Kurt 'Tarzan' Searvogel, the American contender in the race to break Tommy Godwin's record for the most miles ridden in a year, gave himself a special Valentine's Day present on Saturday when he logged the longest day of the challengers so far, with a 263-mile ride.
On February 14, Searvogel took part in the Bike Sebring 12-Hourat Florida's Sebring International Raceway, taking just over 12 hours to bring his year-to-date total to 7219.2 miles. He banged out another 200 the following day and is aiming for the same today.
But it's not all relentless miles. Searvogel took a rest day on February 13 and only rode 120 miles. Only. Hands up everyone who's already ridden a century this year? Yeah, not many.
Meanwhile Britain's Steve 'Teethgrinder' Abraham has continued to punch out steady 170-200 miles days in recent weeks and now sits at 8617.3 miles. He has a ten-day head start on Searvogel making comparisons between the two tricky, but Searvogel is now well ahead of Abraham's pace. After 37 days the American has ridden over 500 miles more than the Briton did in the same period.
Of course, Searvogel is currently blessed with mild Florida 'winter' weather (it's 23 °C in Miami at the time of writing) while Abraham has had to battle wind, rain, cold and even a little snow in the last six weeks.
Who knows how things will unfold during the summer?
The recognised mark for the greatest distance ridden in a year was set in 1939 by Tommy Godwin. He went on to set a record for the shortest time to cover 100,000 miles and after learning how to walk again joined the RAF.
The Year Record is now run under auspices of the Ultramarathon Cycling Association and there are two serious contenders taking a stab at Godwin's record.
For those who love a good spreadsheet (and who doesn't, really?) Abraham's crew chief Chris Hopkinson Abraham's and Searvogel's progress against Godwin's record.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.