Meghan McCloskey, National Bike Challenge coordinator
Kurt Searvogel, of Little Rock, Arkansas, rode 33,093 miles in the 2015 National Bike Challenge, enough to earn him the top spot overall. He rode an additional 42,177 miles (and counting!) over 365 days totaling 75,270 miles and setting a new world record.
On January 4 2016, Searvogel broke the Highest Annual Mileage Record (HAMR) by riding more than 75,000 miles in one year. Before last year, the HAMR had been untouched for quite some time. Tommy Godwin set the precedent in 1939 by riding 75,065 miles over the course of 365 days.
Fast-forward a few decades to 2015 when a couple of riders, including Searvogel, set out to break that long-standing record. One of the other challengers was British rider Steven Abraham. Abraham was forced to take a break from the long days on his bike when he suffered an injury in March. That left Searvogel, who continued to ride, and ride, and ride. Why take on such a feat? For Searvogel, it was simple.
“I just needed to prove that the record set in 1939 was breakable with the right equipment and plan,” he says.
Searvogel joined the National Bike Challenge about a month into the competition and immediately shot to the top, averaging about 215 miles a day for the entire five-month period. His longest daily ride was logged at 272.5 miles.
There’s no doubt Searvogel had a big year?winning the 2015 National Bike Challenge and breaking a seemingly impossible record. It’s hard to say what 2016 has in store for him. Whatever it is, let’s hope it includes some rest.