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Tagged with 'World record'

The oldest pedal cycle in the world... distance record

The oldest pedal cycle

On 24th August 2022 Roger Davies from Unicycle.com (UK) went to Belgium to ride a replica of the Kirkpatrick Macmillan bicycle which is reputed to be an example of the oldest pedal cycle in the world. The design dates back to 1839 and the rear cart wheel is powered by a treadle run from long rods near the front wheel. The fastest time previously recorded for the distance travelled in one hour was 16.2 km. Roger did 18.1km so setting a new world record.

Neil Laughton sets 3 world records no handed on Penny Farthing

Our friend Neil Laughton has set 3 new Guinness World Records for riding a Penny Farthing without using your hands: 10km - 23 mins, 23 secs; Furthest distance in an hour - 26.0 km and Fastest average speed over 100m - 29.6 kph.

Theses records were acredited by Guinness and he was presented at the track with the awards.  The record used a 56" UDC Penny Farthing.

One hour record on a Penny Farthing

On the 15th June 2018 a group of UK penny farthing riders attempted to break the 132 year old world record for distance ridden in one hour on a Penny Farthing.  The record was set by a young professional cyclists in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1886 called William A Rowe.  Their venue was Herne Hill Velodrome at the Cycle Revival Festival.  This venue was the one used to set the last record set in the UK, this was set on the year the velodrome opened in 1881.

Cycle Revival Festival WR attempt

The attempted had been planned for many months, ever since Mark Beaumont returned from his world record breaking circumnavigation of the world on a cycle in only 78 days.  The aim was to get Mark to break the world record with the assistance of some of the best penny farthing riders in the UK.  This support team included the currently European and British Champions.

For training, we are lucky that in the UK there are several velodromes built in 1880s.  These were built with banking that is ideal for Penny Farthings.  Training on a velodrome is essential, it is required to work out tactics and to work as a team.  We decided to use Scunthrope Velodrome as our Northern base for our training.  Our big problem was the British winter.  Our first 2 sessions were cancelled due to snow and the next two it was raining (if you think this is not a problem, try riding a penny farthing at speed on banking in the wet and you realise the problem as the rear wheel starts to drift down the banking).

Training at Herne Hill Velodrome

When we did get the full team together at the Herne Hill for what was meant to be our final training session we did not have our plans fully sorted.  We then need to do another tactics session with a combination of bikes and penny farthings.  The team then worked on these tactics only the day before the record attempt.World record attempt on penny farthing

The team was sponsored by
R Whites and they provided 3 specially built 56" Mk4 UDC Penny farthings. The team was also provided with sponsorship from Altura, Ruby helmets and Velotoze.  The team also were helped to increase their speed and performance by updating their UDC Penny Farthings to have drop bars and short cranks.

R WHITE'S ONE HOUR PENNY FARTHING RECORD from R.White's Penny Farthing Record on Vimeo.

On the day there was lots of media interest in the event with a continual stream of interviews and photographs including the BBC and GCN.

The attempt was made at 1:30pm and the temperature was 25 degrees and there was a breeze down the back straight... not ideal conditions.  The majority of the riders had not been able to instigate a hydration system that would work when riding at the speeds needed for the record and decided to ride without hydration for the hour.

The team had organised 2 timers to give indication of world record pace and English record pace by blowing whistles or horn on the pace, this gave the riders and indication of where the record was.  There was also a board set up giving an indication of time in front or behind each record.

After setting off it was clear within only a dozen laps that the team were loosing pace on the world record every lap, not by much but by a small margin.  The final result was 28 seconds off the world record pace (21 miles, 1,616 yards), it did smash the English record, that was duly updated to the British record as Mark is a Scot.

So the World Record still stands... but there is a team in Australia intending to have attempt at breaking it later this year and I am certain that the UK team wont let it stay like this.

If you want to read more about the history of the record then I would recommend the podiumcafe.com blog where it goes into it in detail.

