Guy Martin Forced To Retire From Bonkers Round UK Record Attempt

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“Well, it’s not gone quite to plan.” that’s how Guy Martin announced on his website that his ambitious plan to cycle round the coastline of the UK (well, England, Scotland and Wales) had stopped less than 20% into the journey.

In a video released on December 6th, Guy stood in a cold pub car park and told his fans that he was going to attempt to ride around the circumference of England, Scotland and Wales in an attempt to beat the record that has stood since 1984. Quite why he’d chosen the middle of December to do it was a puzzle to many, but Guy – who still considers himself a truck fitter rather than a TV presenter – reckoned that it was the only time he could get off work from his ‘proper job’ of being a Scania truck fitter in Grimsby.

According to Guy, who was followed by a TV crew for the attempt “I kept good miles up and got to John O’Groats from Grimsby in 4 days and 8 hours, about 800 miles” but then a nagging achilles injury and the sensible thought of not spannering himself for the rest of next year caused common sense to prevail and he called it quits – not something that he was probably happy with, but given that the last 12 months have included riding from Grimsby to the Strathpuffer near Inverness in northern Scotland and then racing solo for 24 hours and of course racing the 2700 mile Tour Divide event this summer, we’re happy to let him off this time. Especially as he appeared to have returned from a ten day motorbike racing trip to New Zealand, gone to work fixing trucks for the week and then started his bonkers attempt almost on a whim on a cold December night. We’re assuming it was a little more rehearsed than that as TV crews don’t tend to turn out without a little notice, but nevertheless, we can hear people shouting at the screen ‘Why not wait until June!’

Jason Miles and Guy chatting about Tour Divide plans late last year

Should you wish to have a go at the record and steal Guy’s thunder, it’s 4802 miles and the record is a little under 22 days. What are you waiting for.


Read more on Guy’s website here:

Nothing a cup of tea can’t fix, eh Guy?

We’re sure it’s not the last we’ll hear of from Guy, who is a regular sight at bike events around the UK and further afield – usually the harder the better – but for now we hope he’s got his feet up at home, ready to tuck into the Quality Street…

Comments (7)

    Not sure he did ‘race’ the tour divide. He did his own route in his own time.

    He rode the Tour Divide at race pace. How’s that? He started a couple of days early due to fears that the motorcycle press would try to catch up with him for interviews and that might have been seen as outside assistance and voided his result.

    Ahhh it makes sense.

    I know why he’s this year’s surprise Vip for our mnpr do. Well done lads.

    I think Jekkyl is referring more to the route Guy had taken rather than the speed/timing of the ride.

    Who cares about TGD, he covered a similar distance in similar terrain in a competitive time
    How he decides to do it and why is up to him but I thought that was the main thing about the great divide, it was a personal challenge against the elements, not a race
    In that much he succeeded

    The round Britain thing though always seemed a bit stupid to attempt in December, even on a normal year but even more so after everything else he has done not for TV this year

    Much as I respect him as an athlete and a person with no fear and plenty of endurance it does seem that for someone that alleges to shy away from fame he is increasingly drawn to TV and I can’t help thinking the timing was more to do with TV commitments than truck fixing holidays (surely the busiest time for truck fixing is around Xmas, either drivers have time off so want their trucks servicing or deliveries need to continue)

    It would be a shame if a television contract burns him out, but he seems to be the kind of person that can’t say no to a challenge no matter how stupid

    The GDMBR is a specific route
    The Tour Divide is a race along a specific route
    A long, fast ride isn’t necessarily one of the above.

    As others have said, he didn’t race the TD or complete the GDMBR route. Multiple (>10) large navigation errors, and route deviations, do not a completed route make. More so when they skip out some of the more technical HAB and trail sections. Sorry, but it’s just the way it is. Offically down as “Alternated from race route” –

    Shame on the round Britain thing, would have been nice to see. May have spurred others on to take what looks like an achievable target time.

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