Nottingham

Cyclist aims to beat Billie Fleming's distance record

Kajsa Tylen on her bicycle Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption Kajsa Tylen has completed a number of triathlons and marathons

A cyclist is planning to ride about 36,000 miles (57,936km) to set a new record for the greatest distance cycled by a woman in one year.

Kajsa Tylen, 39, from Nottingham, will begin her attempt to beat Billie Fleming's 1938 record, in January.

Ms Tylen began planning the feat following Mrs Fleming's death last year.

She said she wants to motivate people to exercise rather than raise money for charitable causes.

Billie Fleming, who died aged 100, pedalled for 29,603 miles (47,641km) to set the record and inspire others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

It has not been bettered in 77 years but Ms Tylen, who said she did practically no exercise until she was 26, has taken up the challenge.

She said: "I felt really inspired by her and the whole challenge and I thought 'I could do that' and it planted a seed."

Ms Tylen got in touch with Mrs Fleming's stepson who said she would have been "delighted" someone else was attempting the feat.

Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption Kajsa Tylen (right) with her mother, who will be providing support along the way

Since then the business analyst has been getting up at 04:30 and doing three hours of training before she starts work.

Her evenings have been spent building up her core strength and sorting out the paperwork that Guinness World Records requires.

Ms Tylen, who is originally from Sweden, will be assisted by her mother who will follow her, with a caravan, across England and mainland Europe.

"She's a bit nuts but loves adventure," said Ms Tylen.

The cyclist is hoping to put some distance between her attempt and Mrs Fleming's record by cycling about 100 miles (160km) a day.

She said: "I'll see how my body reacts, see if it's possible to do more, I'll listen to my body."

Kajsa Tylen is due to start her challenge at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, on New Year's Day.


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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