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British contender now 200 miles ahead of Godwin's pace...

After just 12 days of his attempt to beat Tommy Godwin's record for the most distance ridden in a year, Steve Abraham is 204.4 miles ahead of Godwin's 1939 schedule.

Since setting off on on January 1, Abraham has covered 2,198.4 miles, yesterday pounding out 182.4 miles from Milton Keynes to Fleet Hargate in Lincolnshire and back.

By January 12 1939, Tommy Godwin had ridden 1,994 miles, leading some of Abraham's followers on Strava to joke that he can now afford to take a day off.

His relentless pace has also inspired Chuck Norris-style jokes. Abraham doesn't have a resting heart rate, said one of his support team, because he's always riding his bike. When Steve rides, he stays still and the earth rotates, said another follower.

Two other riders are also having a crack at the Year Record under auspices of the UltraMarathon Cycling Association (UMCA). William 'IronOx' Pruett started on January 4 and is currently doing multiple short rides each day, with a plan of piling on the milage later in the year. With a total of 315 miles so far, he's not putting any pressure on Abraham yet.

The third contender for the record, Kurt 'Tarzan' Searvogel kicked off his attempt with a storming first day on January 10, clocking up 231 miles. After three days, his tally stands at 603 miles, well ahead of his plan to cover about 170 miles per day at the start of the record. As Field Marshall Helmuth Von Moltke said, no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

In 1939, Godwin also got off to a flying start with an opening day ride of 234 miles and a total of 623 miles in his first three days. By the end of January he had clocked up 4,773 miles, for a daily average of 154 miles.

If they carry on at their current rate, both Abraham and Searvogel should be well on track to break Godwin's record by the end of their first month.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.