It’s Mountain Mayhem this weekend and as 2000 competitors head to a soggy Eastnor Park to race a mountain bike around a challenging off-road route, James Bowthorpe has just completed his own 24-hour mountain bike racing, all in the comfort of a London cycle café. We can think of worse places we’d like to ride a bike for 24-hours.
We say comfort. It’s doubtful that, while he didn’t actually go anywhere or complete a real distance, the round the world cyclist still deserves a nod of respect for completing his 400 mile (670km) 24-hour ride on a stationary bike in the window of Look Mum No Hands cycle café in London, in full view of the public. No pressure then.
James wasn’t just doing this challenge for fun, though we suspect he may get a sadistic kick out of it. He’s actually preparing for the Race Across America (RAAM) which he intends to do in 2012, the annual 3000 mile transcontinental bicycle race from the west to east coast of the USA. This 24-hour roller challenge was a good way of getting used to the long hours in the saddle he expects to endure when he participates in the RAAM.
In 2009 James became the fastest cyclist to pedal around the globe, completing the gruelling 18,000 miles ride in 175 days, 20 days faster than the previous record set by Mark Beaumont (Vin Cox has since shelved another 12 days of that record when he cycled around the world in 2010.)
In the RAAM James will have just 12 days to get from one side of America to the other, and to do that he’ll need to ride an astonishing 300 miles every day. Let’s just hope he packs loads of chamois cream!