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24-year-old American sets her sights on Tommy Godwin’s record, set in 1940

 

Amanda Coker has set a new record for the greatest distance ever ridden in a year by any cyclist, male or female, after riding 86,573.2 miles in 12 months – and now has her eyes on eclipsing Tommy Godwin’s record of riding 100,000 miles in the shortest time.

The 24-year-old’s 12 months of riding, which finished on Sunday, saw her smash the Guinness World Record under Ultra Marathon Cycling Association Rules of 76,076 miles previously held by Kurt Searvogel by more than 10,000 miles.

> Amanda Coker breaks Kurt Searvogel's Year record - with 40 days to spare

It was riding with Searvogel at Flatwoods Park close to her home in Tampa Bay, Florida that inspired Coker to undertake her own attempt at the record.

Since setting off on 15 May 2016, Coker rode an average of 237.19 miles a day, steadily increasing her daily mileage throughout the year.

On Friday, with two more days of the year to go, she rode 302 miles, breaking her previous daily record of 277 miles.

But to borrow an analogy from cricket, her final day’s ride was very much one of batting for the average as she put in 237.5 miles.

Besides beating Searvogel’s record, set in 2015, she also knocked Billie Fleming’s record for the greatest distance ridden by a woman in a year out of sight with months to spare.

Perhaps the most remarkable part of Coker’s story is the fact that she only returned to cycling in 2015 after sustaining a brain injury when she was hit by a driver while out cycling with her father in 2011.

Her riding was confined to laps of a circuit at Flatwoods Park, leading some to argue that her record cannot be compared with the 75,065 miles ridden by Tommy Godwin in 1939.

But it’s an astonishing achievement, and British rider Steve Abraham, who earlier this year set out on his third attempt at the Year record, has given Coker his full backing.

In February, he wrote: “I don't think she has it as easy as lot of people think. The circuit she rides is known locally as ‘The Windy Woods’, because it isn't that well sheltered from the wind.

> Steve Abraham’s latest attempt on Year record begins

“I could easily do a similar amount of climbing to Amanda by staying in the Fens.

“The problem with that is the wind. Any wind over 5mph lowers the speed too much.”

Ian Dille from Bicycling.com joined Coker for a day’s riding last week as she came to the end of her 12 months of riding, and had no doubt that she is “for real” as he wrote about her endeavour.

And now, she wants to carry on riding to hit 100,000 miles. The record is currently held by Godwin, who had set off on his Year attempt on 1 January 1939 and eventually finished his ride after hitting six figures in May 1940.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

38 comments

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Yorkshire wallet [1080 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

So is this basically her job then?

 

Life of Riley.

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RobD [412 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

An incredible effort, at what point does she actually stop? Once she's broken the 100,000 miles mark is she going to take some time to relax?

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ChrisB200SX [359 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I don't want to seem all leftie but could we stop this please?
"greatest distance ever ridden in a year by any cyclist, male or female,"

It makes you sound sexist, this would have sufficed, simpler and quicker to read:
"greatest distance ever ridden in a year by a cyclist"

Would you use the former if it was a bloke?
Anyway, amazing achievement for a human, even more astounding after what she's been through.

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BehindTheBikesheds [326 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Amazing amount of effort and well done to her but can we please stop comparing her efforts with Godwin's, they are two vastly differing attempts/records, please can we seperate the two.

In fact KS didn't break Godwins most miles in 365 days record like he thinks he did.

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Freddy56 [244 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

4 haters above.

 

FANTASTIC stuff girl. More power to ya

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Yorkshire wallet [1080 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Wish I could ride all day but sadly I have a thing called a job and another thing called a family, both together take up most of my day.

As a said life of Riley. I bet we all wish we could do what we pleased, it's not hating, more jealousy. This said, I don't think my arse would like me if I did that sort of mileage.  

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davel [1242 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Freddy56 wrote:

4 haters above.

