Alicia Searvogel, who married her husband Kurt in October last year when he was still three months away from breaking Tommy Godwin’s “unbreakable” Year record, is to attempt the women’s version, currently held by Britain’s Billie Fleming,
Like Kurt, whose 76,076-mile ride ended last month, Alicia, aged 53, will be riding under the rules of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association’s Highest Annual Mileage Record (HAM’R).
She has a unique perspective on what it takes to attempt the record, having been recruited initially as crew chief to Kurt’s attempt before their relationship blossomed leading to their marriage.
Kurt’s ride was subsequently recognised by Guinness World Records, which previously showed Godwin’s 75,075 miles as the men’s record, while Fleming’s 29,603.7 miles still stands as the women’s version.
Fleming (who at the time went by her maiden name, Dovey) and Godwin both set their records in the late 1930s – hers was in 1938, his in 1939 – at a time when the Year record gripped the public imagination in Britain, with huge press interest.
On Friday, Alicia posted a picture to Facebook of her registration form for her attempt on the HAM’R which shows that, like Kurt, she plans to use both standard and recumbent bikes.
In a post to the social network, she said: “I've been active my whole life. Those who know me personally know that I'm not into competing. I'm not a racer, yet I am a decent athlete.
“I've always felt it was more important to others to win. I love cycling and I am drawn to ultra-cycling.
"’A century a day for a year’ is something I've been entertaining for some time. After spending a record breaking year with Kurt and understanding how it can be done, this is my chance. If I can do it, it might as well count, right!”
Nottingham cyclist Kajsa Tylen is also attempting to break Fleming’s record, setting of on 1 January. The Swedish-born cyclist plans to ride an average of around 85 miles a day.
She is targeting a total distance during 2016 of 31,069 miles – which is dead-on 50,000 kilometres – and you can follow her on Strava here.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.