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  1. #1
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    One year time trial

    Forgive me if this has been raised before in this forum, but a search has yielded no results. Steve Abrahams, a noted Audax rider in the UK, is ten days into a one year time trial in the course of which he aims to break Tommy Godwin's record, set in 1939, for the most miles cycled in a calendar year - a mere 75,065.

    Quite a ride. An average of more than 200 miles a day, every day. His strategy seems to be to start slow (not much more than 5000 miles in January) and crank up the mileage in the summer. I'll be following his progress via the linked website.

    EDIT: apologies, I see that this has been referenced in the UMCA longest annual mileage thread. Still, I think so epic an attempt deserves a thread of its own.
    Last edited by chasm54; 01-10-15 at 04:11 AM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I've only seen the term "one year time trial" referred to by the Steve group. However, I don't know that it's a proper time trial either- participants are welcome to draft, ride in groups, ride tandems, whatever they care to do- unlike most proper time trials.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
    Member MilesDealer's Avatar
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    When I first read about Steve's planned attempt to break the record I considered it an idiotic way to spend a year out of one's life. While I still think that way I do log onto his website daily to see how he's doing. The mental grind I think must be horrible at times and I wonder if he can avoid injury and illness over for a whole year. Witnessing what he's doing makes it easier for me to get out the door for my mere fifty miles.

  4. #4
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I've only seen the term "one year time trial" referred to by the Steve group. However, I don't know that it's a proper time trial either- participants are welcome to draft, ride in groups, ride tandems, whatever they care to do- unlike most proper time trials.
    I doubt if he's too concerned about the definitions, it's just a catchy title for the attempt. And if he can find someone to draft for 205 miles a day, every day for a year, good luck to him, I say.

    Quote Originally Posted by MilesDealer View Post
    When I first read about Steve's planned attempt to break the record I considered it an idiotic way to spend a year out of one's life. While I still think that way I do log onto his website daily to see how he's doing. The mental grind I think must be horrible at times and I wonder if he can avoid injury and illness over for a whole year. Witnessing what he's doing makes it easier for me to get out the door for my mere fifty miles.
    Well, maybe it's a waste of life. But on the other hand, the majority of people spend most of their time working at tedious, repetitive and largely meaningless tasks. And at the end of each year they've broken no records and done nothing that remotely realised their potential.

    I agree with with you about the mental aspect. Formidable.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'm kind of fascinated by it. Do you know if he has a Facebook page where a person can follow him? I can probably look it up, but just thought I'd ask.

  6. #6
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I'm kind of fascinated by it. Do you know if he has a Facebook page where a person can follow him? I can probably look it up, but just thought I'd ask.
    I think he's on FB, yes, though I don't use it. You can follow him on Strava or on Twitter @steve_abraham74 And the linked website is updated daily.

    He's a fit boy. Sunday's 185.9 miles was completed with an average HR of 87 bpm.
    Last edited by chasm54; 01-12-15 at 01:34 AM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Steve stayed at our place on the weekend. He is progressively riding himself into fitness, so his speeds will gradually increase as the temperatures rise and the daylight increases. The low intensity means no injuries or recovery time needed. The downside is the long hours spent in typically crappy English winter weather.

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    I think it's cool. Waste of a year? That's way too subjective. If this is something he really enjoys, that will give him a feeling of lifetime accomplishment (a feeling many people don't have); then that's probably going to be one of the best years of his life. If he completes this, he gets to say "Nobody in the world has ridden a bicycle as far as I have in one year".

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I certainly do not think it is a waste of a year. I think it is a great way to spend a year ... and if I had the energy (and fewer hills to deal with in my immediate area) I'd be tempted to try to do at least half of what he's doing. As it is, he is inspiring me to ride more this year.

