News: Adam Wild’s Record Attempt

GS Metro’s Adam Wild is making an attempt on the RRA Circuit of Northumberland Record this weekend – here’s a Q&A with him from Ben Lane

News: Adam Wild’s Record Attempt

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Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into cycling and your main highlights of racing so far?

Adam: I’m 23 years old and grew up in Morpeth, Northumberland. I’m about to start my final year of medical school in Edinburgh so I split my time between the two. I’d always call Northumberland home which is why I ride for GS Metro (not the only reason I must add or I’ll offend Ben Lane).

I started doing more cycling when I was 15 as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award, got a road bike for Christmas and subsequently joined the Tyneside Vagabonds CC. I guess you could say I’ve had a fairly traditional cycling upbringing in that I was introduced to the cycling world via club runs as a teenager and progressed into racing from there.

Main highlights? Winning my first national medals last year was pretty cool. Although I find it hard to answer that question because I was probably just as excited to break 22 minutes for a 10 in 2014 as I was after getting my silver medal at the national 100 in 2019. It’s always been the same buzz, I’m just going a bit faster these days.


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Q: You had some great performances last season – which one stands out most for you and why?

Adam: Last season was definitely my best yet. To be honest I think I had the most fun with the early season stuff: the CTT classics series and local mountain time trials. I had a good ride at Buxton MTT going inside what was Dangerfield’s old CR from 2003.

It’s just a shame that John Archibald had already obliterated it and happened to cross the line 30 seconds ahead of me! I think the main stand out ride last year for me was breaking the CR at the Tyneside Vagabonds MTT.

I’ve entered the event every year since 2013 and it’s got a strong history of attracting some good riders. Chris Newton set the CR in 2010 and it’s been won by Andy Wilkinson, Richard Handley and my teammates Danny Grieves and Carl Donaldson. Even Obree had a crack at it one year. I was the first rider to go under 1:50 so even if I lose the CR one day at least I’ll still have that accolade.

Q: Tell us about the RRA Circuit of Northumberland record and why you are making an attempt on the record?

Adam: So it’s a 170 mile loop that heads all the way round the national park on roads through Northumberland, the Scottish Borders, Cumbria and even Dumfries and Galloway. Unsurprisingly there are a few hills in there too.

There are 5 specific checkpoints that you have to go through but apart from that the route is up to the rider to decide. I thought it was the most fitting RRA record to attempt given where I’m based and that I’ve ridden pretty much all of the roads before.

I planned it pretty late on, only submitting the attempt of notice 2 weeks before the ride. I’ve entered the national 12hr for the first time this August and my coach Conrad Moss suggested that I could do a long ride on the TT bike to make sure I’m all set for it.

I figured if I’m going to put myself through an 8hr TT bike session I might as well make it a bit more exciting and hopefully have something to show for it. It also gives me a great opportunity to test out pacing and nutrition for the 12. If I die after 4 hours or end up vomiting I’ll know I’ve messed up and can hopefully put it right at the 12.

Q: Will you be riding your standard TT set up for the attempt?
Adam: Pretty much, yeah. I’ll obviously have a camelback down my front for fluid and have a top tube box for food but apart from that I’m leaving the bike well alone. I know it’s comfy (and fast) as it is. I often do 5hr rides on it in training. I figure the adrenaline can carry me through the rest? There’s only one way to find out anyway.

Q: What kind of support will you have for the attempt?
Adam: I’ve convinced my Dad that driving slowly round Northumberland National Park is a good way for him to spend his Sunday so he’ll be my main support. I’ve spotted 2 laybys on google earth that look like good spots to refill my camelback and smash a bit of soreen before heading off again. I’ll have a set of spare wheels and my road bike in the back of the car just in case. Local timekeeper Sharon Dyson will also be there in another car as official observer and timekeeper.

Q: Doug Hart has a good pedigree over long distances and holds two RRA records – you clearly have a big diesel engine looking at your results – does racing 275km solo as fast as you can intimidate you at all?
Adam: I don’t know Doug personally but I’ve heard he’s a bit of a beast. I’m hoping the endurance won’t be a problem as I’ve done plenty of 5-6 hour rides this lockdown with no races to do. Although I suspect there’s a big difference between that and an 8hr ride, especially if you’re riding as fast as you can rather than just out for a nice leisurely day of pootling.

I think my current longest ride is only 115 miles (184km in euros) so it’s a major step up in distance but the actual time difference shouldn’t be massive. Conrad reckons it won’t be an issue and I usually trust his judgement. The most intimidating part right now is the thought of having to get up Greenhead Bank after 150 miles of riding. It’s 14% and I’ve only got a 42t little ring.

Q: How have you prepared physically for the attempt? Anything specific?
Adam: Nothing specific for the RRA attempt, no. With most of my training being geared towards longer distance testing at the minute I didn’t really need to change anything. I spent most of my time from March through to June developing a huge base so that should be enough training to keep me strong in the later stages of the long events. The specific prep for the RRA record has all been about route planning and nutrition.

Q: What other goals do you have for the season?
Adam: My main focus this year is on the national championships and thankfully they’ve all been postponed to later in the year. I’d say the 100 is probably my best distance but I’ll try and do them all from 25 miles up. Besides that I’m going to make sure I pick up a reasonably fast 100 time to go with my 1:34 50 and hopefully a successful 12hr performance to put me in good stead for the BBAR competition.

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