 

FANTASTIC stuff girl. More power to ya

Behave.

Aiming for a particular record is an exercise in comparison between the efforts involved in itself; that Joe Public compares them is inevitable. I've seen a bit of 'hating' the game (rules/recognition), not the player.

Still an awesome effort.

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BehindTheBikesheds [326 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Freddy56 wrote:

4 haters above.

 

FANTASTIC stuff girl. More power to ya

just lol. learn to read and understand basic comprehension!

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kitkat [427 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

It's a great achievement to do that much riding - well done Amanda!

The article is worth reading but badly linked above: http://www.bicycling.com/rides/records/is-amanda-coker-for-real

I think the article gives some good context for the record

I am happy this is done in an anything goes style of UMCA but a more convential approach  record such as used by Tommy Goodwin should be equally valid

 

 

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Paul__M [33 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

The quality of Goodwin's record was proven by the time it stood.

The 'awesomeness' of Amanda's record is that it's so far it's got to discourage all comers. Fair enough to mention gender, it a notable facet of the record, even if not a major one. I think a good PR could get her plenty sponsors for the 100k on the back of that alone, but that doesn't seem to be her motivation, which only increases respect.

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Rapha Nadal [499 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Has she ridden the same course, day in, day out to acheive this record?

If so then she should also be applauded for her mental strength alongside the distance! I don't think that I could stomach the same route all day every day.

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Jackson [334 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Not having a go but simply based on his current averages on Strava Steve Abraham hasn't got a s***show of beating this. This is an absolutely immense ride. The commenters saying if only they didn't have a job they'd be out there having a crack at this aren't fooling anyone. 

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hoski [89 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I don't honestly believe Tommy achieved that mileage. Call me cynical but the evidence just isn't sufficient to get on one's high horse about whether Kurt or Amanda's achievments are within "the spirit" of the year records. That said, it was all we had and it was the record.

 

As far as I am concerned, Steve is a hero for inspiring these attempts, Kurt for breaking the record, Kajsa for breaking the women's record  her generally awesomeness, and Amanda is clearly superhuman. 

 

If I had even a tenth of their audacity and commitment I'd be happy.

 

If you want to diminish Amanda's achievement, go and ride a three speed SA equipped bike for a year or GET IN THE SEA.

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Simon_MacMichael [2481 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

ChrisB200SX wrote:

I don't want to seem all leftie but could we stop this please?
"greatest distance ever ridden in a year by any cyclist, male or female,"

It makes you sound sexist, this would have sufficed, simpler and quicker to read:
"greatest distance ever ridden in a year by a cyclist"

Would you use the former if it was a bloke?

No we wouldn't, and I doubt any other media outlet would.

The words were chosen deliberately to emphasise her achievement.

Sorry if you think that makes us sound sexist.

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Carton [374 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Great job Amanda! What a great story and what a great ride! That mark will be tough to beat. 

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Woldsman [122 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

If there is anyone out there interested in this topic who isn't aware of 'The Year' can I recommend the book?  It's currently in hardback for a tenner or a quid for the Kindle version. 

Dave Barter tweeted today that he won't be publishing an update to his book.  All of these recent attempts and records set are astonishing achievements, but those who started all this before the Second World War are worth finding more about, I reckon. 

 

 

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davel [1242 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
hoski wrote:

I don't honestly believe Tommy achieved that mileage. Call me cynical but the evidence just isn't sufficient to get on one's high horse about whether Kurt or Amanda's achievments are within "the spirit" of the year records. That said, it was all we had and it was the record.

 

As far as I am concerned, Steve is a hero for inspiring these attempts, Kurt for breaking the record, Kajsa for breaking the women's record  her generally awesomeness, and Amanda is clearly superhuman. 

 

If I had even a tenth of their audacity and commitment I'd be happy.

 

If you want to diminish Amanda's achievement, go and ride a three speed SA equipped bike for a year or GET IN THE SEA.

