By Nigel Wynn
Nottingham-based rider Kajsa Tylen has just surpassed Billie Fleming's annual cycling mileage record, set in 1938.
The self-described 'Swedish-born pseudo-Brit' posted a video on YouTube of her and her support crew celebrating breaking through Fleming's 29,604-mile mark on Thursday after 329 days of riding. She celebrated the result with afternoon tea at the Hilton Nottingham, and videoed the celebration.
Tylen started the attempt on January 1 2016, so she still has over a month to clock up more miles.
Tylen is running her attempt under Guinness World Records rules, which stipulate – among other things – that she must use a commercially available, unmodified bicycle; no slipstreaming or drafting can take place; and any attempt must take place in view of the public.
Rather than undertake the ride for charity, Tylen has elected to use the challenge to try and encourage adults to get out and enjoy exercise. On her website, Tylen said that she led a sedentary lifestyle until the age of 26 when she started kickboxing. Since then, she has taken part in triathlons and run over all distances from 5km to marathons – as well as cycling.
Part of Tylen's inspiration is from the previous record holder, Bille Fleming, who would spend the day riding on her three-speed bike and then often give an inspirational talk on the health benefits of cycling to the public.
"My mission is to get adults active and to feel good about themselves, in order to set a good example for the next generation," wrote Tylen.
"So instead of asking people to donate money to a worthwhile cause, I want donations of SWEAT – a pledge to make a lifestyle change in 2016. The idea is that people make a pledge - an activity goal - and that is followed by their donations of minutes of sweat while training, and by the end of 2016 we will have a total of how many hours of exercise have been donated."
Tylen's annual mileage attempt is run under separate rules from that of American rider Amanda Coker, who set a new women's mileage record under Ultra Marathon Cycling Association regulations. Coker surpassed Fleming's mark in September after riding for 130 days. Under UMCA rules, Coker can use drafting.
American Kurt Searvogel set an outright annual mileage record in January, breaking Tommy Godwin's 1939 mark by setting 76,076 miles. Coker looks set to surpass this mark if she continues riding the same daily mileage as she has so far in her attempt.
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