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Billie Fleming's Year record smashed - in just four months!

24-year-old American Amanda Coker will carry on riding - and could smash men's record out of the park...

Billie Fleming’s 1938 record for the greatest distance cycled in a year by a woman has been broken – and the rider who surpassed her distance of 29,603.7 miles did so in just four months and could even overhaul the men’s record.

24-year-old Amanda Coker, from Florida, set off on her quest on 14 May and passed the British rider’s distance at 9am yesterday morning, reports Fox 13.

According to the Human Annual Mileage Record (HAMR) page on the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) website, she has averaged an astonishing 227.5 miles a day, at an average moving speed of 19.9mph.

That compares with a daily mileage of 208.85mph and average moving speed of 18.2mph of the American ultracyclist Kurt Searvogel in the year to January when he beat Tommy Godwin’s 1939 record of 75,065 miles, long considered unbreakable.

According to charts on the UMCA’s NAMR page, her daily mileage has been remarkably consistent, possibly explained by the fact that she has stuck to the same route – laps of a flat course in a park that is sheltered from the wind – since May.

Flatwoods Park, Tampa, was also used by Searvogel towards the end of his HAMR attempt.

Coker plans to stay in the saddle, and if she carries on at the same rate for the next eight months she will smash Searvogel’s record, which is recognised by both Guinness World Records and the UMCA, with her annual distance currently projected at more than 83,000 miles.

She began cycling in earnest at the age of 15 when her parents gave her a road bike, and competed in the US junior national championships.

But a crash while out cycling with her father resulted in her suffering brain and spinal injuries leading to two years of surgery and rehabilitation.

Her ride has come in a bit under the radar, with the other two women attempting to beat Fleming’s record both enjoying more coverage in the British media at least.

On 1 January, Kajsa Tylen, originally from Sweden but now based in Nottingham, set out to beat it and so far in 2016 has ridden 23,351.6 miles according to Strava.

That would put her on course to go further than Fleming – known at the time as Billie Dovey – rode almost 80 years ago.

Alicia Searvogel – who married Kurt halfway through his attempt last year having initially been recruited as his crew chief – began her attempt on 4 June since when she has racked up 10,622 miles according to the UMCA, with a projected 12-month distance of 35,245 miles.

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.

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36 comments

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Leviathan replied to Danger Dicko | 7 years ago
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Kaner, sorry to hear about your 'loss. 

Danger Dicko wrote:

Leviathan wrote:

I think we need a Godwin's rule on this. You need to ride a bike-bike, no recumbents, and there has to be a minimum amount of elevation and variety in routes. If you can't match the old fella you aren't playing the game. 

You might as well say you have to do it on pre 1950 machinery. Progress is progress.

Where exactly did I talk about 1950s tech? I was talking about the course and style of bike. A lot of people seem to struggle with reading comprehension these days.

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dassie replied to cyclisto | 7 years ago
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cyclisto wrote:

Insanely meaningless if done in the same loop. This thing will just burn her mind and time.

You mean a bit like rowing the same stretch of water 'everyday for years' while training for an Olympic medal, or the like.  Of course it's not meaningless.

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davel replied to dassie | 7 years ago
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dassie wrote:

cyclisto wrote:

Insanely meaningless if done in the same loop. This thing will just burn her mind and time.

You mean a bit like rowing the same stretch of water 'everyday for years' while training for an Olympic medal, or the like.  Of course it's not meaningless.

No. Nothing like that. This is her event, her Olympic games, now - in her course, which she chose a 6 mile park loop for.

Unless she is just training for an attempt on roads next year. In which case, cap well and truly doffed.

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davel replied to RainbowSpirit | 7 years ago
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RainbowSpirit wrote:

A big part of breaking records is to do your homework, ie studying the rules etc, and doing everything in your power to make sure you use those rules to your advantage.

Just because someone else made it harder on themselves by riding on the open road is no reason why you have to do the same. Also the year is not up by a long shot, she may face injury and sickness in the months ahead. Good luck to her I say, if you are a doubter, get on your bike for a year and lets see you have a go...

Ah yes, that cornerstone principle of debate on the internet: 'don't express an opinion until you've tried it yourself'.

I couldn't possibly get close to what Ms Coker is achieving. There's a hill in my park.

(I be hatin on da game*, not da playa)

*which seems to be riding round a pan-flat, sheltered park for a year, no?

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Paul__M | 7 years ago
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Just imagine how the flaming will step up as she takes the outright record. Don't worry there will still be a 'male' record.

A lot of people on here would only accept the record if it was set in Yorkshire. In winter all year.  On a penny farthing.

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bigmel | 7 years ago
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"A lot of people on here would only accept the record if it was set in Yorkshire. In winter all year.  On a penny farthing."

Luxury !

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