CyclingTips' Ronan McLaughlin Breaks Record by Riding 230km in 5 Hours 14 Minutes

Sep 29, 2022 at 19:13
by Brian Park  

Yeah, yeah, it's not MTB, but Ronan McLaughlin from our sister site CyclingTips just broke a 60-year-old record for riding between Derry and Dublin that's too wild not to share. I'm not sure what's more impressive, the inhuman effort of holding an average of 43km/h, or the ability to ride a time trial bike for five hours. Massive congrats Ronan!

Author Info:
brianpark avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2010
207 articles

  • 196 24
 No worries - it’s not MTB but it has more in common with MTB than e biking.
  • 30 72
flag BenPea (Sep 30, 2022 at 0:58) (Below Threshold)
 I understand the concept of the zeal of the convert, but you're way off. What's the difference between DH and gravity ebiking? And guess what world cup riders use for trading. I'll wait.
  • 27 6
 @BenPea: they use road bikes to build base miles/fitness, gym for strength and conditioning and DH bikes.
  • 44 26
 I took a quick sample of riders (industry shills right?), because I like to deal in facts not feelings. I used to be an e-hater too. But nothing is black and white. Nothing. So:

@gramboh: Danny Hart:
Bernard Kerr:
"Bernard says he uses his ebike more than any other bike in his collection, in fact, he rode it 4 days in a row before our visit. He was anti-emtb when they were first gaining popularity but has been a convert for a few years now. He mainly uses the bike as a training tool and says that a 1.5 hour ride is enough to tire him out, mainly from the amount of descending he can bag in that time."
"The eBike came into my life in lockdown. This was a tool that I can train on, do twice the distance on this mountain, get to the top three or four times, and get more downhilling out of it. There's no better way to ride than being able to ride most days on a bike that's so similar to a downhill bike."

"Normally, on a muddy trail ride, you do two runs and cry on the way home. But e-bikes allow us to do 10 runs and leave us grinning all the way home. We also got a lot more downhill for our time. I think it's almost a necessity now in downhill training"
  • 25 16
 that’s right! Anything with a motor is not representative of its non-motorized original.
An electric toothbrush, a toothbrush? Dental floss has more in common with a tooth brush than that, mate!
An electric coffee grinder? Not a coffee grinder in my book unless it has a manual crank.
Electric guitar? A bloody violin has more in common with an acoustic guitar pal. Get it yet?
  • 26 2
 @BenPea: A bee doesn't waste its time trying to tell a fly that flowers taste better than sh*t..... (I fully expect a torrent of downvotes!)
  • 11 22
flag BenPea (Sep 30, 2022 at 2:46) (Below Threshold)
 @bigtim: Well this bee has too much time on its hands. I'd say that preferring to ride road than e-mtb is as close to scatophilia as it gets in the mountain bike world.

@rookie100: ha! Interesting angle. It's like all the people who believe you can't make real music on a computer. Hands up via a downvote chaps!
  • 23 6
 Why rip on something that allows all people to enjoy riding? All things 2 wheels are awesome unless your just being intentionally narrow minded??
  • 21 16
 Riding an E-bike is like anal sex. It might be a little uncomfortable and embarrassing at first but once you get going, you're going to love it.
  • 10 8
 @scott-townes: More like riding a moped. You can have fun doing it, but you wouldn't want your mates to see you.
  • 6 4
 @JiminOz: Oh great, PB coming in hot with the middle school jokes again.
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: I've got another, but it's not getting typed out here....not by me
  • 3 4
 @scott-townes: best advice your mum ever gave you I bet.....
  • 29 3

The biggest problem with motorassisted bike is that historically the fitness requirement of Mtb has limited the people on trails and those who were out riding gradually improved or were slowly introduced to the sport, backcountry and got to know the rules / guidelines of proper riding and behaviour on trails step by step.

Now with Ebikes this natural selector / limiter of participants and their range is gone forever. This has presented a lot of problems, maybe not in countries with low population density and lots of land but in densely populated and highly regulated European countries motor-assisted bikes are like fertiliser for existing problems and conflicts of different outdoor user groups.

