TIME TRAVELLER: Lachlan Davis after his Innisfail- to-Cairns ride.
TIME TRAVELLER: Lachlan Davis after his Innisfail- to-Cairns ride. Contributed

Cyclist looks to smash Gladstone to Rockhampton record

LACHLAN Davis is smashing records across the country - but there's a good chance you've never heard of him.

The 31-year-old Sunshine Coast farmer is looking to revive the long-lost sport of city-to-city cycling, after discovering a treasure trove of unbroken records dating back to the 1800s.

His next conquest is Cecil Parker's 1947 Gladstone to Rockhampton effort of 4 hours, 36 minutes and 28 seconds.

Mr Davis, who restores vintage bikes as a hobby, came across an old newspaper article last year documenting an early city-to-city record attempt.

"It just sort of caught my interest and the more I looked, the more I found out," he said.

"In the '20s and '30s city-to-city records were all the rage. The top riders were household names, people would turn out at 1am just to see them.

"They were superhuman. There was a guy called Hubert Opperman - he did Perth to Sydney before there was even a road, let alone a sealed road.

"People can't even come close to matching it now."

 

OLD-SCHOOL COOL: Cecil Parker on his 1947 record-setting run.
OLD-SCHOOL COOL: Cecil Parker on his 1947 record-setting run. Contributed

Mr Davis has since spent hours trawling through old reports in the National Archives, compiling a list of the records.

In June he broke the Innisfail to Cairns record by just shy of two minutes.

"I managed to track down the person who set that record in 1953... he's 86 and remembers every detail of it," he said.

"He was astonished that anyone even remembered it, let alone was interested in it."

Unlike most record holders, Mr Davis wants others to break the records he sets this year.

"It's all about reviving this sport for me," he said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if someone goes and breaks the records I set and I'd love that.

"I'm certainly not a Tour de France-type rider but with modern bikes and sealed roads it makes all the difference."

While past record-setters had to sign in at post offices along the way, Mr Davis has decided GPS is a more modern way to track each attempt.

He will set off from the Gladstone Post Office on Goondoon St at 4.30am on Sunday and is aiming to arrive at the old post office in Rockhampton between 7.30-8am.

With showers and headwinds forecast for Sunday morning, Mr Davis said one of the main challenges he faced was avoiding cramps.

This is especially the case given the lack of time he has had for training, due to his full-time job, a three-year-old daughter and a second child due in December.

"That's why I'm getting a whole lot of my record attempts done this year," Mr Davis said.

"I told my wife it could be worse. I could be out buying motorbikes."



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