Simon Berry’s 2016 Part 3

Last time on the blog, we’d just broken our own world record, and Mike and myself had left Team Voodoo to concentrate on new projects. We pick up just a couple of days after that!

Qatar, The Magical Festival Village

Just two days after performing at Sport Relief, Sam Goodburn, who i’m sure you know, came to stay with me in London after having flown back from 5 weeks performing in Asia. He was just to stay for a night or two as he had commitments at home, and I had multiple university deadlines. But no good story starts with two young people being responsible, does it?

After Sam’s first night at my place, he woke up to a call from a stressed-out Romanian Magician, who had added him on Facebook the previous evening. He was searching for performers for a month of parades and shows, starting TOMORROW.

We said maybe, noncommittally, assuming that arrangements would fall through, as so often happens with last minute booking.

This time, however, that was not the case, and just a few hours later we were on the next available flight to Qatar. We had so little time to prepare that I ended up hopping on the tube to the nearest shopping centre to buy new clothes and underwear, as I wouldn’t have had time to wash my clothes…

What event were we performing at? We didn’t know.

Why hadn’t the organisers found talent sooner? We didn’t know.

What would our mothers think to such reckless decision making? We didn’t know.

Was this strange magician really some sort of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-esque child catcher? We just didn’t know.

After arriving at Hamad international airport, relaxed from the plane’s free beer, we were met by Cezar, the Magician. (Disclaimer: Cezar is not in fact a child catcher. He’s a cool person and a great performer!) We were taken straight to the hotel, but didn’t have time to rest, as the first day of performances was due to start in just a couple of hours!

We met our fellow performers; an international group from Romania, Italy, Germany, the USA, and UK. From then on, the format was less spontaneous, but still great fun. We did a parade 2-3 times a day, as well as 1 or 2 shows. The event itself was a new venue that had just been launched, and targeted local families. This was a contrast to my last trip to Qatar where I had been performing at the very westernized Qatar Open Tennis Tournament. The attendees had certainly never seen unicycles before, let alone a parade full of unicyclists, stilt walkers, jugglers and dancers!


We were performing 6 days per week, which was intense, but managed to have some great experiences on our days off! The highlight for me was riding quad bikes in the Qatari desert, before relaxing on a beach overlooking the Persian Gulf, just a few miles from the Saudi border.


I had to fly back after 2 weeks as I had an essay deadline and a French oral exam. (Thankfully i did well in both, despite the trip getting in the way!) Sam stayed for the rest of the month and I was replaced by Esther, Sam’s performance partner who specialises in Cyr Wheel!


New Impact Unicycle!

After just over 2 weeks of riding all day, every day, my unicycle was looking and feeling a bit worse for wear. Usually, I end up replacing individual parts as I break them, so never get the Boy-who-got-a-nintendo-64-on-Christmas-day levels of excitement.


This time though, as so much of my unicycle was dying, I phoned unicycle.com and they helped hook me up with a brand new Impact Gravity Unicycle! Thanks guys!

At first, I customised it with my Carbon Fibre seat and Kris Holm Cranks, but have since changed the cranks for brand new Impact Groovys which feel AMAZING.


Officially ‘Officially Amazing’, again!

Last Summer, Mike Taylor and myself were invited back to CBBC’s Officially Amazing to attempt to break another world record on TV!  This time, were were battling head to head to beat the record for then 100m unicycle hurdles!

Lutz Eicholz, a well known KH Sponsored rider from Germany held the record at 1:46.44, so Mike and I were trying to beat that time, as well as going head to head to be THE fastest. Click on Simon Below to see what happened.


It was a great day of filming, and as you can see it was so close! Some of our new projects involve myself and Mike working as a duo a lot, so we hope you enjoyed the formula!


The Westminster Mile

At the end of May, Flatland BMXer Keelan Phillips called me in for another show as he wasn’t able to, having injured himself beforehand. I spent the day riding flatland and giving riding workshops with two flatland BMXers at the Westminster Mile Vitality run! As it was a sports event, everyone was very keen to watch, and even more excited to have a go!


