Mileage / Cat 5 Racing MTB Now / Amanda Coker

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I’ve been riding a fair amount the last week.  Nothing crazy, but pretty hard considering the wind has never been blowing much less than 20 mph.  It has been pretty usually warm the past couple weeks, in the 60’s, but when that is the case this time of the year, it is nearly always super windy.

I rode 440 miles last week.  I did a 90 mile ride and sort of fell apart around 50.  But I just kept training and yesterday did 80 miles and felt fine. That is with a lot of wind, once again.  I have no idea what my body does to compensate for those extremes?  It is so weird.

I got a racing license last friday.   I was considering racing on Saturday, but thought better of it after riding over to the race.  The Spring Fling course is pretty safe, but the wind was crazy and I do realize that I need to stay vertical on a bicycle for the near future.

I don’t quite understand the licensing deal from USAC nowadays.  It cost me $255 for an international license.  Something about extra for a t-shirt and insurance at gravel races/gravel fondos.  Then there is a $25 fee for extra drug testing, the Race Clean program.  I guess I don’t mind paying for either of those things.  Both seem like a good use of funds.

I was just looking at my license and I’m a Cat 5 for MTB cross country racing.  Actually, I’m a Cat 5 in all aspects of MTB racing, except observed trials, where I’m a 3.  Not sure what happened there.  I maybe didn’t race enough sanctioned MTB races, so got downgraded to 5?

I had been only riding around 250-300 miles a week, but felt I needed to get some endurance.  A 440 mile week in Kansas, with this wind, is like a 550 mile week in California.   I try to ride as much sidewind as possible, since riding straight into the headwind is way too hard.

I was looking at Strava and they are doing a March Distance Challenge.  I noticed this because Amanda Coker had signed up for it.  She is the woman setting the ultra endurance record down in Florida.  She has been riding daily, what I had done the previous 3 weeks.  She has upped her mileage to around 250 miles a day now.  Guess she only has 10 weeks or so to go, so she is going longer at the end.  And faster.  The numbers are mind blowing.

I don’t understand it at all.  Not any of it.  Her time riding, her speed riding, how she can consume enough calories for the effort, none of it.  She finished week 42 last Saturday and rode 253.3 miles that day.  I’ve never come close to riding that far my whole life.   And she does it for nearly 42 weeks straight, everyday, pretty much.

She is winning the Strava March Challenge, having ridden 2024 km. in 5 days.  She is 753 km ahead of 2nd place.  This is out of 112,585 people signed up.  I am in 429th place, not that I’m keeping track.

I don’t understand why she isn’t getting more press from cycling publications.  RAAM gets way more press than this and what she is doing is way, way more impressive.  On so many levels.  I can ride a bicycle alright and there is absolutely no way I could do what she has already done.  It is amazing.

Okay, it is windy again here in Kansas.  Gusts today over 40 I heard on the radio.  The upside to this crazy wind is they can’t burn the grass, so the air is cleaner.  A little I guess.  It is supposed to get to 76 this afternoon, but thunderstorms then.   Guess I should get out early?

We came in on gravel yesterday to try to get some shelter from the wind.

This is John-Jack. We stopped for coffee in Lawrence and he decided to refuel.

Amanda Coker rides more a day than I did in 3 separate weeks.

My license.

After 3 days of the Strava March Challenge, I was tied with Tony Rominger.

I saw that Amanda has a GoFundMe page to help with her expenses. She has raised a little over $5,000. I figure she is going to go through 56 tires, if she gets 3000 miles per tire. She could probably use some assistance. Here is a link to her GoFundMe page.



48 thoughts on “Mileage / Cat 5 Racing MTB Now / Amanda Coker

  1. Taman

    My states MB race series is not USAC sanctioned and I too was downgraded without me asking or a warning. I simply sent USAC an email inquiring about the downgrade, explained my race situation and next time I looked online my MB catagory was back to what it had been, no explanation. “…falls down a well, …eyes go cross…gets kicked by a mule, they go back. I don’t know.”

