Michael Secrest Breaks 24 Hour Cycling Record

, , | UltraRob | Saturday, June 16th, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Michael Secrest broke his previous 24 hour cycling record by 1.11 miles with a total of 535.86 miles. Setting the 24 hour record is impressive enough by itself but he’s 54 years old. He had trouble with asthma during the ride and there was some doubt he would be able to break the record but he still did. I know all too well what it feels like to ride with asthma.

Here’s the press release from O2 Sports Media


CARSON, Calif. — 17 years to the day after commencing his unbroken transcontinental record ride, Michael Secrest proved himself once again as one of the toughest, most enduring, cyclists on the planet by overcoming a bout of exercise induced asthma to break his own 24-hour indoor unpaced world record with a mark of 535.86 miles, at the ADT Event Center Velodrome in Carson, California, June 16.

The existing record stood at 534.75 miles, which Secrest set at this venue in October 2006, but which he felt he could significantly surpass this time around.

Yet the breathing difficulties that arose for Secrest made the outcome a greater challenge, and at times uncertain. Even though he was riding more than fast enough, for several hours bystanders were far from convinced that he would finish the ride, because his breathing was so labored.

“If my physiologist wouldn’t have had an asthma aspirator with him, the r ide would’ve been over,” said Secrest at the finish. He added, “It was a stroke of divine intervention! Last time I had excercise induced asthma was in 1987, when I won the (Race Across America).”

After that race, Secrest starred in a television commercial for Primatene, whose asthma products he’d used to enable him to finish.

Exercise physiologist Frank J. Fedel, of East Michigan University, was amazed to see Secrest push through his difficulties at the ADT Velodrome. “The labored breathing continued for several hours, starting at about 10:30 last night. It didn’t let up until about 6:30 in the morning. I couldn’t believe he kept going. His breathing sounded like a freight train, you could hear him from all the way across the track. It’s lucky I happened to have an asthma kit with me – which I was carrying for my own use.”

For Secrest, this was a ride of which he was particularly glad to see the end. “World records don’t come easy, but I think t h at must be one of the toughest world records that anyone has witnessed,” he said.

The determination showed by Secrest in successfully completing his task underlines the principles of the 54 years-old Scottsdale resident, who says his role is to inspire others to set goals, to not give up, and be true to themselves.

Secrest has established a program called Ride Your Bike to School, which combats childhood obesity, and one of the purposes of this world record ride is to draw attention to this program. More information about it is available at www.theguyonthebike.com.

Fittingly, a group of school-age children showed up at the arena in the final hour of the ride. Entertained and inspired by the vision of a world record being created there in front of them, the children started cheering wildly as he went past the existing mark, some four minutes from the end.

Secrest is arguably the strongest US cyclist never to have ridden in the Tour de France. After an epic batt le with America’s first Tour de France rider, Jock Boyer, in the 1985 Race Across America, Jim Ochowicz, head of the 7-Eleven team, did consider Secrest for a place on the Le Tour team, but time constraints prevented it.

Since then, with a prodigious talent for ultra-endurance cycling, Secrest has focused on covering distances in a single day that would make most pro cyclists curl up their toes.

He has now set four 24-hour world records in three decades. In 1985 he rode 516.2 miles. In 1996 he went 532.74 miles, then last year raised it to 534.75 miles. Today’s mark of 535.86 miles was run at an average speed of 22.32 mph.

Experts cannot find another athlete that has achieved the feat of setting bona fide world records in three consecutive decades at the same distance.

Other notable achievements by Secrest include riding 1,216 miles in 24 hours in 1990, on a motor speedway pacing behind a truck. Also, he holds the North American transcontinental record of 2,916 mil e s in 7 days, 23 hours, 16 minutes. That was on the open road with towns, stop signs and stop lights to slow his effort.

Who: Michael Secrest
What: Cycling – successful attempt on the 24-hour indoor unpaced world record. Covered 535.86 miles, average speed 22.32 mph.
Where: ADT Velodrome, Carson, California
When: Started 8:35 a.m. PDT, June 15, 2007, finished 8:35 a.m. PDT, June 16, 2007
Why: To raise awareness for the Ride Your Bike to School program, which is intended to combat childhood obesity. Also, Secrest believes he was under-geared in his October 2006 effort and can go considerably faster
Website: www.theguyonthebike.com

ANALYSIS (Courtesy, Chris Kostman www.adventurecorps.com)

Hour 1 avg: 24.7mph (vs 23.456)
Hour 2 avg: 24:544 (vs 23.612)
Hour 3 avg: 24.544 (yes, the same!) (vs 23.353)
Hour 4 avg: 24.47 (vs 23.340)
100 Miles: 4:05:18 elapsed time
Hour 5 avg: 24.40 (vs 23.075)
Hour 6 avg: 24.35 (vs 23.353)
Hour 7 avg: 24.3 (vs 23.367)
Hour 8 avg: 24.21 (vs 23.320)
200 Miles: 8: 8:16:14 elapsed time
Hour 9 avg: 24.13 (vs 23.180)
Hour 10 avg: 24.047 (vs 23.161)
Hour 11 avg: 23.78 (vs 23.117)
Hour 12 avg: 23.62 (vs 23.107)
300 Miles: 12:43:41 elapsed time
Hour 13 avg: 23.55 (vs 23.074)
Hour 14 avg: 23.42 (vs 23.035)
Hour 15 avg: 23.32 (vs 22.990)
Hour 16 avg: 23.23 (vs 22.94)
Hour 17 avg: 23.12 (vs 22.39)
400 Miles: 17:20 elapsed time (2575 laps)
Hour 18 avg: 23.01 (vs 22.85)
Hour 19 avg: 22.88 (vs 22.794)
Hour 20 avg: 22.75 (vs 22.742)
Hour 21 avg: 22.61 (vs 22.687)
Hour 22 avg: 22.50 (vs 22.525)
500 Miles: 22:14:34 (3219 laps)
Hour 23 avg: 22:409 (vs 22:403 – he got back ahead of last year’s average with this hour)

Hour 24 avg: 22.327 (vs 22.28)
Total Miles for 24 hours: 535.868 miles

For point of comparison, at hour 8 last October, Michael’s average was 23.32 and he’s been 1mph or more faster than last year in each of the first seven hours this time around, so he has some miles in the bank. At hour 12 last October, Michael’s average was 23.107, so he was still “comfortably” ahead of his record pace. At hour 16 last October, Michael’s average was 22.94, so he’s still ahead of last year at hour 16.. As of hour 20 this year, Michael hit the same average as last year at hour 20. Then, with hour 21 and hour 22, he has fallen below last year’s average for those hours. He has extra miles “in the bank” due to his faster start this year, but it is all coming down to his finishing push. In hour 23 he accelerated back above last year’s pace.

Gearing this time: 55×15 (fixed gear) – Changed to 55×16 at 10:47 elapsed time.

Gearing last October: 54×15 (fixed gear)

Cadence range: 78-80 rpm (later it was 77 to 85, after he changed his gear)

Media contact: Paul Skilbeck, O2 Sports Media, tel. 415-516-1444 em. pskilbeck@o2sm.com

Tags: , ,

One response to “Michael Secrest Breaks 24 Hour Cycling Record”

  1. RAAM 2008 says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for posting about Michael Secrest. He is a living legend. I am lucky to live near the Carson velodrome and attending these last two 24-hour record settings by The Hammer! He remains composed and focused throughout the event which is inspiring and a good model for all ultras to note and follow.

    Good luck with all upcoming events.



Leave a Reply to RAAM 2008 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email: web@ultrarob.com

Business Seal       Privacy Seal