Inspiring Story of Recovery & Incredible Determination

BicycleFor those of you who have not been following this amazing story, Amanda Coker is a 24-year-old woman who shattered the previous record of total miles ridden in a year. Her story is an inspiring one of recovery and incredible determination.

Amanda was a gifted athlete in high school and college before a distracted driver collided with her and her father in 2011 while on a bike ride together. He was left with a broken back and Amanda sustained a devastating brain injury. They both required years to recover. In 2014, although still suffering the effects of her injury, Amanda began to ride seriously again. In 2015 she met Kurt Searvogel who was attempting to break the men's single year mileage record. Amanda began to ride with him at Flatwoods Park in Hillsborough County and he encouraged her to go for the woman's mileage record. Little did they know she would go on to shatter them both.

It is reported that during her first day of the record attempt she logged 250 miles. She went on to log 230 the second and 232 the day after. Every day for the following year she woke at 4 AM, arrived at Flatwoods at 7 AM when the park opened and stayed until it closed. She continues to get stronger and logged her highest mileage day of 302 miles within two days of the one-year mark. Not only has she gotten stronger physically but she has gotten stronger mentally, as well.

For some perspective it has been pointed out some amateur cyclists ride 300 to 600 miles month and the hard-core might ride 800-1000 miles a month. During her record setting year Amanda rode an incredible average of 237.1 miles every single day, 7211 miles per month. The vast majority of those miles were ridden alone. Think of it. Whether she felt like it or not she rode through hail, wind, 100 degree days, harassment by other nitwit riders and she did it through every imaginable physical and mental hardship.

The record had been set by Tommy Godwin in 1939 when he rode 75,065 miles in one year. Many considered it an unbeatable record. In 2015 Kurt Searvogel beat it by riding 76,076 miles. Not only did Amanda destroy the woman's previous record of 29,603 miles, she beat Kurt's record by an amazing 10,497 miles and covered 86,537 miles and 365 days!

But she hasn't stopped. She now is on a quest to beat the 500 consecutive day 100,000 mile record also held by Tommy Godwin. At her current pace she should add an additional 15 to 18,000 miles to the incredible number.

Amanda has a GoFundMe account, I would urge anyone to consider helping her set/break the Women's Highest Annual Mileage Record (HAMR)!

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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