The pros or veteran riders on ebikes are not a problem and they can ride all they want, they'd still be out on the trails with shuttles/lifts without ebikes. It`s the rapidly growing newcomers with no Mtb background whatsoever who have to be informed and guided in the right direction since else all mtb riders (assisted or not) will be sanctioned rather quickly in these places.
  • 12 1
 @BenPea: All good points for sure. It’s not about hating ebikes - it’s about recognizing that human propelled cycling is different from assisted cycling.
  • 7 1
 @darkstar66: say that again after you have a near-miss (or collision) with someone ripping up a trail on a eMTB that’s historically only been ridden down (just happened to a friend of mine)
  • 2 5
 @wildedge586: I don't disagree with any of that.
@cirque4: 100%, but it's very very close to normal mountain biking (think 500cc vs. 250cc moto). Especially if you consider the downhill aspects (the reason I ride). Watch Vergier or Hart on an e-bike in their videos, you can see how similar it rides to a DH bike but around 4-5 kg heavier (top of the line Trek Rail for e.g.). Planted.
Like normal mtb, it's a million miles away from road biking. In a good way.
  • 1 2
 @scott-townes: Dude...hysterical!!
  • 1 5
flag rookie100 (Sep 30, 2022 at 10:22) (Below Threshold)
 @wildedge586: you sound like the kind of person who make a ski resort ‘for skiers only’ - no snowboards because ‘people learn it too fast’ and they ‘skid all the snow off’.
There are so many different places where it makes more sense NOT to have an e-bike. Perhaps, given your prejudices, you should ride in those places more often? And if you can’t find those places then, perhaps it is very similar to mtb after all.
  • 8 0

France is blessed with lots of land AND mountains and rather bike friendly local people, so maybe ebikes don't present the same problems there, yet.

But your comparison to skiing is somewhat tilted, snowboards are cool but would you be cool with people backcountry skiing with skiing- exoskeletons and oxygen which would enable nearly every couchpotatoe skier to go down Mont Blanc 5 times a day. Then maybe even the vast french alpine backcountry skiing would get crowded.....

and yes, I ride hike-a-bike alpine trails with lots of ascending bike on top of backpack in remote parts to get away from hot spots... but I ride and live in southern Germany for the last 20 years and and the development of conflicts and imminent danger of sanctions is real
  • 3 1
 @BenPea: when you are alone like that the best thing to do is stop talking
  • 1 3
 @pasteque51: Mais je t'emmerde mon petit. Quand on rien à dire on se tripote la nouille tout seul dans son coin et on fait pas chier les gens qui réfléchissent un minimum.
  • 4 0
 @wildedge586: You’re right, I live where there is space. And the over-crowding of natural places across the planet is depressing. But emtbs seem like such small potatoes compared to the existing tourism for regular mtbs; for beach holidays destroying coasts; for farms polluting rivers; for hunters’ rights over land; for airlines… the number of people using motor-assisted bikes in remote places is just the smallest issue the planet is facing, and complaining about that seems like misdirected energy to me.
  • 2 0
 @cirque4: Nah, it's all about hating e-mopeds...
  • 1 1
 @scott-townes: Guess that is something mopeders are in the know about!
Shade thrown...
  • 2 1
 @rookie100: If you think about how selfish and retarded the average person is, it shouldn't shock you that motorizing such a person and putting them on trail networks is going to make them a lot of enemies.
  • 2 2
 @sonuvagun: the problem is with the rider, not the (e)bike
  • 1 5
flag BenPea (Sep 30, 2022 at 23:55) (Below Threshold)
 @Tambo: "e-bikes don't kill people, people kill people", Charlton Heston.
  • 1 1
 @Tambo: I concur. But the rider is typically on a bike so :/
  • 1 0
 So true!
  • 39 1
 This guy also set the everesting record back when everyone was going for it. Completely insane.
  • 15 0
 That's pretty cool. The everesting world record for mountain running was also set by an Irish man a couple of months ago on Croagh Patrick. A mountain which Hans Rey and Peaty rode as part of their Irish pub trip video 15 years ago just in case anyone wants to watch a 144p quality throwback video where the two lads ride on the side of the Cliffs of Moher.

See, it doesn't take much to link it all back to mountain bikes.
  • 3 0
 Wow, I don't know what they're feeding the Irish over there but I want some. Now I can blame something other than myself for lack-lustre beer league CX race results.
  • 14 0
 @WE-NEED-MORE-ROOST: Lucky charms, potato and Guinness
  • 4 0
 no mention of what downcountry tyres were used......pah
  • 22 0
 It's cool, helluva an athlete, way above average but this kinda falls into that category of pretty good for a pretty good dude....but any top pro that had any reason to do this would be well under 5 hrs. Top pros like WVA are in the mid 300's W for an all out 4-5 hour classic, I'd guess this guy was high 200's. That comes across as negative, apologies, but just giving perspective. Awesome effort
  • 2 0
 was wondering what top level guys would do on 5 hour rides power wise. I don't follow road racing, are those guys riding road race bikes though? I thought it was harder to produce power in a TT position which is part of what makes this so crazy?
  • 22 0
 @gramboh: for amateur guys probably, for top pros, I doubt much difference between TT position vs drops. Not to mention a top guy like Wout if he was focused on a metered effort over 5 hours would probably be higher than 350, even if he lost 5%, he'd still be flying.

