Cycling is a sport that requires discipline, strength, and endurance. Over the years, many cyclists have pushed the limits of what is possible and set incredible records. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 most amazing cycling records.
Fastest Bicycle Speed
Todd Reichert broke his own record again on September 17, 2016, to set a speed of 144.17 km/h (89.58 mph) at the 2016 WHPSC.
Longest Distance in a Year
In 2016, American cyclist Kurt Searvogel set a new record for the longest distance cycled in a year, covering a total of 76,076 kilometers (47,033 miles).
The most vertical metres climbed in 48 hours
The most vertical metres climbed in 48 hours, is a knee-bending 29,623.3m (97,189 ft 9.24 in) more than Box Hill 73 times. The brave cyclist who managed this extraordinary feat of endurance was Craig Cannon (USA) in Berkeley, California, USA, between 7 and 9 August 2015.
Most distance cycled in a year
This was quite the challenge to do back in the 1930s. Tommy Godwin’s 1939 record, a mighty 75,065 miles, stood until January 2016 when US rider, Kurt Searvogel, rode 122,432.7 km (76,076 miles). Averaging 208 miles per day doesn't bear thinking about, but 23-year-old Amanda Coker averaged an astonishing 237.19 miles per day when she set out to beat Searvogel's record in May 2016. She smashed the women's record in just a few months and went on to pass Searvogel's mark with 40 days to spare. Her final tally after a year was 86,573.2 miles, but instead of taking a well-earned rest for a month or ten, she carried on to set a record for the fastest 100,000 miles ever, finishing the distance in 423 days.
Fastest Transcontinental Crossing
The fastest transcontinental crossing of Europe was achieved by Belgian cyclist Fons de Wolf in 2000, who completed the journey from Lisbon, Portugal to Moscow, Russia in just 19 days, 9 hours, and 47 minutes.
Highest Altitude on a Bicycle
A German cyclist has set a new world record for the highest altitude reached on a bicycle, using a fat bike to climb to 6,233 metres – that’s 20,450 feet in old money – on South America’s second highest mountain.
Guido Kunze, an ultra athlete from Mühlhausen in central Germany, rode from Bahí a Inglesa on Chile’s Pacific Coast to the north west ridge of the Ojos del Salado, at 6893 metres the world’s highest active volcano.
By the time he finished his ride on the evening of October 16, he had climbed 150 metres higher than the existing record holder, fellow German Andre Hauschke, who set his benchmark in April 2010.
On his ride, which took a little over 37 hours, Kunze covered 342.8km with a total height gain of 6,899 meters.
Fastest circumnavigation of the globe
The Guinness World Record (GWR) for fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle is awarded for completing a continuous journey around the globe by bicycle and other means, consisting of a minimum 29,000 km (18,000 miles) in total distance cycled.
The supported record is held by Mark Beaumont of Scotland, who completed the route accompanied by a motorized support vehicle in 78 days 14 hours, and 40 minutes.
The unsupported female record is held by Jenny Graham of Scotland (a member of the Adventure Syndicate). Graham completed her attempt in October 2018 in a total of 124 days. She cycled the route solo and totally unsupported, often sleeping rough in drainage ditches or behind bushes
Fastest Trans-America Crossing - In 2011, American cyclist Lon Haldeman set a new record for the fastest trans-America crossing, completing the journey from Los Angeles, California to New York, New York in just 44 days, 6 hours, and 42 minutes.
Bicycle Wheelie Records
From 13 April to 25 June 1999, he rode 2,839.6 miles from Hollywood to the Guinness World Records Experience in Orlando on one wheel, also for a Guinness World Record, becoming the first person in history to ride a bicycle wheelie coast to coast. During his attempt he rode an average of 50 miles per day, sometimes with winds in excess of 40 miles per hour. Other facts: He cycled on the 110 Highway, had 4 flat tires (on the rear tire of course), over 1.8 million pedal revolutions from start to finish, and was chased by dogs almost daily.
24-hour distance record
Austrian Christoph Strasser of Race Across America fame holds the world record for the distance ridden on a velodrome in 24 hours, riding an astonishing 941.873 kilometres (585.253 miles) at the Velodrome Suisse.
The four-time winner of the Race Across America completed 3,767 laps of the 250 metre track in Grenchen, Switzerland, starting at 1pm on Saturday 14 October. His average speed was 39.42 kilometres an hour.
Strasser also held the outdoor 24-hour world record of 896.173 kilometres (556.856 miles) for more than five years... until it was broken by Stanislav Verstovšek in October 2020, with the Slovenian besting Strasser's distance by over 11 miles for a total of 567.946 miles.
Oldest competitive cyclist
In front of a cheering crowd and TV cameras he covered 22.547 kilometres in one hour at the Vélodrome National de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France this January.
With the UCI having formerly created a 'masters aged 100 and over' category specifically for the rider, his latest achievement has also seen him enter the record books for a second time, as the world’s oldest competitive cyclist.
In conclusion, these amazing records demonstrate the incredible physical and mental strength of cyclists and the limitless possibilities of what can be achieved on two wheels. These records serve as an inspiration to all cyclists and as a testament to the power of the human spirit.