  10. #10
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    Steve stayed at our place on the weekend. He is progressively riding himself into fitness, so his speeds will gradually increase as the temperatures rise and the daylight increases. The low intensity means no injuries or recovery time needed. The downside is the long hours spent in typically crappy English winter weather.
    Riding himself fit, eh? As ypu might expect, his standards with regard to fitness are a shade higher than mine. The low-intensity strategy is a good one, though. Difficult to miantain in the sort of headwinds he's been riding in for the past few days, though, they're brutal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I certainly do not think it is a waste of a year. I think it is a great way to spend a year ... and if I had the energy (and fewer hills to deal with in my immediate area) I'd be tempted to try to do at least half of what he's doing. As it is, he is inspiring me to ride more this year.
    The women's record-holder, Billie Fleming (nee Dovey) died last year, Machka. You pnly have to ride 30,000 miles this year to break her record, I don't know what you're waiting for.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  11. #11
    Senior Member c.miller64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I'm kind of fascinated by it. Do you know if he has a Facebook page where a person can follow him? I can probably look it up, but just thought I'd ask.
    Here are links to the riders websites and a spreadsheet updated daily with each riders mileage totals-

    Kurt Searvodel- tarzanrides
    Steve Abraham- Steven Abraham, his record attempt
    Mileage totals- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ACqDbQ/pubhtml
    Live Spot Trackers- One Year Time Trial 2015 live tracker by trackleaders.com
    Last edited by c.miller64; 01-14-15 at 06:55 AM. Reason: Add tracker link

  12. #12
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    My partner looked at Billie's record over Christmas as she covered more than 18,000 miles last year. Averaging a century a day would give a nice total but would require her giving up full-time work and she doesn't want to do that yet.

  13. #13
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Riding himself fit, eh? As ypu might expect, his standards with regard to fitness are a shade higher than mine. The low-intensity strategy is a good one, though. Difficult to miantain in the sort of headwinds he's been riding in for the past few days, though, they're brutal.



    The women's record-holder, Billie Fleming (nee Dovey) died last year, Machka. You pnly have to ride 30,000 miles this year to break her record, I don't know what you're waiting for.
    That's it for the women's record? That's definitely beatable.
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  14. #14
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    My partner looked at Billie's record over Christmas as she covered more than 18,000 miles last year. Averaging a century a day would give a nice total but would require her giving up full-time work and she doesn't want to do that yet.
    I guess it would be just doable, depending on the nature of her job. 300 miles each weekend would leave just 60 per weekday. Hell of a commitment, though, I agree.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Since this whole thing began, I've been pondering about two things.

    1. Having two guys go for the one year record simultaneously is a pretty bad idea. Unless one of them quits early due to an accident or an injury, they'll both hit 75k, one of them will win, the other one will lose, and I'd hate to be the guy who just spent a whole fricking year riding a bike 14 hours a day just to get the title of #2 in annual mileage (in other words, a nobody).

    2. The decision by the American guy to start his thing on 1/10 is very hard to fathom, since this looks like a pretty big handicap with no apparent justification for it.

    And then it dawned on me. It's all part of the big plan, likely even a forward agreement between Kurt and Steve. Steve is going for maximum mileage in a calendar year. Kurt is going for maximum mileage in 365 consecutive days. Both of them can achieve their goals simultaneously, neither one has to lose. If Steve fails for whatever reason, 9 day handicap is small enough that Kurt can still pick up the pace and break Tommy Godwin's record. If Steve succeeds, Kurt will try to keep his cumulative mileage just below Steve, so that Steve wins in terms of 1/1 to 12/31 mileage, and Kurt logs enough miles in the first 9 days of 2016 to get ahead. This way, neither one loses.

  16. #16
    Senior Member c.miller64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    And then it dawned on me. It's all part of the big plan, likely even a forward agreement between Kurt and Steve. Steve is going for maximum mileage in a calendar year. Kurt is going for maximum mileage in 365 consecutive days. Both of them can achieve their goals simultaneously, neither one has to lose. If Steve fails for whatever reason, 9 day handicap is small enough that Kurt can still pick up the pace and break Tommy Godwin's record. If Steve succeeds, Kurt will try to keep his cumulative mileage just below Steve, so that Steve wins in terms of 1/1 to 12/31 mileage, and Kurt logs enough miles in the first 9 days of 2016 to get ahead. This way, neither one loses.
    The mileage record is not "calender year" based, it's based on 365 consecutive days on the start day of the riders choosing.

  17. #17
    Member MilesDealer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    I'd hate to be the guy who just spent a whole fricking year riding a bike 14 hours a day just to get the title of #2 in annual mileage (in other words, a nobody)..
    Whether it's training for years and not making an Olympic team or dedicating a year to cycling and not reaching a goal, the old adage applies "you better enjoy the journey" since the destination may be a disappointment. Along the same line, if Steve Abraham is actually enjoying the time he's putting in on the road, or at least most of it, then what he's doing is not "idiotic" at all (retracting my earlier statement).

