Friday, November 18, 2011

Fast old guy on an old bike


As the saying goes, "If you fall off the horse, get back on it." Or perhaps, "Where there's a will, there's a way." In legendary ultra cyclist Michael Secrest's case, he had to get back on his 1996 GT track bike on nine different occasions, over the span of several years, before he finally broke the 100-mile indoor track cycling record. He did this at age 58! Bravo, Michael! Here's a write-up about this incredible, multiple world record-breaking achievement from

On his 9th attempt, 58-year-old Michael Secrest set a new indoor 100-mile world record on October 15, 2011. Secrest covered the 100 miles (161 km) on the Home Depot Center Velodrome track in 3 hours, 46 minutes, 16 seconds - at 26.52 mph (42.68 kph).

After a clean drug test following the ride, Secrest's record was officially certified by the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA). His mark bested the previous record of 3:47:26 set in 1994 by Rod Evans.

As if Secrest's time weren't remarkable enough, he wrote us to share a couple of other amazing facts about this astounding record:

- It was set on a standard bike. But not just any bike. "I used the same frame that I used to set the outdoor 24-hour world record in LA, back in 1996," he said. "Imagine that. In this day of high-tech advancements on even a greater turnover than annually, I set a WR on a 15-year-old frame! I guess this can make the case that it's not the bike, it's the engine!"

- He is the oldest athlete ever to set an overall (all ages) world record.

- He is the only athlete in history to set world records in four consecutive decades. "The fact of which I am most proud is that all were achieved without the use of performance-enhancing drugs. ([I was] drug tested after every WR). I hope that maybe some of your readers may find inspiration through this fact or because of my age as not being a barrier to either continue or start riding a bike!"

Well, fellow roadies, if you can't find inspiration in a 58-year-old, drug-free cyclist setting an overall world record on a 15-year-old frame - you might not have a pulse!

Two more notes about Michael: He's also the author of "The Guy on the Bike," an autobiographical eBook that reveals details of his unmatched cycling successes and turns them into inspirational life lessons for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. He's certainly got a new chapter to add to his book.

Finally, while he's the rarest of cyclists in terms of his ability, he's all too normal in terms of his facing danger every time he rides on the road. He concluded his message with a cautionary tale for all roadies:

"I forgot to mention that just four days after setting the 100-mile indoor WR, I was hit by a car making a left turn into me while I was riding through an intersection. It was early evening and I had two rear flashers and my front strobe fully functioning. The accident left me with a fractured collarbone and two fractured posterior ribs. I'm very lucky, as it could easily have been fatal. I expect a full recovery."

1 comment:

coastdownhills said...

Many athletes do their personal bests in their 50's. Besting all those youngsters full of natural performance enhancing chemicals is amazing.

That last point may be the most telling. Unlike most professional athletes, even Lance is just another guy on a bike when he's riding the back roads of Texas, France, Spain or wherever else he dares to mix with automobiles.