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Put me back on the trike! Steve Abraham to resume Year record attempt

Milton Keynes cyclist to pedal recumbent trike one-legged as he recovers from broken ankle

Steve Abraham is to resume his attempt on Tommy Godwin’s Year Record on a recumbent bike – but he will be using just one foot, after sustaining a broken ankle last week when he was hit from behind by a moped rider suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.

Abraham, from Milton Keynes, has been discharged from hospital after an operation to fit metal plates in his ankle after the incident in Wellington, Somerset last Sunday, says his crew chief Chris ‘Hoppo’ Hopkinson in a message posted to Facebook, and is now recovering at home.

“He has decided to continue with the record attempt and as a team we are very seriously considering running a concurrent record attempt, starting sometime in the late summer this year after Steve should have made a full recovery,” said Hopkinson.

The efforts of Abraham and the American ultra-endurance riders Kurt Searvogel and William Pruett to beat Godwin’s record of 75,065 miles set in 1939 are being carried out under the supervision of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Organisation (UMCA).

Hopkinson said that looking to start a fresh attempt on the record, while continuing to add to the distance he has been racking up since the start of the year, “is within the UMCA rules for this record attempt, so neither record attempt would end if he started again in the summer.”

Next Saturday, cyclists are being urged by the UMCA to ride 205.6 miles – or as much as they can manage – in what is being called the Highest Annual Mileage Record (HAM’R) day, a tribute not only to Godwin, but also the three men currently attempting to beat him.

Hopkinson said: “Steve is due to lose his advantage on the current record (and be roughly at the same mileage Tommy Godwin was at the same time of year), strangely on 11th April, which is HAM'R day.

“To mitigate that loss we are now looking into Steve using a recumbent trike. Steve has asked several medics and doctors whether this was wise to do (when he was at hospital) and had no negative feedback.

Riding a recumbent trike will mean that he can sit in an ideal position for recovery from his injuries, with the ankle raised. So as far as the injured ankle is concerned, it should be no different to sitting on his couch at home. Being outdoors will also give the benefit of extra vitamin D, which is very good for his bones.”

He made clear that the idea is for Abraham to try and limit his losses as much as possible pending a full recovery.

“We can use the Milton Keynes Bowl for Steve to ride on so that Steve is never far from home and will be riding on a traffic-free circuit used for road racing,” he explained.

“We anticipate Steve to be travelling very slowly, as he will be riding one-legged on a different kind of bike to what he normally rides, but if he can manage 5-10mph for 10hrs a day he should reduce his losses by over 2,000miles by the end of April. The doctors have given him 6 weeks before the injury will have recovered enough to be weight bearing.

But, he continued, “On the negative side, the losses could be too great to recover. We don't know if Steve will recover fast enough to get back up to speed and meet his very demanding summer schedule, in order to re-catch what Tommy Godwin did in 1939. We don't know for sure if this plan will work.

On the positive side. Steve was going from strength to strength during the first 3months of the record attempt and when he set off for Exeter last Saturday he felt stronger than he had all year.

“He has now had a good amount of recovery time after the accident. Although we don't know if Steve can meet the demanding summer schedule as soon as he is fully recovered from injury, we don't know that he can't either.

“It also seems possible that he could make a very good and fast recovery. We will have a better idea when he sees the doctor in two weeks on how he is recovering.

“Of course, we don't know either way how it will go. But because we can keep this record attempt going without putting another record attempt at risk ( and riding on may even be helpful to Steve's recovery – and still have a fighting chance of achieving what he set out to do ), it seems logical to give it a try.”

Hopkinson stressed however that nothing is set in stone as yet.

“Steve's main aim is to make a good recovery – and if using the recumbent trike doesn't work out we can always stop completely and have a complete restart in summer,” he said.

“He will not be doing anything rash, or take any risks. Nor will he go against professional medical advice. Steve would like to thank all his supporters for their continued support and messages of goodwill. He will keep everyone fully updated as his new plans progress.

“In the meantime, Steve wishes to pass on his regards and wish the best of luck to Kurt Searvogel who continues to ride strong and fast in the same record attempt and has proven himself to be a great sportsman, as well as a great sport,” he concluded.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Andy Halls | 9 years ago

I only hope that Steve reads these comments, i broke my arm 5yrs ago while cycling, plates fitted the lot, i never once listened to any ones advice and kept cycling, the worst mistake i have ever made the pain i get after any hard work or even rough roads is unbelievable, as for the Doctors saying he will be getting vitamin D, why doesnt he just let things heal and sit outside with a warm coat on, breaking records are good but your health comes first.

themartincox | 9 years ago

As much as I admire the chutzpah of Steve for even attempting this, and for carrying on, I cannot help but think about how the continued exertion will play absolute ruddy havoc on his physical recovery.

Bones and damaged tissues do need some time and substance to repair properly, and surely if he is still riding, and 1 legged at that!, the nutrients needed for repair are going to be going to repair muscles in use?

Going from 2 to 1 legs in action is going to put phenomenal strains on the body!

"He will not be doing anything rash, or take any risks. Nor will he go against professional medical advice." hmmm I very much doubt this!

I can't help but wonder whether his support crew are geeing him along, or acting as checks and balances?

It's one thing to get a 'record', totally another to mess with, and potentially damage further, someones physiology!

Sir Wobbly | 9 years ago

Go Steve, Go!

Kadinkski | 9 years ago

Now that he is continuing the attempt on a recumbent around a traffic-free circuit I wonder if those bores that bang on about Kurt's recumbent miles being invalid will give it a rest?

Housecathst replied to Kadinkski | 9 years ago
Kadinkski wrote:

Now that he is continuing the attempt on a recumbent around a traffic-free circuit I wonder if those bores that bang on about Kurt's recumbent miles being invalid will give it a rest?

It will put them on a level playing field, well other than the one leg thing.

Angelfishsolo | 9 years ago

 41  41  41  41 What a legend this man is.

BigAl68 | 9 years ago

He is a total legend. GO STEVE!

balmybaldwin | 9 years ago


2 Wheeled Idiot | 9 years ago

Absolute f@#£%&* machine.
Chapeau man, and good luck  16  4

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