  18. #18
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    How much did Kurt and Steve know about each others' attempts as they were planning? Starting later gives Kurt a definite advantage and the cynic in me assumed that was all part of his plan.

    I'd be surprised if both of them make it. I don't mean any disrespect to either guy. They're obviously stronger riders than me. The task is just that difficult because there's no room for error. Miss 3 days and you're 500 miles in the hole. That's not easy to make up when you're already riding so much.
    Petoji.net ............................. centuryperweek.blogspot.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
    How much did Kurt and Steve know about each others' attempts as they were planning? Starting later gives Kurt a definite advantage and the cynic in me assumed that was all part of his plan.

    I'd be surprised if both of them make it. I don't mean any disrespect to either guy. They're obviously stronger riders than me. The task is just that difficult because there's no room for error. Miss 3 days and you're 500 miles in the hole. That's not easy to make up when you're already riding so much.
    Yep. Not to mention the extraordinary possibility of injury or sickness. A crash ends it; but you're also riding in every kind of weather (you have to), with at least a slightly compromised immune system from all of the physical activity. There's just such a huge opportunity for illness, injury, you name it.

    I'm rooting for them though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by c.miller64 View Post
    The mileage record is not "calender year" based, it's based on 365 consecutive days on the start day of the riders choosing.
    That's how UMCA defines it, but it's not the most natural choice. Tommy Godwin did 75k in a calendar year. When the dust settles, there can easily be two guys with claims on highest mileage set on different terms. It's not unlike the situation with 1-hour distance record, where we have three different people with claims on the record: one on a faired recumbent, one on an upright unfaired bike in a "superman" position, and one on an upright bike in regular position with strict constraints on permitted equipment.

  21. #21
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    That's how UMCA defines it, but it's not the most natural choice. Tommy Godwin did 75k in a calendar year. When the dust settles, there can easily be two guys with claims on highest mileage set on different terms. It's not unlike the situation with 1-hour distance record, where we have three different people with claims on the record: one on a faired recumbent, one on an upright unfaired bike in a "superman" position, and one on an upright bike in regular position with strict constraints on permitted equipment.
    Yes, I tend to agree. Plus, Godwin continued at an only slightly less intense schedule for another six months or so, to become the fastest man to 100,000 miles*. The possibilities are endless.

    *His website says he had to relearn how to walk properly at the end. Not sure if that's literally true, but I can well believe it.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  22. #22
    Senior Member c.miller64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    That's how UMCA defines it, but it's not the most natural choice. Tommy Godwin did 75k in a calendar year. When the dust settles, there can easily be two guys with claims on highest mileage set on different terms.
    I guess a racer could make any claim they'd like, but the UMCA rules of are what they've each agreed to, and the only governing body recognizing the yearly mileage record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c.miller64 View Post
    I guess a racer could make any claim they'd like, but the UMCA rules of are what they've each agreed to, and the only governing body recognizing the yearly mileage record.
    I think it's the other way around: UMCA wrote rules to fit their attempts. According to Steve's web site, he's been planning this thing since late 2012. UMCA announced the new record category less than two months ago. I'm pretty sure he'd go for it even without the official blessing from the UMCA.

  24. #24
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    I think it's the other way around: UMCA wrote rules to fit their attempts. According to Steve's web site, he's been planning this thing since late 2012. UMCA announced the new record category less than two months ago. I'm pretty sure he'd go for it even without the official blessing from the UMCA.
    You're right. The UMCA didn't decide to "recognise" the record until two months ago, as far as I can see. Abraham was a couple of years into his planning by then. It seems to me that the UMCA has just seen a passing bandwagon, and jumped on it in an attempt to raise its own profile.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Steve was always going for the record this year, regardless of UMCA. He had been talking to UMCA for months last year to get the rules somewhere towards sensible. Kurt saw the first draft of UMCA's rules and thought they were absurd. When he saw the current version recently, he decided to go for the record as well.

    Of course, Kurt started a few days after the start of the year so that he could Steve as a pacemaker.

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