Four weeks ago Reading’s Palmer Park velodrome wasn’t even allowed to permit racing – but this weekend it will be the host of an Hour Record attempt.
The Berkshire town’s 459-metre track was deemed unsafe for racing earlier this year, with the perimeter fencing a concern for British Cycling until the local council helped repair the faults to enable the local track league to commence from April 27.
And by way of double celebration the venue, in its 27th year of existence, will go down in the cycling annals this weekend as the host venue for Matt Richardson’s Hour Record attempt aboard a Raleigh Chopper.
Not interested in testing his own time on a conventional road bike against Alex Dowsett, the current holder of the ‘normal’ Hour Record, the 48-year-old lawyer wants to go down in history as the man who cycled the furthest in 60 minutes on the classic bike.
Richardson, who last year claimed to ride past 41 roadies as he ascended Mont Ventoux on his Chopper, will be riding an unmodified version of the 1969 Mk1 classic as he completes the challenge in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
“After last year’s assault on Mont Ventoux people asked me ‘what next?’,” he told GetReading.co.uk. “Having raised over £5,000 in donations from generous family, friends and people all over the world who saw a YouTube clip of the ascent (of Mont Ventoux), I knew it would have to be something extraordinary… even more absurd… and definitely on a Chopper.”
The velodrome is set to be decorated in all things 1970s with spectators for the attempt, which starts at 2pm, encouraged to wear attire from that decade.
If nostalgia has crept into you, then surely now is the perfect time to re-read our article from last year – Raleigh Chopper: bicycle classic.