I have been writing about, taking part in and keeping track of the Billie Fleming Tribute Ride. The year-long ride celebrates the record-breaking ride of the late Billie Fleming, who, in 1938, set a (so far) unbroken record as the woman to ride the furthest distance in one year. Billie died last year aged 100 and the Tribute Ride has seen women from all over the UK following in her tracks to record a collective relay of Billie’s 29,603 miles (47,641km).
Now I have read news that a woman from Nottingham is planning to attempt to break Billie’s record. Kajsa Tylen, 39, hopes to ride 36,000 miles (57,936km) to set a new record for the greatest distance cycled by a woman in one year. She will start in January.
Part of me is surprised that Billie’s record has remained unbeaten for 77 years. It’s a record that will gain huge kudos and publicity.
Yet the record attempt doesn’t only require fitness and determination, it also needs to be done by someone who can take time off work. Riding close on 100 miles each day will take a lot of time and recovery.
I read, too, that in 1942, one woman, Pat Hawkins, did claim to ride 54,402.8 miles in one year. However, this was disallowed after a review of her log books by the Australian cycling authorities.
Kajsa’s 36,000 mile cycling bid
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Kajsa, originally from Sweden, said: “I felt really inspired by Billie and the whole challenge and I thought ‘I could do that’ and it planted a seed.”
She will start her challenge at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, on New Year’s Day. Her mother will be providing support with a caravan during the year of cycling in England and across Europe.
Training has started for the business analyst. She has been reportedly getting up at 4:30am and doing three hours of training before she starts work. Her evenings have been spent on core strength and sorting out the paperwork that Guinness World Records requires.
I wish you all the best Kajsa. It’s an audacious record attempt and it will require a huge amount of dedication and good fortune.
Also read about Paula’s solo female around the world cycling bid.