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Cyclist Breaks Penny Farthing Record from Land’s End to John O’Groats

By Monica Buck

55-year-old Richard Thoday completed the 874-mile famous route in 4 days and 12 hours. He beat the record set in 1886 by GP Mills who did the journey in 5 days and 1 hour. The cyclist from Matlock, Derbyshire, raised £10,000 for Children in Need in the process. Thoday did the journey back in July. However, he had to wait for confirmation from the Guinness World Records.

“I gave Guinness World Records all the evidence I could provide so if they said ‘no’ there was nothing else I could do,” Thoday told the BBC. “I certainly wouldn’t be doing it again anyway. It was just so hard.

Richard Thoday on his penny-farthing © Katielee Arrowsmith / SWNS / Profimedia

Thoday compared the preparations for the challenge to a “full-time job on top of having a full-time job”. The teaching assistant has been riding penny farthings for 10 years and even designed the one he broke the record on.

“It was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life but definitely a one off. It took 10 months out of my life and lots of support from my wife. I felt very relieved when I had the record confirmed.”

Congratulations, Richard!