All posts by James

John Woodburn

“John Woodburn is a most remarkable rider… notably the End-to-End record (Land’s End to John O’Groats) which he broke in 1982 at the age of 45.”

John Woodburn (born 1937), was a British road and time-trial cyclist,  who set the Land’s End to John O’ Groats (end-to-end) record in 1982 with a time of 1 day, 21 hours and 3 minutes, with an average speed of 18.828mph. He broke the existing record by 96 minutes. 

And guess what? He rode the the 848 miles on a Stan Pike. Actually, two Stan Pike bikes were used*.

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A postcard sent by John Woodburn to Stan Pike on completion of the record-breaking ride

Click on the extracts from Cycling, May 12, 1984 to read about his epic cycle ride.

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A film by Ray Pascoe, John Woodburn: 2 days and 2 nights Revisited, is available on DVD here. There are several shots of Stan and a closing shot of him with the record breaking bike at the end.

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Stan Pike with the record-breaking bike he built for John Woodburn

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John’s time was beaten by Andy Wilkinson in October 1990 by less than two minutes. The record is now 44 hours, 4 minutes and 20 seconds, set by Gethin Butler in 2001 when he cycled a route of 840 miles.

John added to his long list of achievements by winning the RTTC’s national 12-hour championship on a Stan Pike…

JW_3 Sept 1983 Cycling Mag 12 hour champ

*Two frames were made for the record breaking event. One broke (and we think was later repaired and returned to John), and the other is owned by the Pike family. Both frames were made from Reynolds 753.

There have been a number of frames advertised for sale with descriptions such as:
“It is the same build as the John Woodburn frame that he rode on his End-to-End

The Pike name will forever be linked to the Woodburn record. When people advertise a frame with the description “same build” as the record-breaking bike, they own a Stan Pike frame, built by Stan Pike, but not a replica of the Woodburn frame.  No replicas of the John Woodburn frames were ever built.

John passed away, aged 80, on Friday 15th April 2017.

SP 21545

Jack Wood got in touch  and said…

I have had my Pike for roughly 3 years. It was passed on to me from my dad who I’m pretty sure bought it from a small local bike shop in Newton Abbot, South Devon some time around 1995.

The BB is stamped with “SP 21545” along with the name “COLIN URQUHART” who I can only presume was the original customer. I don’t know anything about the frame tubing or age, but it has Shimano drop outs, a fastback seat cluster and trefoil piercings in the pointed lugs.

The frame, as I recall was in good physical condition with a bit of a mix of kit on it that my dad set about in most part replacing with quality second hand (near-ish period correct) components. He aquired a number of other quality vintage road bikes in the next decade and a bit, including a high end Pinarello and a USA Team Raleigh but continued to use the Pike on a very regular bases as his main bike, riding in and around devon and Dartmoor on it (including, I think, a 200km audax).

When I got my hands on the Pike in 2010 I kept it as my dad had it for roughly a year, in which time I completed a 24-hour London to Paris ride as well as roughly 1000 km of training and fun, then started slowly refurbishing the frame and updating the kit. I have now updated all but the stem, bars (both Cinelli) and seatpost (campag) to Campag Athena (alloy), a Fulcrum wheel set and a remake San Marco Concor saddle. I also had the frame resprayed in the original mid brunswick green by Argos in Bristol a year and half ago.

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The bike rides very nicely and is a lot of fun. It was always a lively bike (without being harsh or uncomfortable) with seat tube and head tube angles of 73 and 74 degrees respectively and a reasonably tight rear triangle, but the new wheels have added a more instant reaction to changes of pace and climbing. I’m currently living in Seoul and spend a lot of my ride time heading up or down one or another of the various mountains in and around the city. Most of the local guys that I ride with are on top end modern carbon bikes (and probably think I’m a bit of an oddity) and safely keeping up with them on the winding descents required a much higher performing set of brake callipers than I had previously on the Stan, so this was another of the main reasons for the updating.

I plan to take a ride out to Crewkerne when we return to the UK (hopefully Bristol) in a couple of years. May be even getting the bike back to as close as possible to its place of creation as possible if I can find an address for Stan’s old workshop.

I cycled to Richmond park last summer to watch the men’s Olympic road race and just as we found our chosen viewing point I was rushed at by a very excited young man shouting “STAN PIKE”. Turns out he had hunted down and bought a Stan Pike frame after reading about him on line and was in the process of returning it to its former period correct glory. And on a number of other occasions I have had strangers come up and comment in a knowledgeable way about the bike and Stan.

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