American ultracyclist set to beat 75,065 miles ridden by Tommy Godwin in 1939

Kurt Searvogel poised to surpass ‘unbreakable’ Year record

Barring a last-minute hitch, the American ultracyclist Kurt Searvogel will today surpass the ‘unbreakable’ record for the greatest distance ridden in a year, set by the British rider Tommy Godwin in 1939, when he rode 75,065 miles.

The rider, aged 53, has around 140 more miles to ride to break the record and will do so with five days to spare, having set off on 10 January last year.

That was 10 days after the UK’s Steve Abraham set out on his own attempt on Godwin’s record, but his plans received a huge setback in late March when he was hit by a scooter rider.

The time he took to fully recover and the riding time he lost as a result put the record out of reach during 2015, although on 8 August, once he had regained full fitness, he launched a second attempt.

London-based bike mechanic Bruce Berkeley is also having a crack at the record, with his attempt starting on New Year’s Day last Friday.

>> London-based Bruce Berkeley to take on Year record in 2016


Searvogel, nicknamed Tarzan, took the briefest of breaks from his record attempt to get married to his crew chief Alicia in October. He still managed 175 miles that day.

>> Kurt Searvogel takes time out to get married


The couple will be having a beer or two this evening, with a party being thrown to celebrate Searvogel’s achievement at the Glory Days Grill in Tampa, Florida.

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.