Rest day. Mersey 24-hour schedule

Not feeling too bad, but I need to start taking it easy for the following weekend. Spent some time starting to build up my Chinese CF bike.

Mersey 24-hour schedule
I also spent a bit of time thinking about  a schedule for the “24”. I have two main targets: our Oxford City RC 400.0-mile club record, and the 417.300 mile VTTA age record by Jim Hopper. Based on how I was going in 2009, when I packed shortly before the 20-hour mark, I will probably plan for 435 miles, going through halfway in about 230 miles. This might seem a bit conservative given my recent 248-mile 12-hour, but I’d rather be slightly ahead (if possible) of any schedule, than always behind and feeling like I’m chasing it, which could be fatal given my usual habit of starting slightly too fast and fading over the second half. The long-range weather forecast is looking promising.

Eric Tremaine’s national competition record
After my good ride in the Welsh 12-hour, some people have got the idea that I might get close to Eric Tremaine’s 457.895-mile competition record, but I think it’s out of reach. I’ll do *very* well to even get close to the 447.020 miles he acheived at the age of 41, a VTTA best. I’ve looked through the account of Eric’s comp. rec. ride:


but he was only 31 years old when he did that ride. Saying all that, his 50, 100 and 12-hour bests for the years 1970-1972 were very similar to what I’ve done. (Two weeks before the 24 record he missed the 12 comp. rec. by less than a mile with 248.88). The 24 must’ve been an amazing ride. He started steadily, 100 miles in 4:43 and ~200 miles in 10 hours, but went through a bit of a bad patch in the night, down to 17½mph at times. I’ve worked out he went through halfway in about 235 miles and was well behind the previous record with 8 hours to go and then (unless the reporter did his sums wrong) finished with a storming last 6 hours at 19.7mph to just nip it by 0.6 miles.

I can imagine that the North Road course, including many legs of fast A roads in and around Bedfordshire, would allow you to have a much more conservatively paced ride over the first half, knowing you still had some good roads to come. The modern Mersey 24 course, by contrast, although considered reasonably quick on the long 39-mile night lap, has some slow circuits to complete in the last 4 or 5 hours and you can’t leave much to chance by the time you’ve got there. They will be hard to negotiate on a trike, especially when I’m tired.