Kurt Searvogel, an ultra-cyclist attempting to set a new world record for most miles ridden in a single year, completed his mission Saturday after breaking the previous record by over 1,000 miles. Since beginning his challenge on January 10, 2015, Searvogel logged a total of 76,076 miles over the course of a year, averaging 208 miles per day.
“Right now, I’m just kicking back and relaxing,” he said Monday, speaking over the phone in Venice, Florida. “I’m glad to be off the bike. Yesterday, somebody told me he didn’t see me on Strava, and I was like, ‘No, you won’t! Not for a long time.’”
As Outside reported in December, the 52-year-old Arkansas software engineer burned through multiple junk food meals each day in his effort to break the 76-year-old record of 75,065 miles, set by amateur British cyclist Tommy Godwin in 1939. As he neared the finish in September, his heart rate approached 170 beats per minute—a reading close to maximum capacity, which prompted a visit to the cardiologist—but he was cleared to continue shortly afterwards. (The doctor’s exact words were, “Don’t give up!”)
Searvogel’s unofficial end-of-the-year mileage data is available from the Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association, which will certify the new record. After passing Godwin’s total last Monday, Searvogel averaged 167 miles per day until the year-end date, his secondary goal having been to cross the 76,000-mile mark before finally giving it a rest. His next endurance race will likely be the Bike Sebring 12 Hour, which will take place in February, in central Florida. A celebration of the new record is tentatively scheduled for this Saturday in Little Rock.
“Then I’m back to running my business again,” Searvogel said. “I have to start actually doing some work!"