He may be more used to taking on incredible feats of endurance in far flung corners of the world, but Mark Beaumont will have a very different challenge facing him when he takes to Herne Hill velodrome next month.
As part of the World Cycling Revival event which takes place at the south London track on June 14-16, Beaumont will attempt to beat the 132-year-old penny farthing Hour Record which was set by WA Rowe in 1886.
To beat the record Beaumont will have to beat Rowe’s mark of 22 miles 150 yards, but if he falls short of this will at least hope to top the best distance ridden in an hour at Herne Hill, which was set at 21 miles 180 yards in 1891 – the same year the velodrome was opened.
Beaumont has spent the last few years talking on ultra-endurance events and records, most recently setting a new record for cycling around the world.
The Scottish rider became the first person in history to cycle around the world in less than 80 days, returning his starting point in Paris just 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes after he had departed.
He will be riding a custom-built penny farthing for the record attempt with something approaching a disc wheel which we don’t thing would have been on offer to WA Rowe in 1886, but although he has been training for the attempt Beaumont said that he isn’t taking the record too seriously.
“I have been training hard around the parks of Edinburgh and you get some funny looks. The Hour Record is 22 and a half miles, which is pretty nuts on a penny farthing, but I have been quite enjoying not training ultra-endurance – this is just me and my mates wanting to do something eccentric and daft,” Beaumont said.