Through the haze of wattage, feet climbed per minute, cadence and a plethora of other measurements and metrics cycling really boils down to just three key things: speed, distance and time. In 2016, three cyclists broke world records in each.
Speed: Denise Mueller Powers Bicycle to 147 MPH
Sitting just inches behind a modified Land Rover SVR, Denise Mueller set a new women’s bicycles land speed record at 147 miles per hour.
Mueller set the new women’s speed record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats where she rode a highly customized bike that looks like a mix between a downhill mountain bike and a chopper. Most impressive is the bike’s two massive 60-tooth chainrings in a double-reduction system that allows Mueller to pedal at a normal cadence (approximately 102 RPM) while riding at 147 mph.
Mueller took approximately 25 seconds to ride through the one-mile timing trap where her top speed was recorded at 147 miles per hour.
Distance: Kurt Searvogel Breaks 75,065-mile Record
– Alicia Searvogel (@aliciaadventure) January 10, 2016
During the peak of my racing I put in about 13-15 thousand miles a year on my bike. That was more than enough for me and my saddle-sore ass.
The Highest Annual Mileage Record (known as HAMR in endurance cycling circles) is a record that hasn’t changed in 76 years, until 2016. Kurt Searvogel, at 53 years old, broke Tommy Godwin’s 1939 record of 75,065 miles, ridden in one year.
Time: Evelyn Stevens Sets a New Hour Record
The hour record, now held by Evelyn Stevens at 47.98km, is perhaps the purest thing in cycling. There are no tactics beyond pacing. There are not outside factors like wind, weather or competition. It’s just person against pain, for an hour. It’s easy to forget that the brain is what powers the engine, the hour record is a powerful reminder.