Unsung Heroes: Year Record Rider Kajsa Tylen on Track for Success

Winter weather hasn't slowed her down, and you can get involved by making a Sweat Pledge for charity

The cyclist aiming to smash the women’s year long record is well on her way to victory after close to one hundred days of riding.

We interviewed Kajsa Tylen before she set off on her record attempt on New Year’s Eve. On Saturday she’ll have reached the 100 day mark and she’s well on the way to breaking the record of 31,069 miles (50,000 kilometres).

Tylen is using her ride to inspire women across the World to get active, too – she’s asking for us all to make ‘sweat pledges’ to raise money for individual charities and encourage us to break through the boundaries of what we thought possible.

Interview: Year Record Rider Kajsa Tylen – “There seems to be this culture of ‘we can’t’, I say we can”

The existing record was set in 1938 by Billie Flemming, totaling 29,603 miles. However, to achieve a new Guinness World Record Tylen needs to cover over 31k miles – which is equivalent to one and a half times around the world’s equator.

So far, Strava data tells us that 39-year-old Tylen has ridden 8,255 miles, spending 682 hours in the saddle, despite high winds and wet weather over the first quarter of the year.

Taking about the attempt, Tylen said: “People have asked me why I believe that I can achieve this. This isn’t exactly straightforward to explain, but I believe in myself and have the confidence that I can set a new world record. It is not a challenge I am taking lightly, there has been a lot of planning and a detailed training plan, beyond that the rest will be psychological”

She added: “Apart from highlighting the tremendous achievements of Billie Fleming last century and hopefully setting a new world record, I am hoping that this challenge will be a life-changing experience and will open many doors. I am also particularly keen on encouraging others to take up fitness challenges and their pledges of commitments to exercise will spur me on while I’m riding all those thousands of miles.”

The business analyst from Sweden, who now lives in Nottingham (when not riding her bike for a year), needs to ride 85 miles a day to achieve her goal, something she’s managing to stick to despite winter weather, a very good sign as spring starts to take over now we’re in April.

Tylen is an endurance specialist, having taken part in Ironman events and marathons before deciding to embark upon this challenge. She said: “I will be delighted to reach the century landmark of cycling 100 days since the start of the year. Everything is going well in my world record attempt so far, I’m feeling good and have been out every day of the year, averaging about 90 miles on the bike each day.

“So far the going has been pretty tough – the weather has thrown just about everything possible at me, except for too much snow, for which I am grateful. I’ve been averaging about 90 miles per day so far without major incidents. There have been the occasional near misses with cars and lorries and I’ve suffered with muscle overuse issues, but it hasn’t stopped me as yet. I’ve met some fantastic people over the last couple of months and hope that people continue to support me throughout the rest of the year.”

She added: “Apart from highlighting the tremendous achievements of Billie Fleming last century and hopefully setting a new world record, I am hoping that this challenge will be a life-changing experience and will open many doors.”

Most of Tylen’s riding is taking place in the UK, but she does plan to add some variety by visiting France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Her record attempt will end on Saturday 31 December 2016 and it’s being monitored through witness logs and GPS data.

At TWC, we’ve been lucky enough to interview some incredible women – check out some of our favourite and most inspirational interviewees here. 

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