Why did you want to do a record?
After I competed at Sebring in the 12 hour race, several fellow cyclists mentioned that I could break the women’s HAMR record. Having averaged 100 mile rides multiple times a week I felt I could push to excel proving to myself I had the capability to reach the current record of 29,603.7 miles in 365 days. Coming to the end of my HAM’R attempt my parents and I decided to continue on to the 100,000 miles since I “only” had less than 14,000 miles to go.
What equipment did you use?
I rode a traditional upright, TT bike and a recumbent.
What did you eat and drink?
My go to foods were Tailwind Nutrition (an electrolyte drink), Orgain protein bars, Nutella, pizza, fruits and vegetables.
What has been the best part of this journey and what has been the hardest part?
The best part of this HAM’R journey has been that my parents have been able to experience it all with me. They have been supportive of everything I have done. Mom and Dad have also challenged themselves along the way and supported many other cyclists that have come out to the park and attempted to push themselves to reach their own goals. A fellow cyclist made a large signing board for those who rode their bicycles 100 or 200 miles in one day here at Flatwoods. Surprisingly people from all over the country have made it a personal goal to be included on the board before I finish my attempt and have travelled here to do it. It is very satisfying for me to see others; all ages and skill levels strive to achieve this. We have fun when we see each other during the attempts too, cheering each other on throughout the day! The hardest part of the journey has been the extreme weather. Florida is known for it’s hot and humid climate, but I have now experienced and survived Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Hermine, Tropical Storm Colin, gale force winds, thunder and lightning, 27 degree mornings with 60 degree afternoons, 114 degree heat and flooding that lasted for weeks. There were no days off. That was not an option for me.
Continuing on for another two months (after the HAM’R in pursuit of the 100k), knowing there was going to be oppressive heat, humidity, daily thunderstorms, lightning, and flooding was a mental challenge. As soon as June 2017 started it was like someone flipped a switch on the weather and the storms (rain and lightning) became a daily battle. I called those storms my mile stoppers.
On the 100,000 mile record setting day, with less than an hour to go, a dark storm started to roll through with strong winds and a not so friendly looking sky. It looked just like the mile stopper storms. Going around I was nervous I’d have to stop for a while to wait it out; it wasn’t looking good. But then something cool happened. As I was coming up on the last mile the sky started to clear, the wind died down, and just as I hit the mileage needed for 100,000 miles, the sun came out. It was a surreal moment. Almost as though Mother Nature was rewarding me for all the suffering she put me through over the past 14 months. Since it was suddenly beautiful out, I decided to do a “victory lap” just for mileage insurance. I’ll never forget that last lap, it was perfect.
The most unusual events during my year were the animal sightings. A large alligator walking in front of me! Saw my first ever Florida Panther with a couple hundred feet of me. Bobcats just sitting next to the trail. The amount of rattlesnakes that I encounter daily is unreal. Having a coyote run ahead of me for half a mile before dashing off into the woods. That was pretty cool! There were wildfires, flooding lasting for weeks, a hurricane and a tropical storm.
Many thanks to everyone who supported me throughout my journey, on and off the bike. Your encouragement and inspiration definitely helped keep me rolling!
Finish location: Flatwoods Park
Finish date: July 11, 2017
Finish: 3:59 PM