offer support to Iain, please contact him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org