Land’s End to John O’Groats is a tough ride on any bike, but how about doing it on a seven-seater, where people pedal at different speeds while sat around in a circle?
That’s just what the people behind CoBi UK are planning, in order to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK. They’ll be riding a ConferenceBike – so-named because of the seating arrangement – and they’ll be visiting some of the charity’s research centres along the way.
Organiser Ed Greig told BikeRadar: “My cousin and I were thinking about doing Land’s End to John O’Groats or John O’Groats to Land’s End, and doing it quite quickly. But that’s been done many times before and I wanted to do something different. I was looking for a weird birthday present for my brother and I came across the ConferenceBike. I thought it would be the perfect thing to do LEJOG on.
“It’s going to be an interesting challenge for the bike, which is a remarkable piece of engineering but isn’t really designed for long-distance stuff like this. It’s one of those things you have to see to believe; the idea is that people can pedal at different speeds as well as being sat around in a circle.”
Ed said the great thing about the ConferenceBike was that lots of people could get involved with the fundraising. “It’s not just about some Lycra-clad guys streaking through your village or town,” he said: “We’ll have people who’re travelling with us for large parts of the way, but other people will be able to jump on at different stages.
“The idea is that it’s a real team effort. We’ve got seven seats on the bike and we’ll be taking it at quite a slow pace. We’ve got a Twitter account and website, and the idea is that people will be able to sign up for different stages along the way. We’re hoping to have some famous faces on the bike as well.”
The LEJOG attempt is expected to take around 28 days. CoBi UK are borrowing the ConferenceBike, designed by Dutchman Eric Staller, from York-based bike advocates Get Cycling.
One rider acts as pilot of the tricycle and has control of the steering wheel and brakes, while the others simply have to pedal. In order to bring the combined weight of the bike and seven passengers to a halt, it has brakes from a Volkswagen Polo.
CoBi UK hope to raise £50,000. For more details, or to volunteer your services as a passenger/pedaller, visit www.cobiuk.com. You can watch a video showing the ConferenceBike below: