News – Cycling Record Broken

Nick Clarke riding for Berkhamsted based team Lovelo Cinelli RT breaks break 15 year old RRA Record known affectionately as the “Side to Side” between Pembroke and Great Yarmouth

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News – Cycling Record Broken

On Thursday 4th October 2018, Nick Clarke riding for Berkhamsted based team Lovelo Cinelli RT (a bike team supported by local bike shop Lovelo Cycle Works) attempted to break the 15 year old RRA Record known affectionately as the “Side to Side” a place to place distance record between Pembroke and Great Yarmouth, the 350 mile route across the width of the country currently stood at 16 hours 51 minutes and 56 seconds.

Leaving at 6am on Thursday morning Nick Clarke, a Police Sergeant in the Metropolitan Police, left Pembroke Castle on his bike to travel across Wales, and into England before reaching Great Yarmouth and ultimately breaking the record by an astounding 1 hour 26 minutes 4 seconds coming in in a provisional record time of 15 hours 25 minutes 0 seconds.

Nick had to stop in total for 18 minutes across the entire ride due to some technical issues with his equipment, however other than this all of his eating, and drinking was done on the move.

Despite pre planning the route, he managed to cover more than the required 349.8 Miles ending up with 352.4 as he overshot some of his turns and got lost on 3 occasions!
The attempt required a support crew of 2 cars, and enlisted the help of 5 people, and 2 officials, of whom one included the President of the RRA herself, Audrey Hughes. Along the route supporters came out to cheer and shout, as well as roadside officials to ensure that he remained within the rules.

Nick Clarke said “It’s utterly amazing, the pressure is so very different to a Time Trial, it is not about where you come, it is simply succeed or fail, and with everyone at the side of the road you pass, it pushes you on more, knowing so many people are watching and rooting for you, I cannot wait to be that person willing on someone to try and take the record lower; Mike Broadwith, my friend, put the seed in my head when he started to plan for LEJOG (“End to End”) and it was a great end to the season after also podiuming in the National 24 hour TT this year; everyone that helped was fantastic, the crew, and my coach Mark Powell who traipsed all the way from Birmingham, people are so willing to help it is so touching, it was really very special.”

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The RRA is the official body for all cycling distance records in the UK and has been in existence since 1888 such is the level of evidence and stringent regulations, Guinness World Record accepts their records as such. There are a number of Iconic RRA records, the oldest also leaves Pembroke but instead heads to London and is held by Ken Joy and was set in 1953.

Nick Clarke is the 2nd Berkhamsted based rider to have broken a record this year, after Michael Broadwith broke the “End to End” Record from Land’s End to John O’Groats, cementing Berkhamsted as the epicentre of fast long distance time triallists, as both riders podiumed in the National 24 hour Time Trial Championships in July, with Nick Clarke coming 2nd and Mike Broadwith, the former 3 time 24 hour Champion coming 3rd 5 weeks after his successful End to End attempt.

Links:
http://rra.org.uk/index.html?ifrm_1=briefhistory.html

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