John Woodburn is a most remarkable rider. His Cardiff-London record is well covered in Tony Hadland’s book The Moulton Bicycle. Less well known to many Moultoneers will be his later successes on conventional bicycles, notably the End-to-End record (Land’s End to John O’Groats) which he broke in 1982 at the age of 45. He slashed 96 minutes from the previous record and at the same time, pushed the 24-hour record to 494.3 miles. In a nice touch, at the start of that epic ride, former Moulton marketing manager David Duffield, who for many years held the End-to-End tricycle record, waved off John Woodburn.
Today, aged 65 and having retired from his day job with Parcelforce, Woodburn is still winning races. For example, in August he won the Leo Road Club’s 30- mile time trial, averaging 28.62mph – a performance many younger riders would envy.
John Woodburn was the subject of John Pinkerton’s last in-depth cycling history biographical interview. The result is a 49-minute video in which John Woodburn:
- tells how he became interested in cycling,
- talks about his record successes, including the End-to-End,
- reminisces about his record-breaking on the small-wheeled Moulton bicycle,
- discusses the problems of balancing his sporting career with the ‘day job’,
- gives his views on use of performance- enhancing drugs,
- talks about cycling club life,
- and looks back on his toughest rides.
The video provides a fascinating insight into one of British cycle sport’s most enduring heroes. And yes, John Pinkerton did ask him about the suspension on the Cardiff-London bike! Is there any basis to the various myths cherished by cynical old-school diamond-frame racers? To hear John Woodburn’s reply you will need to buy the video from Hadland Books – £12 in the UK and Europe, £14 in the rest of the world. Contact details as for other Hadland Books products