Kajsa Tylen: Cyclist's 32,000-mile ride smashes world record

Image source, kajsa tylen
Image caption,
Kajsa Tylen passed 50,000 km on 9 December, but cycled on to set a new record

A cyclist has set a new world record for female riders by covering 32,326 miles (52,025 km) in 12 months.

Kajsa Tylen, 40, from Nottingham, broke Billie Fleming's 1938 record of 29,604 miles (47,642 km) on 24 November, but continued cycling until the end of the year.

She has cycled every day since 1 January riding across England and parts of mainland Europe.

She says she took on the challenge to inspire people to do more exercise.

Media caption,
Cyclist breaks 77-year-old world record

Ms Tylen has built up the miles by riding from her home in Nottingham as well as taking part in events across the country.

For the last day, she left home and finished at Leisure Lakes Bikes in Breaston, Derbyshire.

The business analyst, originally from Sweden, battled through illness, bad weather and muscular pain to surpass Ms Fleming's record.

Ms Tylen, who took a year off work, said: "It's not sunk in yet and I don't think it ever will it's a such a ridiculously big number to have ridden.

"I always knew I'd finish it unless I got injured or ill, but sometimes I wanted to pack it all in.

"I had to write event logs and I've got notes on the back on them and on some I've just written "why am I doing this?".

Image source, Kajsa Tylen
Image caption,
Kajsa Tylen's mother Tina travelled across Europe with her

She cycled across Europe, battling through strong headwinds and heavy rain.

In Scandinavia, in the summer, she rode through the night while the sun was still visible, an experience she described as "spectacular".

Her achievement is expected to be verified with Guinness World Records at a later date.

US cyclist Amanda Coker also claims to have broken Billie Fleming's record, but has been riding to a different set of rules.

She is allowed to slipstream other riders and use a different bicycle if she wishes, while Ms Tylen cannot.

Who was Billie Fleming?

Image source, 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 remained for 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

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