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Amanda Coker - HAM'R

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Amanda Coker - HAM'R

12 Mar 2017 19:14

Doing a quick search, I was surprised to find this amazing young woman hasn't even been mentioned in a single post. So here goes.

Four years ago cyclist Amanda Coker was one of the country's best young racers, and riding her bike in training when hit by a car and badly injured, fracturing her skull, sustaining a brain injury, and being bed ridden for many weeks. All she could think about was riding her bike again, once she could, she has barely stopped, and after pulverizing the woman's ultracyclist distance (HAM'R) record in just four months, she's continued on, and is set to smash even the men's record, as well.

Put in sheer numbers, she's coming up on 70,000 miles in about 300 days, averaging over 230 miles per day, at over a 20mph pace. Her longest ride I believe is over 260 miles, and the shortest about 130...during Hurricane Matthew.

A quick news clip on her:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ5NRNSmDWw

Image
User avatar Alpe d'Huez
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Re: Amanda Coker - HAM'R

12 Mar 2017 19:22

Alpe d'Huez wrote:Doing a quick search, I was surprised to find this amazing young woman hasn't even been mentioned in a single post. So here goes.

Four years ago cyclist Amanda Coker was riding her bike and hit by a car and badly injured, fracturing her skull, sustaining a brain injury, and being bed ridden for many weeks. All she could think about was riding her bike again, once she could, she has barely stopped, and after pulverizing the woman's ultracyclist distance (HAM'R) record in just four months, she's continued on, and is set to smash even the men's record, as well.

Put in sheer numbers, she's coming up on 70,000 miles in about 300 days, averaging over 230 miles per day, at over a 20mph pace. Her longest ride I believe is over 260 miles, and the shortest about 130...during Hurricane Matthew.

A quick news clip on her:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ5NRNSmDWw

Image

At her current average of 230 miles a day it won't take long to smash Kurt Searvogel's record of 76,076 miles over the course of a year.

His average daily mileage was 208 miles per day, her 230 miles per day is simply amazing.

At her current rate she will break the record almost 3 weeks sooner than Kurt rode it.
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User avatar Irondan
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15 Mar 2017 02:42

Seen her a few times on the Strava monthly challenges - insane amount of riding... just incredible
Had no idea on her background
User avatar Archibald
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16 Mar 2017 10:48

What she is doing is certainly very impressive, but I do think that doing it on an off-road loop dampens it a bit. I can completely understand why she wants to keep away from cars however. I think she is also using a recumbent at times as well...


I suppose I should point out that I'm annoyed they changed the rules for the hour record and they should have stuck with the Merckx era rules so that obviously has an influence on how I feel about these record attempts. Fair play though, on roads or not it is extremely impressive.
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19 Apr 2017 20:27

While she's long past it now, I wanted to update that she did eclipse Kurt Searvogel's HAM'R record, with 40 days to go. In the last month she has been routinely kicking out days in the 260 to 275 mile range, moving along at over 21mph on average.

I year you KB on the hour record. I had no problem with a Trad hour, and Tech hour, sigh. Now, we may never know if someone can really ride 50km on a track bike.

Regarding the mostly closed course, when she topped Kurt's record, some people came out of the woodwork almost crying foul because of where she is riding, and that at times she's riding in groups with others joining in. She's also ridden on three different bikes, depending on the day (one of them a recumbent), though most days are on a standard road bike. But both Kurt, and Steven Abraham (who is attempting the record on open roads) gave huge praise to Amanda. While her course is flat, it's also often windswept, and subject to brutal heat and humidity nearly half the year, and as mentioned she rode over a century during Hurricane Matthew. By and large though, she's riding alone, which must get pretty lonesome going at it for 12-14 hours a day with few breaks. I'm sure most of the people criticizing her couldn't keep up with her for 26 miles, or let alone over 260, let alone ride one tenth the distance she will have when her year is up (May 14), no matter where it is. It should also be known some of Kurt's mileage was set in this area of Florida as well, and Kurt often chose some other routes point to point to maximize tail winds, and eliminate climbs.

Also keep in mind, part of her reason for riding on this course is because of post-accident safety. She fractured her skull and damaged her spine a couple years ago and the only way her doctor wanted her riding at all was nowhere near cars.

