Strava 'heat map' shows the routes Steve Abraham took during his Highest Annual Mileage Record attempt
- Interview by Max Leonard; Photos by George Marshall/Strava
A map of all of the rides Steve Abraham did during his cycling Highest Annual Mileage Record attempt has been produced courtesy of cyclists’ social network Strava. Newly-released photos taken by George Marshall also give an insight into Abraham’s genuinely epic endeavour.
The amazing ‘heat map’ of Abraham’s rides shows that he rode in pretty much every corner of England and Wales, and how frequently he visited certain areas. From the tip of Cornwall, to Snowdonia, to the Lake District and countless times around the Midlands.
Abraham decided to draw his record attempt to a close on January 21 after failing to hit his mileage target.
Originally, he was aiming to beat the long-standing 1939 record set by fellow British rider Tommy Godwin of 75,065 miles, but a new mark was set in early January by American Kurt Searvogel of 76,076 miles.
“I had a schedule to ride to, to get the record, and I’m just not doing enough,” Abraham said when he announced that he would be ending his attempt.
“I’m getting further and further behind and I don’t think there’s any way I can get back on it again.”
Abraham now says that he feels he never really got into his stride. “I’ve never felt like I’ve got up to speed during the whole attempt, I’ve never felt like I’ve been going well,” he said.
“I didn’t start [the whole attempt] fit – I was doing 16 hours flat out on the computer every day just so I could get to ride. The original plan was I’d get fit during the attempt, but I think there was never enough recovery time because of the lack of speed, right from the start.
“If I was fitter when I started it and could have gone a bit faster, I would have got more sleep at the start and recovered more. That’s what I think would have happened, but we don’t actually know.
“It’s basic training: you don’t get fit from exercise, you get fit from recovery, and there just wasn’t enough recovery.”
Abraham’s original attempt was to have run from January 1 2015 until December 31 2015, but a collision with a moped in March left him with a broken ankle. Abraham recons that incident cost him 10,000 miles.
He then reset his attempt to run from August 2015 to August 2016, but called it a day in January.
Despite Abraham’s enforced lay-off in the spring due to his injury, he still managed to post the fourth largest distance ever cycling in a year at the end of 2015 – 63,608 miles – and the furthest cycled by anyone in the 18-39 year old category. Searvogel is 53.
Abraham has nothing but praise for Searvogel and his new record. “I’m really glad he’s got the record. With everything he’s put into it, it would be a shame if he didn’t break it.
“There’s no point me being bitter about it. But if I can’t do it, that’s fair enough. That’s bad luck.”
Steve Abraham logged his rides and kept followers up to date on Strava, the social network for athletes. You can give Steve Kudos or comment on his last three-hour midnight ride, in recognition of his extraordinary effort, here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/1419435