  2. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Funny that if you’re an International Elite, they even bother to “categorize” you on the road (Cat 1). Isn’t that a category for non-pros? I honestly don’t understand categorization anymore.

    Also, they’re being totally disingenuous on the fees. Insurance surcharges are charged at the races themselves. I don’t see why one’s license fee should cover insurance for gravel events. What if you were a rider that didn’t even enter these?

  3. Cranky Curmudgeon

    Renewed my USAC license last week. What a shitty experience. Terrible website and process. I wouldn’t be surprised if I consented to give away my first born.

  4. Roger Lomshek

    Are more Strava leaders doping (mech and pharma) than TDF riders? We may never know.

  5. jpete

    That’s like a chain every 10 days! Shimano or SRAM somebody should sponsor her, or have her do product testing.

  6. James

    Any mention of more than 150 miles in a week will bring out the get a ‘real’ job rant.

  7. Rich

    Not cool. No need for comments about someone’s appearance. If you’re jealous about her riding volume, then just say so.

  8. FreddieJ


    Aren’t you in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame? And they say you’re Cat 5?


  9. Mayor McCheese

    There’s something fishy about this whole Amanda Coker thing. Think about it. How many calories one would have to take in to maintain their weight, yet alone have this smooth non-veinous appearance she is maintaining? There’s no fine definition anywhere on her body yet these are the hallmarks and attributes of any other rider that consistently does 500 mile weeks for any amount of time. Even just building up to that creates a certain amount of definition in a rider.

  10. James

    Is that you Donald? Another conspiracy theory you heard about from one of your boys?

  11. Steve Tilford Post author

    Mayor – I’ve never seen her personally, but I wouldn’t judge her by a picture. She is riding between 11 and 13 hours a day, for nearly 300 days straight. I have no idea how she can consume enough calories. Plus, I don’t know her body type. “Something fishy”? Something incredible is accurate.

  12. Mayor McCheese

    Incredible in the same way that every outlier performance in cycling we’ve seen has ended up being a fraud. How does one set a world record in distance cycling without their body showing at least some of the attributes that every other long distance cyclist has exhibited?

    One has to suspend disbelief to believe it.

  13. Sean

    Pretty sure Amanda Coker is doing most of these rides on a recumbent. I’ve never ridden one so I don’t know how that adds up in terms of fatigue but I’m sure that’s why the speeds are so high.

  14. Jock Boyer'

    Your Romingering as in only The Big Ring..nice Dude. No disrespect to Amanda but she will need to polish off one of those RAAM’s they dont just ride around in a Walmart Lot, right Danny?!

  15. Mike Rodose

    This thread was about cycling and Amanda Coker. Some people expressed suspicion or doubt that an endurance athlete, setting planetary daily mileage records, would have that body-type.

    And your contribution is trying to bait everyone with your over-politicized views of everybody else? Seriously James, please stay on topic.

  16. Mike Rodose

    I had forgotten that she is on a recumbent. Still impressive, but the whole thing is really odd. Hamster wheel stuff…

  17. Mike Rodose

    Call them up or send them some information on Amanda. Beats crowdfunding maybe?

  18. mike crum

    nothing to do with the post of the day, but did anyone listen to lance Armstrong today on the howard stern show? pretty good interview..

  19. DR

    Riding twelve hours a day every day on a small loop in a park. How could your body take that? How could your mind take that? She would have to be sleeping almost all of the remaining hours of the day. What happens to your digestion on that kind of schedule? And all for what? Why not just do RAAM or other ultra-marathon events?

  20. Jock Boyer'

    Howard Stern now I got to dig that up he no doubt kicked LA Boys behind. I remember Danny Chew riding from Pittsburgh over to NYC back in the day to do a Howard Stern interview, and if I remember Danny Tacoed a Spinergy Wheel on the GW Bridge on his way back and No Doubt rode that sucker all the way into Pittsburgh! Good thing I never had to face Howard Stern hahahoho!