Fook me. Where to begin with this one.

You exhibit maximum cynicism towards Goodwin's record but won't have any expressed towards Coker.

Also, you're only qualified to have an opinion about stuff you've done: really? Those expressing a view about the Prime Minister. You'd better be Theresa May or GET IN THE SEA.

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mike the bike [900 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Simon_MacMichael wrote:

[No we wouldn't, and I doubt any other media outlet would.

The words were chosen deliberately to emphasise her achievement.

Sorry if you think that makes us sound sexist.

 

Despite the whingeing of the permanently offended there is nothing even remotely sexist about reporting  the considerable physical achievement of a member of the weaker sex.

If, perhaps, she had knocked out Tyson Fury in a world championship bout, would it still be unpardonable to mention her gender?

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ChrisB200SX [359 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Simon_MacMichael wrote:
ChrisB200SX wrote:

I don't want to seem all leftie but could we stop this please?
"greatest distance ever ridden in a year by any cyclist, male or female,"

It makes you sound sexist, this would have sufficed, simpler and quicker to read:
"greatest distance ever ridden in a year by a cyclist"

Would you use the former if it was a bloke?

No we wouldn't, and I doubt any other media outlet would.

The words were chosen deliberately to emphasise her achievement.

Sorry if you think that makes us sound sexist.

Fair enough, I appreciate what you were trying achieve, just sounds a bit like "that's quite good... even though she's a girl" if you know what I mean? Some of the facts preclude the others, maybe it just annoys me that it's stating the same thing twice, unnecessarily.
Maybe a better way to emphasis would be to simply state how much she had eclipsed the woman's record by?

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ChrisB200SX [359 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
mike the bike wrote:

Despite the whingeing of the permanently offended there is nothing even remotely sexist about reporting  the considerable physical achievement of a member of the weaker sex.

If, perhaps, she had knocked out Tyson Fury in a world championship bout, would it still be unpardonable to mention her gender?

Haha, I'm rarely offended  1
Fairer sex may be OK, but "weaker sex", that will offend some, won't it? If you don't mind offending people with poorly chosen words that's fine. I'm sure we all do it, hopefully by accident most of the time.

Mentioning her sex is just fact nothing wrong with that, but going out of the way to highlight it just seems like there is a sexist agenda behind it, could just be how I read it though.
If someone said I'm quite good on a bike for a short-arse, I'd take that as implying I couldn't be good because being short is some sort of disability. Like being female is some sort of barrier to riding a bike further than anyone has ever been recorded before.

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Leviathan [2558 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

133225 miles needed next time for the perfect Eddington number.

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Joeinpoole [441 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Sorry but this 'record' is not even remotely comparable to Goodwin's achievements ... irrespective of the gender of the rider. 

What comes next? Someone (of either gender) riding training rollers in an air-conditioned room for a year?

Let Amanda get out on the actual road, in real British weather conditions, over a full season in *all* weathers, with whatever support she can beg/borrow/steal on a tiny budget ... and then let's see how she gets on.

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Jackson [334 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

Sorry but this 'record' is not even remotely comparable to Goodwin's achievements ... irrespective of the gender of the rider. 

What comes next? Someone (of either gender) riding training rollers in an air-conditioned room for a year?

Let Amanda get out on the actual road, in real British weather conditions, over a full season in *all* weathers, with whatever support she can beg/borrow/steal on a tiny budget ... and then let's see how she gets on.

Godwin has loads of sponsors, nice smooth new roads and guys to draft behind. His was a good effort but he's been beaten, and beaten by 16 thousand kilometres.

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davel [1242 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Jackson wrote:
Joeinpoole wrote:

Sorry but this 'record' is not even remotely comparable to Goodwin's achievements ... irrespective of the gender of the rider. 

What comes next? Someone (of either gender) riding training rollers in an air-conditioned room for a year?

