New Record for Most Vertical Feet Biked

Amateur cyclist ascended 95,623 feet in 48 hours

During his 48-hour ride, Craig Cannon took one 20-minute nap and burned nearly 30,000 calories. (Craig Cannon)
Photo: Craig Cannon

Craig Cannon, an amateur cyclist from Oakland, California, broke the world record for riding the most vertical feet in 48 hours, according to his Strava account. On August 7, Cannon rode the same .68-mile hill in the Berkeley Hills, ascending 95,623 feet and riding more than 339 miles. The previous record, set by Austrian Jacob Zurl, was 94,452 feet, according to Guinness World Records.

Cannon, who bought his first road bike last year, prepared for the challenge by “Everesting” (ascending the 29,029 feet equal to Mount Everest in one ride) in June. During his 48-hour ride, he took one 20-minute nap and burned nearly 30,000 calories. 

We talked to Cannon about breaking the record and what’s next.

OUTSIDE: Why did you want to do this?
CRAIG CANNON: I started road biking last year and found that climbing was the thing I enjoyed most of all. For me, it’s very meditative. On almost all my rides, I focused on finding as many hills as I could. So, after Everesting, I felt validated but thought I would do something bigger.

How did you train?
I rode around 200 miles a week and a lot of elevation. I stopped drinking and took caffeine out of my diet because I wanted it to be super potent during the ride. I also needed to make sure I could I stay up for 48 hours. I’d never done that before, so I didn’t know if I could stay awake, much less ride a bike. One weekend, I woke up on Friday and stayed up until Sunday morning, then slept for 90 minutes and went on an 80-mile ride.

What’s next?
I’m going to start researching really, really difficult endurance rides. Not records necessarily, but something like biking around Glacier National Park two or three times and gaining 50,000 feet of elevation for 24 hours. Because I’m mentally able to do it and a little heavier than a normal racer, I think I’m more suited for endurance stuff.

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