Henley cyclist attempts hour record on Raleigh Chopper

Matt Richardson Image copyright Matt richardson
Image caption Matt Richardson from Henley-on-Thames donned 1970s sports garb for his record attempt

A man has taken a retro approach to a cycling record attempt by pedalling as far as he can in 60 minutes on a vintage Raleigh Chopper.

Matt Richardson, of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, wore 1970s sportswear to attempt to break the hour record of 52.937km (32.9 miles).

He managed 31.9km (19.8 miles) at the velodrome in Reading on his 1969 Mk1 Chopper.

Mr Richardson said his attempt was fun but that he "trained very hard for it".

'Muscles were screaming'

The 49-year-old father of two has used the challenge to try and raise £5,000 for leukaemia and lymphoma research, in memory of his father who died of the disease.

"I was in so much pain. I could barely see and every muscle in my body was screaming at me to stop," he said.

"When I felt I couldn't keep going, I thought about the suffering my father endured with cancer but also how loudly he would have roared me on."

The lawyer, who spent six months training, said he was unfazed that he was far from breaking the official record set by British rider Alex Dowsett on 2 May.

Image copyright Matt richardson
Image caption Mr Richardson arrived at Palmer Park velodrome in Reading sporting a 1970s beige flared suit

"It's all about raising money," he said.

"In one sense it's an enormous joke and poking fun as I do think people have got a little bit hung up on getting the latest carbon versions [of bicycles]."

He said no record existed of such an attempt on a Chopper, which is about twice the weight of a modern track bike.

Three track cycling league officials, a static camera and an electronic device attached to the bike recorded the distance.

However cycling's international governing body UCI will not recognise the time because it does not meet its hour record specifications.

Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins will attempt the hour record in London on 7 June.

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