Nottingham

Kajsa Tylen: Cyclist breaks Billie Fleming's 77-year-old record

Kajsa Tylen fighting the wind Image copyright BBC Sport
Image caption Ms Tylen battled with bad weather during her journey

A cyclist who set out to pedal 50,000 km (31,068 miles) in one year has broken a 77-year-old long distance cycling record.

Kajsa Tylen, 40, from Nottingham, began the quest to beat Billie Fleming's 1938 achievement on New Year's Day.

Fleming cycled 47,642 km (29,604 miles) to motivate others in to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Ms Tylen said it was "amazing" to have passed the mileage, but will continue her challenge until 31 December.

"It's been a long slog, but I'm really proud to have done it," she said.

"I'm going to have to do some rehabilitation when I'm done to walk without hobbling."

She added: "For me to get the Guinness record I have to hit 50,000 km for them to verify it."

Ms Tylen has been flanked during her journey by mother Tina Tylen, who travelled as back-up with a caravan.

Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption Kajsa Tylen has cycled across parts of Europe

She passed Fleming's distance on Thursday and expects to reach her 50,000km (31,068 miles) target on 9 December.

Ms Tylen, a business analyst who is originally from Sweden, has battled through illness, bad weather and muscular pain to surpass her hero's record.

Her challenge took in parts of Europe including Sweden, Finland and Germany.

Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption The cyclist asked people to make "sweat pledges"

She said in a video: "I've just passed Billie Fleming's mileage, how exciting is that?"

Tina Tylen said she was "super proud" of her daughter.

Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption Kajsa Tylen cycled through western Europe and Scandinavia over 10 weeks during the summer months

A site dedicated to Billie Fleming said: "Kasja has shown amazing strength of character to achieve this, we are in awe!"

Rather than raising money for charity the cyclist has been asking for "Sweat Pledges" - promises to start taking more exercise, similar to Billie Fleming's aims in 1938.

Ms Tylen has been sharing her ride data with Guinness World Records and her achievement is expected to be verified at a later date.

US cyclist Amanda Coker also claims to have broken the record, but according to Cycling Weekly she is riding to a different set of rules set by another organisation.


Who was Billie Fleming?

Image copyright Billie Fleming
Image caption Billie Fleming cycled throughout her life after being introduced to the sport by a friend
  • Billie Fleming, née Billie Dovey, was born in Camden, London, in April 1914
  • She started her record ride on 1 January 1938 from London on a Rudge-Whitworth bicycle
  • The cyclist averaged 81 miles (130km) a day but rode further during better weather
  • She did the 29,604 miles without support and did not carry any water, just a saddle bag with clothes and tools
  • The record remains more than 70 years later despite numerous attempts to break it
  • Before Mrs Fleming died, in May 2014, she was still getting letters from people saying how much she inspired them to cycle

Source: Cycling Weekly


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