If you’re in need of a little inspiration, we’ve got you covered. From the biking around the world to riding in the South Pole to the longest wheelie, these 10 amazing cycling feats are truly remarkable accomplishments of fitness, endurance and mental toughness and will inspire you to push a little harder the next time you’re out on the road.
FASTEST TO CROSS THE U.S.
Many cyclists complete the annual Race Across America (RAAM), but no one has done it as fast as Christoph Strasser from Austria. Riding from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, Strasser completed the trek in 7 days 15 hours and 56 minutes. Strasser was also the first cyclist to break the eight-day barrier, and his average speed of 16.42 miles per hour is also a record.
MOST MILES IN ONE HOUR
In 2015, British Olympian and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins broke the UCI Hour Record by riding 33.88 miles on the Lee Valley Velodrome in London. The previous record was held by Alex Dowsett, who rode 32.89 miles in one hour.
RIDE TO SOUTH POLE
In 2014, Daniel Burton decided to take serious measures to improve his health. Battling high cholesterol, blood pressure and weight issues, Burton set out to ride from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. Burton, a bike shop owner from Utah, used a customized fat bike to complete the 780-mile solo trek in 50 days.
MOST MILES RIDDEN IN ONE YEAR
When Kurt Searvogel broke the 75-year-old annual mileage record by riding 75,065 miles, few thought it would soon be conquered. But in 2017, 24-year-old Amanda Coker rode her bike the equivalent of four times around the earth, smashing the previous record by riding a whopping 86,500 miles from May 15, 2016–May 14, 2017. What makes the record more amazing is Coker rode all the mileage on the same seven-mile loop around Flatwoods Park in Tampa, Florida. She rode the loop almost every day, averaging about 13 hours and 236 miles in an effort to raise money and awareness for those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries.
AROUND THE WORLD
Though the previous record was 123 days, 34-year-old Mark Beaumont set a goal of 80 days for his round-the-world trek and knew he needed to average 240 miles per day to reach his goal. By the time he arrived in Paris, he was one day ahead of schedule, cycling the 18,000-mile route around the world in a truly amazing 79 days. Beaumont rode his bike 16 hours per day and slept an average of five hours per night. During his trip, he also broke another record — riding the highest recorded mileage for a month at 7,031 miles on his way from Paris, France, to Perth, Australia.
FASTEST RECORDED SPEED
Using an egg-shaped bike named Eta, the engineers at Aerovelo have designed the fastest human-powered vehicle to date. The bike is pedaled in a reclined position and utilizes a massive 93-tooth chainring and a second stage drivetrain with a 39:18 gear ratio. The bike reached 89.59 miles per hour on a flat stretch of road with no help from a pace vehicle.
Not all cycling records need to be feats of endurance to qualify as truly amazing. Austrian Thomas Kaltenegger held a wheelie for one hour, covering an incredibly speedy 15.98 miles. Kalteneger used a Bergamont Roxtar 9.0 mountain bike to cover the distance in Stadion Lachen Thun in Switzerland.
MOST VERTICAL MILES
If you think the pros are the only ones who excel at climbing, think again. Craig Cannon, an amateur cyclist from Oakland, California, broke the Guinness World Record by ascending 95,623 feet in just 48 hours. To break the record, Cannon rode the same .68-mile hill in Berkeley and rode 339 miles. During the 48-hour quest, he took one 20-minute nap and burned approximately 30,000 calories.
HIGHEST MILEAGE TOTAL IN ONE WEEK
For anyone who watches the Tour de France, you can imagine how grueling riding 2,200 miles over three weeks can be. Two-time cancer survivor James Golding recently put this total in perspective by riding 1,766 miles in one week. Golding slept for five hours each day and averaged more than 250 miles per day.
MOST POWERFUL SPRINTER
Ever wonder what kind of power the top sprinters in the world can generate? After gathering metrics from the top cyclists in the world in 2017, it was determined that Peter Sagan unleashed his best sprint of the year on stage five of the Tour of Switzerland. The three-time world champion rode at 1,220 watts for 18 seconds, topping out at 1,417 watts with a speed of 47.5 miles per hour for the highest output of any professional for the year.