Searvogel breaks 75,065-mile record for annual cycling mileage

  • By Spencer Powlison
  • Published Jan. 4, 2016
  • Updated Jan. 5, 2016 at 9:51 AM EDT
In 1939, Tommy Godwin set the world record for highest annual mileage ridden by bike: 75,065 miles.

Few, if any, sports records last 76 years, but the Highest Annual Mileage Record (known as HAMR in endurance cycling circles) lasted that long — until Monday. Riding a short loop around a park near Tampa Florida, Kurt Searvogel, 53, broke Tommy Godwin’s 1939 record of 75,065 miles, ridden in one year, on a bicycle.

“Today was cold and nasty — just cold in the morning,” Searvogel said. “Friends started to show up early in the morning, pulled me around. Really just not a great day — I didn’t have any energy, just cold. As the day progressed more and more people showed up and the energy grew. We had a great train of people going around the park.”

But Searvogel, known as “Tarzan,” isn’t done yet. His 365-day period officially ends January 9, so he has five more days to stretch the record even farther. He says he’d like to either set an average of 208 miles per day or 76,000 miles total for the year. Tarzan likes round numbers.

Searvogel wasn’t the only cyclist to attempt the record this year, in fact. He was up against Steven Abraham, 41, of England, but Abraham fell victim to a crash caused by a moped driver in March. His plans were scuttled, temporarily. Abraham started a new HAMR attempt in August 2015.

Time will tell if Tarzan’s record will last as long as Godwin’s did.

Read more about the HAMR record on Outside’s website.


Spencer Powlison

Spencer Powlison

When it comes to bike racing, Spencer is a jack-of-all-trades. He loves pinning on a number, whether it’s in a local criterium, a mountain bike enduro, a cyclocross national championship, or a gran fondo. Name any cycling discipline, and more likely than not, Spencer has ridden or raced it. He has been lucky enough to work in the bike industry for the majority of his adult life, from his time turning wrenches in a Vermont bike shop to his five-year tenure at the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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