Cycling 500,000 miles?

I’ve written about running legend Amby Burfoot’s website 100k lifetime miles before.  Burfoot keeps a sort of unofficial record of runners who have logged at least 100,000 miles in their lifetime.  It’s an impressive list.  Running 100,000 miles takes incredible dedication and years upon years of consistent mileage.  I started way too late in life to ever hit that number, but I return to the site often to be inspired by the dedication these runners exhibit.

Lately I’ve been cycling more, and this morning on my ride to work I got to thinking about Burfoot’s website, the incredible milestone for a runner that 100,000 miles represents, and I wondered, what is the equivalent for a cyclist?  What amount of mileage shows true, obsessive, dedication to the sport?

It has to be more than 100,000 miles.  But is it 250,000? 500,000? 750,000? 1,000,000?  I’m not sure.  In my googling, I have found only one person, Freddie Hoffman, who can credibly claim to have cycled over a million miles.  As of 2001, Hoffman had ridden over 1,200,000 miles.  That’s a lot of riding.  Accomplished ultra cyclist Danny Chew is pushing for one million miles.  He has already ridden over 700,000, but that has taken him more than twenty years.

Hoffman and Chew are clearly outliers.  They devote truly mind boggling amounts of time to riding a bike.  Their accomplishments are impressive, but not realistic for an amateur.  So what is an impressive, but attainable, goal?  250k seems too small; 750k too much.  Perhaps 500K the marker of life of dedication to the sport?  Veteran amateur cyclist Bill Bauer has ridden that much.  I imagine others have as well.

Me?  I’m too late to the game, and do not have the dedication to the sport to ever hit these impressive milestones.  Still, I can be inspired by these incredible performances to get back on the bike and put in a couple more miles.

Have you ridden some serious miles?  Comment or get in touch.  I haven’t found much online about this, and I’m dyign to learn more!

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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2 Responses to Cycling 500,000 miles?

  1. Lisa says:

    I imagine my randonneuring friends have done hundreds of thousands of miles, at least. It doesn’t seem to be a measure that cyclists I know seem to use, but maybe I’m hanging with the wrong crowd. According to my records, I’ve logged 5890 miles in 3 years, so unless I really step up my game, I’d be lucky to hit 250k miles in my lifetime.

    • seanv2 says:

      Almost 6k is certainly respectable! I was speaking with another friend who is deep into cycling and he echoed your comment that lifetime mileage isn’t something cyclists talk all that much about. He estimated that serious amateurs probably log a couple hundred thousand in their life time which more than I’ll ever do.

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