In 1905, my Great Grandad, Harry Maslen (on the left in the old photo) set a Bath C.C. 12 hour distance record of 148 miles. He did this on fixie dressed in tweed (He’d missed the club kit officer’s order deadline for the skinsuit).

With a lack races to go for this year I decided in a moment of madness I’d try to equal his record and to do right by Harry, I’d do it on the oldest bike I have, my 3 speed Raleigh Superbe. This former Policemen’s bike weighs a measly 16KG stripped down, 1KG of which is rust. The bell stays on as it gives me something to do.

I’ve done TT’s, a sportive, triathlons and lots of training rides but I’m still a way off 148 miles and I’m starting to realise Harry Maslen was more than a bit handy on a bike and he was definitely BAD ASS. Our lives overlapped by one year and we did meet. I can’t actually remember this but whilst trying to get me to burp over his shoulder he must have passed me the family bicycle pump, a metaphorical baton for the love of bike riding because it’s definitely in the blood.

To honour the heritage of the record I have trained and will riding in a Bath CC jersey (kindly loaned to me by David Stoyle). I will be however riding in the East Midlands, venturing into the Peak District where I know the roads and strategically the cafes. I know as serious cyclists we accomplish many amazing feats of endurance on a regular basis but to me this is a bit special, it’s definitely a one off. So in doing this I’d like to try to make a little money in aid of Rainbows Hospice, the only hospice in the East Midlands for children and young people. (Rainbows.co.uk) If you’d like to support my efforts that would be wonderful. Please gift aid if you can. My just giving page is:- https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-redding2 or go to Just Giving and search Chris Redding.

PS Does anyone know who my Great Grandad’s pal is on the right in the old photo above?

The update of this is in June I equaled the Bath CC 1905 12 hour record of 148 miles which I did on a vintage Raleigh Superbe for charity. With that came 6,936 feet of ascent (plonker). On a 3 speed I paid for this BIG time but at least standing up my bum got a break. My finish line was rather conveniently a pub car park which is another good reason why not to do this record stuff on a dual carriageway. I had to ride very hard in the last 20 miles to match the record as it became clear I’d overcooked the scenic route idea and was in danger of missing the record altogether. I’m no stranger to racing but this final 20 miles was probably the deepest I have had to dig riding and where my admiration of true 12 hour riders was forged. As the pocket watch struck 12 hours I had ridden 147.976 miles. I’m rather hoping I can round up because I’m not doing it again.

To date this challenge has raised over £1,300 for a children’s hospice and I am incredibly grateful to everyone who donated, thank you!!

PS I’m now really hoping that one of my other Great Grandparents DID NOT swim the channel!