Let Amanda get out on the actual road, in real British weather conditions, over a full season in *all* weathers, with whatever support she can beg/borrow/steal on a tiny budget ... and then let's see how she gets on.

Godwin has loads of sponsors, nice smooth new roads and guys to draft behind. His was a good effort but he's been beaten, and beaten by 16 thousand kilometres.

...and minus thousands of metres.

Anyone who rides a bike or even watches the TdF knows it isn't just about the horizontal distance; leaving the vertical out of comparisons is silly. Them's the rules, but the rules is an ass.

Avatar
Jackson [334 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
davel wrote:
Jackson wrote:
Joeinpoole wrote:

Sorry but this 'record' is not even remotely comparable to Goodwin's achievements ... irrespective of the gender of the rider. 

What comes next? Someone (of either gender) riding training rollers in an air-conditioned room for a year?

Let Amanda get out on the actual road, in real British weather conditions, over a full season in *all* weathers, with whatever support she can beg/borrow/steal on a tiny budget ... and then let's see how she gets on.

Godwin has loads of sponsors, nice smooth new roads and guys to draft behind. His was a good effort but he's been beaten, and beaten by 16 thousand kilometres.

...and minus thousands of metres.

Anyone who rides a bike or even watches the TdF knows it isn't just about the horizontal distance; leaving the vertical out of comparisons is silly. Them's the rules, but the rules is an ass.

Any future attempts on the record should be made in the rugged mountains of England's south-eastern alpine region. 

Avatar
davel [1242 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
Jackson wrote:
davel wrote:
Jackson wrote:
Joeinpoole wrote:

Sorry but this 'record' is not even remotely comparable to Goodwin's achievements ... irrespective of the gender of the rider. 

What comes next? Someone (of either gender) riding training rollers in an air-conditioned room for a year?

Let Amanda get out on the actual road, in real British weather conditions, over a full season in *all* weathers, with whatever support she can beg/borrow/steal on a tiny budget ... and then let's see how she gets on.

Godwin has loads of sponsors, nice smooth new roads and guys to draft behind. His was a good effort but he's been beaten, and beaten by 16 thousand kilometres.

...and minus thousands of metres.

Anyone who rides a bike or even watches the TdF knows it isn't just about the horizontal distance; leaving the vertical out of comparisons is silly. Them's the rules, but the rules is an ass.

Any future attempts on the record should be made in the rugged mountains of England's south-eastern alpine region. 

How very droll.

You have two friends. Matey A goes for a long ride through the Cheshire plains one weekend,  plots a course to avoid hills as he's no climber, does around 110 miles with 1,500 feet of climbing. Flatter than a witch's proverbial.

Matey B, same weekend, does the Fred Whitton. 110 miles and 11,000 feet.

Same thing, to you: yes?

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Jackson [334 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Dude just set up the Commonwealth Ultra Marathon Cycling Association Rules and be done with it. It's not worth getting this upset over. 

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davel [1242 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I don't see anybody getting upset, you big silly.

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papermaaker [8 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Well done to Amanda BUT can't be compared with Tommy Godwin's world year record was achieved in a Calendar year and not on a modern bike ( carbon,aluminium or titanim) with 20 plus gears. Nevererless an amazing feat of both strong mental and physical achievement to ride that distance. We should not try to compare records or achievements from decades ago. Was Messi better than George Best? Best palyed on muddy pitches against some hard players and survived. Messi never plays on a pitch that isn't perfectly manicured. no comparison.

BUT well done again to Amanda.

 

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SingleSpeed [314 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Amazing amount of effort and well done to her but can we please stop comparing her efforts with Godwin's, they are two vastly differing attempts/records, please can we seperate the two.

 

You are absolutely correct, Amanda didn't have a two riders leading out for her for at least the first half of her attempt nor did she spend the most part of her ride riding up and down empty flat A-Roads.

 

Oh yes, and attitudes have thankfully evolved since the time of Godwin.

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