That’s all for now! Stay tuned for Part 4 where Mike Taylor and myself have a very special announcement!

Simon Berry’s 2016 Part 2

We asked our friend Simon Berry what he has been up to recently in his unicycle life.  He has been very busy as part of Voodoo and with his budding TV career!

Officially ‘Officially Amazing!’!

Although technically we did this in 2015, it was only broadcast in March! In late Summer 2015, Mike, Rob, Jason and Myself traveled up to Sheffield to film for CBBC’s Officially Amazing, a show which features a wide variety of world record attempts from across the world!

Our attempt was for the 4x50m hurdles relay. This had never been done before so all we had to do was beat an arbitrary time set by Guinness, based on Lutz Eicholz’ standing 100m hurdles record! The show makes much more interesting viewing if I don’t tell you what happens, so here it is! Click on Team Voodoo Below to see the video.


The Extreme Mountain Bike Show

Again in March, I was asked by British Bike Trials legend Danny Butler to come and do a demo for his team, ‘The Extreme Mountain Bike Show’. It was short notice and a massive hassle to get to Manchester in time, but no good things are easy, are they?

I woke up the next day at 4am, took the night bus to the train station and hopped on the first train from London to Manchester! From there Joe Oakley, ex-world champion picked me up and we headed to Manchester Communications Academy to do some demos as part of a launch event for the school’s new mountain bike track. Unfortunately, as the gig was at a school I couldn’t film and take pictures much, but here’s a couple from the day!



It was a great day and a great event. It’s comforting to see cycling being adopted by so many local authorities to get kids active! Combining trials biking and unicycling also made for a really cool performance, look out for more of myself and The Extreme Mountain Bike Show over the Summer months!


Sport Relief 2016

On the 20th of March, Sport Relief invited Voodoo back for yet another year to perform!

Sport Relief is an amazing opportunity to use sport as a catalyst for raising funds and awareness for those in poverty around the world.

This year, we were challenged with breaking our recently set world record, in front of a live audience at the Sport Relief Games! The atmosphere on the day was great and we had amazing support from the crowd, leading us to shave ~10 seconds from our previous record! Click on Simon to see the Video


Beating our world record was, sadly, the last adventure for myself and Mike with Voodoo.

After 5 years with the team, we’re moving on to pursue some new, exciting projects which you’ll see more of soon on this blog! We can’t wait to share them with you!

Voodoo World Record

Team Voodoo Unicycles managed to set a new Guinness World Record for 4x50m hurdles on Unicycles for CBBC show "Officially Amazing".
Shot in the prestigious English Institute of Sport, the home training ground of Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Ennis, the team hopped over hurdles at an impressive time of 1 minute 44 seconds.

100mile World Record attempt - 9 July 2015


On 9th July 2015 Sam and Roger are both attempting to break the long-standing world record for the fastest 100 miles on a unicycle. Roger is riding a 36" ungeared unicycle and Sam is riding a 36" Schlumpf geared unicycle.

The record has been unbroken since 1987 when Takayi Koike did 100 miles in an incredible 6 hours 44 minutes.   Although there have been many attempts since no one has come close to breaking this.

The Record will be attempted at Croft race circuit near Darlington.  It will also be aimed at raising awareness and funds for WaterAid.  The circuit is 1.823km long, so it will involve 89 laps of the circuit to complete 100 miles!

To prevent drafting Roger and Sam will be going in opposite directions.

Sam Wakeling

  • Category: Unlimited

  • Unicycle: Kris Holm 36", Schlumpf gearbox, 145 cranks

  • Target time: 5h 45m

  • Other unicycle world records:

    • 24 hour distance (453km, in 2007)

    • Longest ride without dismount (105 miles, in 2007)

    • Land's End to John o' Groats (6d 8:43, in 2009)

Roger Davies

  • Category: Ungeared

  • Unicycle: Nimbus Oracle 36", 89 cranks

  • Target time: 6 hours

  • Other unicycle world records:

    • Land's End to John o' Groats (6d 8:43, in 2009)

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