Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Visiting my cycling hero, George Pilkington Mills.

On Sunday 8 th February I paid a visit to the grave of my cycling hero, George Pilkington Mills. Now I doubt that many modern day cyclists have heard of George as he was cycling many years ago. In fact, in the year 1886 he set the record for being the fastest person to cycle from Lands end to John O'groats on a penny farthing. There are two amazing facts about this record, the first being that he only took 5 days 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the 900 mile journey! The second point worth mentioning is that this record still stands, 128 years later!

I'm not going to be breaking this record and to be honest I can't see it ever going. Whilst I was at the grave, with the help of my friend Mickey, I made a short film about George, his cycling records ( and there are many) and I also mentioned my fast approaching end to end ride. Once the video is edited I will post a link on here.

Visiting the grave was a great experience, I'd like to thank everyone at the church in Shirley, Croydon for making my visit so enjoyable. Special thanks to Vic who I contacted by email with my initial enquiry, wondering if the grave was in their churchyard and he then went on to help me locate the grave. It was also nice that the vicar turned out to welcome me. I'm not particularly religious but he asked if he could bless me and my bike to wish us good luck on my ride. I welcomed this idea, thinking I might need all the help I can get!

All in all it was a great day and well worth the 320 mile round trip. If you're wondering how I made the journey then here's a photo of my hand made penny farthing roof rack, who needs a big car!

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