Yesterday I was privileged to spend much of the day with Andrew and Jill Wilkinson at their home near Chester. As many people will be aware Andrew is essentially a legend in his own lifetime in the UK either holding, or having held, many of the long distance cycling and time trialling records over a number of years.
Andrew is currently the joint holder of the mixed Land's End to John O'Groats tandem record (51 hours) and also holds the human powered vehicle Land's End to John O'Groats record in a faired recumbent vehicle (41 hours), Andrew has previously held the Land's End to John O'Groats solo bicycle record.
Andrew won the British Best All Rounder (BBAR) in 1996 establishing National records at all distances. In 1997 he set the competition record for a 24 hour TT with an astonishing 525 miles. On the 25th and 26th of June this year, last weekend, Andy again broke the 24 hour TT record with a stunning distance of 541 miles. The list could go on!
I was very interested to find out more about someone who could do this sort of thing, how he trains and prepares, the equipment he uses and all the multitude of other things that go to make up a record breaking cyclist. I was delighted to get the opportunity to interview Andrew at length which I completed yesterday.
I will be editing the material I have and uploading it to YouTube as a series of short videos over the forthcoming months which I very much hope will serve two purposes. 1) I want it to act as a source of reference material for people who are interested in an amateur rider who has proved capable of these extraordinary endurance feats. 2) I want it to act as a permanent record and tribute to an extraordinary cyclist, and thoroughly nice bloke, whose talent and exploits perhaps don't always get the recognition they deserve.
The link to my YouTube channel is shown below. Subscribers to the channel will be the first to be informed when a new episode has been released as a subscribers only bulletin will be published. Subscription will be by far the quickest way to learn that a new episode in the series is available. There will also be an interview with Andrew's wife Jill, herself a very high level triathlete, giving a fascinating perspective on their lives and what it takes to support a record-breaking cyclist.
I very much hope that the series of videos will prove to be of interest.