I think an issue with HAM'R records is that it's rarely attempted, or thought of. At least until the last few years maybe, so rule making and oversight aren't that refined. Still, she's on a bike, pedaling under her own power, extremely long distances, every single day. Very few people in the world would even attempt such a thing, let alone achieve it.
User avatar Alpe d'Huez
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Re:

19 Apr 2017 20:59

Alpe d'Huez wrote:While she's long past it now, I wanted to update that she did eclipse Kurt Searvogel's HAM'R record, with 40 days to go. In the last month she has been routinely kicking out days in the 260 to 275 mile range, moving along at over 21mph on average.

I year you KB on the hour record. I had no problem with a Trad hour, and Tech hour, sigh. Now, we may never know if someone can really ride 50km on a track bike.

Regarding the mostly closed course, when she topped Kurt's record, some people came out of the woodwork almost crying foul because of where she is riding, and that at times she's riding in groups with others joining in. She's also ridden on three different bikes, depending on the day (one of them a recumbent), though most days are on a standard road bike. But both Kurt, and Steven Abraham (who is attempting the record on open roads) gave huge praise to Amanda. While her course is flat, it's also often windswept, and subject to brutal heat and humidity nearly half the year, and as mentioned she rode over a century during Hurricane Matthew. By and large though, she's riding alone, which must get pretty lonesome going at it for 12-14 hours a day with few breaks. I'm sure most of the people criticizing her couldn't keep up with her for 26 miles, or let alone over 260, let alone ride one tenth the distance she will have when her year is up (May 14), no matter where it is. It should also be known some of Kurt's mileage was set in this area of Florida as well, and Kurt often chose some other routes point to point to maximize tail winds, and eliminate climbs.

Also keep in mind, part of her reason for riding on this course is because of post-accident safety. She fractured her skull and damaged her spine a couple years ago and the only way her doctor wanted her riding at all was nowhere near cars.

I think an issue with HAM'R records is that it's rarely attempted, or thought of. At least until the last few years maybe, so rule making and oversight aren't that refined. Still, she's on a bike, pedaling under her own power, extremely long distances, every single day. Very few people in the world would even attempt such a thing, let alone achieve it.

I think it's an amazing achievement, but I don't like that the recumbent bike is allowed.

To me personally I don't look at recumbents the same as rode bikes, because they're not. I think it's a lazy way of riding although technically it's still riding a bicycle. I think it just looks lazy but I don't believe it's a lazy way of riding just because of the way it looks but because laying down on your back with something to push against really allows the entire body to take some of the force exerted rather than a traditional position in which the legs apply almost all of the force, which will tire the leg muscles out quicker than you would on a recumbent. It's a totally different class of cycling that looks stupid, and allows people to ride that probably shouldn't be riding a bike. Ugh, I really don't like them... :(

I'm not taking anything away from what Amanda did, kudo's to her. I just wish she did it all on a road bike. :)


****Fun fact: 97 out of every 100 recumbent bike owners also own a Subaru Forrester. Crazy huh? :p
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User avatar Irondan
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21 Apr 2017 19:45

Don't get me started on recumbents. Bikes for weirdies, end of.

I take your point about recumbents and the HAMR, but if its allowed, then it is allowed. Kurt maximised mileage by seeking out the best weather whereas Steve Abraham (who I know personally) just did what Steve does which is ride a heavy bike carrying far too much stuff at a modest pace but just kjeeps oin going and going. Added to which he rode through the harsh winter conditions until an idiot on a moped took him out and broke his foot. He tried to continue (on a recumbent IIRC) on an outdoor track while healing, but just got too far behind Kurt.

He's just started his second attempt, but whilst he might surpass Kurt's achievement, he won't get past Amanda's. I think that would take a whole different approach and would be hard to do in the UK.

All three of them are amazing, regardless.
mcduff
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22 Apr 2017 18:10

Was on a rando today. 130 miles and 3800m of climbing. Zero recumbents...can't think why...but there was a guy on an Elliptigo :surprised:

On flat routes the recumbent will win every time. Steve doesn't really stand a chance in his steel Raleigh with mudguards, rack and bag.
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