Guy Martin’s TV series Speed. The first episode was for the greatest distance ever ridden on a tandem in 12 and 24 hours.
Guy Martin is no stranger to 24-hour racing either on motorbikes or mountain bikes. In this tandem attempt he teamed up with 24-hour solo mountain bike racer Jason Miles, and enlisted the help of bike designer Mike Burrows, Team Sky nutritionist Nigel Mitchell and others.
The target Martin and Miles set themselves was 505 miles, the mark set by American ultra-distance racers Rich Fedrigon and Byron Gremley in 1990.
On the way to the attempt they have to figure out what sort of bike to ride and solve the problems of cooling, nutrition and hydration for what they intend to be a non-stop effort.
Burrows convinces them they’ll be a lot faster on a recumbent and he and fellow human-powered vehicle legend Miles Kingsbury cook up a dramatic side-by-side recumbent trike with a fairing that puts Martin and Miles under a vast bubble canopy.
On their first outing, trying to go round the Goodwood motor-racing track as fast as possible, they miss a corner and end up in the weeds.
The choice of a recumbent trike as the record attempt vehicle brings its own set of problems. How do you get food into the bubble? How do you stay cool in the summer sun while pedalling a flying greenhouse? How do you have a wee?
Ingenuity and experimentation solve the problems to one degree or another, only for another, completely uncontrollable problem to loom: the weather. The record attempt is set for the weekend of August 10 and the tail end of hurricane Bertha is confidently predicted to clobber the South of England.
The still managed to break the 12 hours and 24 hour world records. They travelled a total of 565 miles in 24 hours. They were the first couple to beat the 12 hour world record while attempting the 24 hour world record.
Below are picture of the tandem used to break these world records. It is now part of the Winchester Classic Cars Collection.