Robert Holden

Boris vs The Hour

Fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support
raised of £1,000 target
by 58 supporters
Macmillan Cancer Support

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 261017
We will do whatever it takes to help you live life as fully as you can


After two previous Boris Bike challenges (Boris vs Ventoux & Boris vs NYC in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, we are planning our latest challenge in honour of cycling’s historic Hour Record.  That is, the record for the longest distance cycled in one hour from a stationary start. Records are set alone on a track and, in cycling, it is considered thee most prestigious record of all. Our challenge is called Boris vs The Hour and we will attempt to set a new world record for the longest distance travelled in one hour on London’s iconic Boris Bike. The attempt is scheduled for 08:30 on Friday 29th May at Herne Hill’s historic outdoor velodrome.

Why, you ask?  The Hour Record was first established in the late 1800’s and has recently had a resurgence in interest culminating in GB’s Alex Dowsett (@alexdowsett) setting a new Hour Record on 2nd May2015. And on 3rd June 2015 Sir Bradley Wiggins will attempt to break the record at London’s Olympic velodrome. So we thought we would have some fun, continue raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support (currently over £20,000 from the two previous challenges), and raise awareness for Sustrans (the British charity promoting sustainable transport) at the same time.

While you may not think cycling around a 450m track for one hour sounds challenging, I can assure you that to go as fast as you can for one hour around a track, alone, without any break in effort, without a drink, and with only a slow ticking clock for company, will be one of the most painful things I have ever done. At least that is what I’ve been told by anyone with any knowledge of the event. And seeing, in person, the devastating effect it had on Chris Boardman when he set the record in Manchester in 2000, I am not doubting the challenge I’m facing.

Then there is the bike. A 50 lbs (23 kg)tank, with a low top gear and a very upright un-aerodynamic position, designed with everything in mind ...except speed. I have calculated that even to achieve 20 miles, with a 60” top gear, I will need to pedal in excess of 112 revs per minute for the full one hour. Ask any spin class teacher or Rollapaluza rider, that is not an easy thing to do.  And with an outdoor track, the weather (wind mainly) may be a big factor too. It all adds up to one thing….a complete unknown. Like Mont Ventoux and Mount Washington before this, I had no idea what to expect, but one thing as usual is 100% guaranteed….pain, and lots of it.

Please do what you can to give a little to help those suffering with the effects of cancer; even a small donation makes a big difference, so before you leave this page, leave a gift and a message and I'll keep you informed on how we're doing.

Thank you from Rob, Matt and Ian (The Boris Boys).

About the charity

Macmillan Cancer Support

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 261017
At Macmillan, we will move mountains to help people with cancer live life as fully as they can. We’re doing whatever it takes. But without your help we can’t support everyone who needs us. To donate, volunteer, raise money or campaign with us, call 0300 1000 200 or visit

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £246.25 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.