Adam Jones, WFH Contributing Author
Saturday May 2, 2015.
Put that date in your calendar.
Done it? Good, now I can tell you why you needed to do that. Two fellow people with hemophilia performed some amazing feats of physical, emotional, and mental stamina; and one of them will be going all out for some time to come.
The first feat to be attempted was the World Record for cycling’s ‘perfect hour, i.e, how far one can cycle in 60 minutes. This was at the Velodrome in Manchester, UK. Professional cyclist and person with severe haemophilia A, Alex Dowsett, took on this momentous challenge It is his goal to be the greatest cyclist he can be and at the same time change the perceptions that society has about people with hemophilia. He believes all people with hemophilia can and should be able to compete at the same level as other professional athletes, and he makes a good point, you just have to look at the outcome of his attempt.
The perfect hour dates back to 1876 when American Frank Dobbs managed to cycle 26.508 Km on, believe it or not, a penny farthing (see image below). In 1893 Henri Desgrange (the same man who organized the first Tour de France) set a new record. This prestigious record in cycling has constantly been challenged and bettered over the years and on February 8, 2015 Australian Rohan Dennis became the record holder with a distance of 52.491 Km. Yes, that’s not a typographical error, it really does say 52.491 Km; and yes, it was all done in 60 minutes.
That last paragraph was correct as of May 1, 2015, because as of May 2, 2015, (yes, you’ve guessed it) Alex Dowsett, person with hemophilia and aerodynamic powerhouse, smashed it. He now stands as the present title holder with an amazing distance of 52.937 Km in just 60 minutes. Later this year a number of other attempts to break this record are scheduled, including by the previous title holder, Rohan Dennis, and Sir Bradley Wiggins. On June 7, 2015 Sir Bradley Wiggins went on to break Alex’s time, but fret not because Alex has not ruled out an attempt to regain the title.