A procurement lawyer believes he has set a world record by cycling from London to Paris in 12-and-a-half hours.
Jonathan Parker, a specialist in construction and EU procurement law at Quigg Golden and a seasoned time trial rider, pushed himself beyond exhaustion to complete the challenge.
What makes Parker’s achievement even more impressive is that 10 years ago he was told by a doctor he would never do sports again, after he stepped onto an asbestos roof and fell three floors onto concrete, breaking all his limbs and losing eight pints of blood. He had to learn to walk again and took up cycling six years ago.
“It’s definitely a record in terms of time. It’s a case of having it verified to make it an official record. No one has done it in a faster time,” he said.
Parker, a member of Team Bottrill with four national championship titles under his belt, said it had been calculated that he would burn 8,000 calories over the 180-mile distance, which he would not be able to replenish fully.
“There was always going to come a time where energy reserves ran out and the body turns on itself and breaks down fat and muscle,” he said. “It’s a painful process that happened with 20 miles to go. I fell over and struggled to get up.”
However, after taking on fizzy drinks and sweets he made it to the finish line, recording a time of 12 hours, 31 minutes and 26 seconds. Removing the ferry crossing time and other delays, he spent six hours and 25 minutes in the saddle, averaging 26.1mph despite a headwind for most of the ride.
Parker took part in the race on August 28 to raise money for Cyclists Fighting Cancer after both his parents died from lung cancer. Cancer has also claimed other members of his family. The £11,500 he raised will be used to buy bikes and adapted bicycles for children recovering from the disease.
Despite the Brexit referendum, Parker believes EU procurement law will still impact the UK. “Our laws based on EU laws are unlikely to change. Even when we do exit the chances are we will be subject to EU laws or something very close to them,” he said.
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