In the 1880's the sport of cycling was booming in Great Britain, Europe and the USA. However, in Britain, cyclists came into conflict with the police (and horse-users) whilst racing on the public highway. The National Cyclists' Union, the governing body of the sport, took the decision to confine their activities to track racing.
There was still great interest in road riding, and in record breaking, and A J Wilson, President of the North Road Cycling Club, convened a meeting in 1888 at which the Road Records Association was founded, with the object of certifying the claims to record of male cyclists on the road.
The Association set high standards for the timing and authentication of records from its inception which continues to this day.
The Women's Road Record Association was formed in 1934, with a similar reputation for integrity. In 1989 both bodies merged as the Road Records Association, which continues to ratify records in a similar way to over 100 years ago.
The RRA does not organise record attempts and the onus is on the claimants to any record to provide evidence that the conditions laid down in the Rules have been satisfied.
Anyone can attempt to beat records, from full-time riders using the attempt to promote their sponsors, to ordinary club riders who wish to face a new challenge. Attempts must take place on the roads of Great Britain, but riders from overseas are equally welcome to try to set new records and over the years many have done so.
All kinds of people are interested in our Association. Some are cyclists who want to learn about the great riders of the past or maybe are planning an attempt themselves. Some are among our army of checkers and helpers, who turn out at all times of day and night to act as witnesses to record attempts. Some are people researching their family history, who want to learn more about the exploits of an ancestor. Whatever your reason for visiting we hope you enjoy what you find here and remember that behind every single record attempt listed here there is an amazing tale of human endeavour.
F T Bidlake, one of cycling's greatest administrators was a record breaker in the 1880's. Subsequently, he was in great demand as a timekeeper, and became the moving force to establish time-trialling as we know it today. A member of the RRA committee for many years, he was President from 1924 until his death in 1933. His ashes were scattered at Girtford Bridge on the Great North Road in Bedfordshire.
Now The Bidlake Memorial Garden.
A Brief History