Cyclist begins 77-year-old world record attempt

Kajsa Tylen with mother and dog Bumble Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption Kajsa Tylen (right) will be joined in her challenge by her mother Tina Tylen (left) and dog Bumble

A cyclist is beginning her attempt to break a long-standing long distance cycling challenge over the next year.

Kajsa Tylen, 38, from Nottingham, is intending to ride about 36,000 miles (58,000km).

Her mother, Tina Tylen, 65, will travel as back-up with a caravan during the challenge across Europe.

Mustafa Sarkar, a sports psychologist, said having her mother alongside could be a key factor in breaking the 77-year-old record.

Ms Tylen, who is originally from Sweden, felt inspired after reading about Billie Fleming who pedalled for 29,603 miles (47,641km) in 1938, to encourage others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption Tina Tylen was presented with a survival kit when she left her job at Specsavers

Tina Tylen retired from her job at Specsavers and has since been planning her role in the journey.

The two have not always been so close.

"I moved out of home when I was 16 and we have both lived a fair distance apart since then," said Kajsa Tylen.

"We both worked abroad for a while too and didn't really talk much then either."

Image copyright Kajsa Tylen
Image caption Kajsa Tylen has been facing all weathers in preparation for the start of the challenge

Tina Tylen later moved in with her daughter in Nottingham, which Kajsa said was "tough" to begin with.

"Once we got to know one another again, it worked out well. She [now] knows to feed me if I start getting tetchy."

Dr Sarkar said: "Having her mum by her side will definitely help.

"A crucial part of motivation is about relatedness, the feeling of support.

"Messages from her mum will have to be positive but she will also have to allow [Kajsa] to persevere herself. Knowing she's by her side will be important."

The cyclist said she had been boosted by "incredible" support for the challenge which begins on New Year's Day at Leisure Lakes Bikes in Breaston.

This has included promises of places to stay, offers of food and bike maintenance, as well as ferry tickets when she reaches Denmark, and messages from people on social media.

"Sense of purpose is important" - Dr Mustafa Sarkar, Nottingham Trent University

Image copyright Kajsa Tylen

"One of the key aspects will be motivation. Her reason of wanting to motivate other people to exercise and this sense of purpose will be really important.

"Some people do [big challenges] for the wrong reasons. [Her own motivation] will really help drive her.

"The notion of self-talk, what she is going to say to herself throughout the challenge, will be important. There will be critical points especially during difficult moments where self-talk will be key.

"This personal link of wanting to motivate other people to exercise will give her a sense of purpose and might help drive her on especially during difficult moments of the challenge."

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