AFTER successfully setting the circuit of the Yorkshire Dales tandem record earlier this year, Ilkley Cycling Club duo Doug Hart and Jake Unsworth recently broke the more prestigious York-Edinburgh record.

The previous record of eight hours two minutes was set by the renowned pair of J Murdoch and G Berwick of Edinburgh RC in 1986.

The record-breaking rules allow an attempt to be taken in either direction, and the riders were planning York-Edinburgh, but watching the weather forecast the wind looked to be shifting and with just 48 hours notice, they decided to change plans and start from Edinburgh and head south to York, and pushing back the attempt to a day later.

There was a chilly start in Edinburgh in the shadow of The Duke of Wellington’s statue on the corner of Princes Street. The Saltire on the top of the Balmoral hotel ripping (in the right direction) above them.

The first few hours, to the border, were cold but quick, dry but certainly not flat.

And sure enough as they crested the 1,400 feet above sea level Carter Bar and crossed into England it began to rain.

They would have to endure the rain for the following hundred miles. What’s more the wind from this point onwards was less helpful.

Nonetheless, Hart and Unsworth reached Newcastle roughly on schedule - with 20 or so minutes in reserve on the record.

The Newcastle bypass is not something to be recommended to any Geordie on their next cafe ride, but a necessary evil to avoid rolling through the centre of the city.

At this point - and on to Darlington - the wind was hardly any help at all. The odd flag by the side of the road showing just how little help the riders were getting.

The roads here were much flatter though and the tandem pair had a sufficient buffer to reach York with 15 minutes to spare, completing the 186.9 mile ride in seven hours 47 minutes to set a new record.

The record attempt was supported by JDs Tandems of Gargrave, as was the previous successful Yorkshire Dales record ride.

Additional support came from Ilkley Cycling Club, the official timekeeping was done by Yorkshire time trialling stalwart Phil Hurt, and both riders parents performed on ride feeding and provision of warm clothes and champagne at the finish.