Here is Wout at Strada, 351 AVERAGE, NP would be quite a bit higher.....:

I feel bad for even bringing this up - the dude in the article is a stud and yeah, he's out getting *$(# done while I'm just there's that.
  • 12 1
 @RadBartTaylor: I think it's ok to give some perspective. It's hard to do without sounding a bit negative. We can all see that this is a cool achievement anyway.
  • 6 0
 @RadBartTaylor: idk I think watts can drop pretty substantially in a TT position due to closing up the hip angle. But if you reduce CdA more than you reduce your output you're still winning. Dan Bigham set the world hour record this year without crazy watts (350ish IIRC) because he was able to get insanely aerodynamic and minimize mechanical losses.

Thats not to say Remco Evenepoel couldn't come beat this record but considering this guy has also held the world everesting record I'm willing to bet this effort was considerably better than "pretty good".
  • 2 0
 It’s ok roadies love calling neighborhood crits “worlds”.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: some riders have deeper TT positions than other, so to your point there is the balance of watts to aero, but for a top pro I doubt its more than the 5% figure I threw out above.

Wout metered 5 hr effort, maybe ~350, assume 5% loss = 332 as a lowish guesstimate. Could he suffer in that position, maybe not...

Some guys are amazing at suffering - this dude gets an A+, which counts for something doesn't it?
  • 2 0
 He's retired now, but he was in the World Tour peloton. Of course not a household name, and not a top pro, but much closer to a top pro than a pretty good dude.
  • 1 0
 @pbandjam: and to top it off had a significant leg break earlier this year (or late last year). Plus he held (might still do, I can't remember) the Everest record for the quickest time to do it.

Definitely no slouch on a bike.
  • 20 0
 Honestly I think what's more impressive is the guy who set the record in the 60's! Aero stuff didn't exist back then like it does now so it was an insane mark he set
  • 1 0
 I heard he had a tailwind back then.
  • 19 2
 26.6 MPH average over 5 hours for my hamburger eating brethren. Absolutely insane, can't imagine the strength
  • 6 0
 Ol’ leather taint himself! That’s a crazy pace to maintain though, especially as a solo effort. How much elevation gain on his route?
  • 5 0
 He should drop in to lead draft for Mathew Fairbrother. They both cover the same distances!
  • 5 0
 I raced TT for a couple of seasons. Cat 4/5. PR was 40k in 60 minutes. I wanted to die when I was done. This is insane.
  • 2 0
 Didn't he have a massive tib/fib leg break earlier this year? To have recovered from that to then have the fitness for this effort is awesome. Congrats!
  • 2 0
 Insane ride, wow! From his bike computer at the end of the video, 262 watts (272 normalized) average power over 5h14m. Crazy.
  • 2 0
 Our skinny tire cousins do some amazing stuff. Though there are some crazy XCM guys out there with impressive numbers. Keegan’s White Rim FKT was 302W (weighted average, not sure of NP) for 5 hours 23 minutes I believe. I guess part of the challenge of the TT bike though is the contortionist pose for hours on end. That alone has got to be tough.
  • 4 0
 Absolutely ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 Although it makes me wonder what Remco etc could do.
  • 6 0
 Or the pro ironmen triathletes who frequently push low 4 hours for 180km while maintaining enough energy to run a marathon after!
  • 5 0
 @rrsport: after 180km at 110 rpm your legs run by themselves , c'mon.. ; ) haha
  • 2 1
 @rrsport: Yeah but they do those times on mostly flat and perfectly straight roads. Throw a few corners in and it’d be a bloodbath.
  • 3 1
 Even when I was 'fit' I'd struggle to maintain 200w for half an hour... WTF
  • 1 0
 Sssh, dont tell Ganna there's another TT record for him to go at after the hour. Congratuations on a stellar ride. Chapeau Sir.
  • 2 0
 impressive. But I I have to do is look at a time trial bike and it hurts my back.
  • 1 0
 "Honey, I'm going for a ride. It's only 230km, so I'll be back before lunch!"
  • 2 0
 I'd like to see a "Now & Then" Bike Check.
  • 1 0
 amazing, what a beast. Excellent pacing to have the average power and normalized power so close.
  • 1 1
 Insane ride... Why, 229km, though? Is there an imperial equivalent to that? Like a dozen stones of miles, or so?
  • 3 0
 The distance between Derry and Dublin...
  • 1 0
 The bit where he wasn't pedaling, yeah I could do that.
  • 1 0
 Yeah but where is his kashima....
  • 1 0
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