For many of us, Monday January 4 was the first day returning to routine after a couple of weeks of freedom and festive celebrations. However, for one woman, it was the fourth day of her incredible challenge.
This year Kajsa Tylen will try to set a new world record for most miles cycled in a year, one that has stood unbeaten for 70 years, since Billie Fleming cycled 29,603 miles in 1938 on an old three speed bike. Whilst she’s at at, she’s encouraging people all over the world to make their own “sweat pledges”.
The 39-year old business analyst and small business owner Tylen needs to cycle 31,069 miles (50,000 kilometres) in total, or nearly one-and-a-half times around the equator, to beat the record. She hopes to ride 100 miles per day – that’s 6.5-8 hours in the saddle day in, day out, for 365 days, if all goes well.
With months of preparation and training behind her, I chatted to Tylen just before she set off. I found her sitting in her Nottingham home with “at least 19” separate lists of tasks to be completed throughout her challenge, no matter how tired she might be. There’s the post-ride checklists reminding her to do everything from charging her three Garmins – she’s taking no chances with possible equipment failure for that world record – and doing her stretching and core exercises, to lists reminding her to clean the fish tank and cancel the milk on those weeks she won’t be home at all.
“Today I have been pretty calm, but yesterday I was a little bit terrified!”
“I keep reminding myself I don’t need to do everything for the entire year by the 1 January”, Tylen tells TWC in a whirlwind of final preparations. “I just need to pick out the important bits before Friday and do them.”
So how does she feel about 2016, now it’s so close? “It comes and goes in waves – today I have been pretty calm, but yesterday I was a little bit terrified!”