2nd September 2017

A Guernseyman cycled to Herm

What’s the quickest way from Guernsey to Herm? Most people would take the regular Trident ferry service, but on 3 September 2017, Graham Glass decided to try another way.

He cycled the three miles (4.75km) between the islands on a sea cycle called Boaty McBikeface. The crossing took a very respectable 40 minutes, which isn’t much more than twice what the ferry takes.

Engineering the bike boat

The bike was a cross between a boat and a regular cycle, with a hull underneath, a prow up front and, at the back, a pair of pedal-driven paddles. The actual driving mechanism was a regular bike, which had had its front wheel removed so it could be fixed in place.

In the boat’s final tests before the crossing attempt, Glass achieved a top speed of 4.5 miles an hour.

Glass became the first person ever to have travelled between the islands in that particular manner and, in the process, he raised funds for the Sarah Groves Foundation.

He was part of the Tour de Sez long-distance cycling group, which annually cycles the 750 miles from St Malo to Amsterdam to raise money for the foundation. In its first year, 2014, fifty cyclists took part.

The Boaty McBikeface endeavour was an extension of that effort.


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