  21. Fausto

    I went to university right down the road from where she is riding and would do 350 miles a week, less than a 100 feet of elevation gain, in Florida heat and humidity. Most boring miles ever ridden: nothing but scrub, sand and the occasional armadillo. Just can not picture her doing those kind of miles in that heat and rain for a year. My family there says there is not much local press on her either. Are the major cycling publications/sites staying away because it is too good to be true? Motor check time.

  22. sillypuddy

    All those miles r imressive. I dont mean to b critical but if i had not seen a pic of her i would have assumed she would have been leaner. Do we know what her calorie intake is? Can anyone suggest a good spinning bike? Im in the market.

  23. Mike crum

    Sillypuddy, be ready for that one punk that gave me some shit about rambling on and on when I put up a post.. I could care less, but you did talk about two different subjects in your one paragraph.

  24. Barb

    If any of the pros were riding the way Amanda is riding, they’d be accused of doping and probably tested. I’m not saying she’s doping, but when human beings perform in a superhuman fashion, it definitely makes people wonder how they’re doing it. As Steve is even wondering. Probably get attacked for even suggesting the idea, but that’s what comes to mind when I look at her stats.

  25. Mike crum

    Barb, is there any proof of her riding this far and espically this fast? Anyone trustworthy see her pedaling 20+ mph for 10 hours straight ? Is her loop course and computer on her bike accurate? Be awesome if someone was doing this drug free and everything was accurate. But looking at her photo from a month or two ago, she looks the same. No tan . A bit heavy . No circles under her eyes. Etc. plus all the other signs of someone doing something so strenuous .

  26. John Guthrie

    If anyone has hung out with ultra runners you’ll know that it’s common to see athletes on the sturdy side. That physiology type is durable and can rack up miles.

  27. Dan

    I run a Campy Veloce ten speed chain , They are quite remarkable . I can get 5 to 6k out of them

  28. als

    You seem overly surprised that it’s even possible for anybody riding a recumbent to average 20 mph. So what average speed do you think is reasonable for somebody to obtain while riding “one of those sit down bikes”? What do you think is the limiting factor of a “sit down bike” that prevents obtaining a 20 mph average? Regardless of what your answers are, I’ll go ahead and ask that, physics isn’t your strong suit, is it? Then again I would’nt expect someone who works in IT and moonlights as a call-boy catering to old farmers, truckers, ranchers, cowboys and oil riggers, to be adept in physics.

  29. als

    Is there any evidence of her NOT riding this far and especially this fast? Are there any eyewitnesses that can testify to seeing her NOT pedaling 20+ mph for 10 hours straight, during a time Amanda logged as doing such?

    You must not be familiar with the Latin expression “Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat”. It’s a legal right that is so widely held in all rules-of-law (historic and modern) that it is declared as a Universal Human Right. Translated to english it means – the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies. Put in simpler terminology, which you might understand, this means the presumption of innocence or innocent until proven guilty.

    Now this right is only extend in a court of law, and of course we are not in a court of law, but since it is internationally recognized as a universal human right, its a characteristic that all decent human beings exhibit.

    So Amanda has stated she has ridden X number of miles. She has also provided some electronic data to support her statement. You, Scrum, have somewhat declared Amanda of being a fraud based up what you, personally, see (or don’t see) in a picture of her. Now of course Amanda is denying that a lack of a tan, being “a bit heavy”, and having “no circles under her eyes”, in fact makes her a fraud.

    Now due to the nature of things, someone who denies a fact cannot provide evidence supporting that very same fact. Therefore, Scrum, the burden of proving Amanda as a fraud, beyond a reasonable doubt, is solely placed upon you buddy. GOOD LUCK, JACKASS.

    I’ll give ya a bit of advice, don’t look for proof within ones personal appearance.

  30. Geoff L

    Amanda is the real deal. I know two people who have taken the time to go down to Florida and ride with her, and she is legit. I hope she blows the record away. She deserves it

  31. Jay

    It’s not like she’s riding a loop with a 2,000-foot climb in it so I don’t understand why some here are so concerned about her weight. But I wonder why she’s expending so much to accomplish what I think is ultimately a pretty boring endeavor. Is it all for a mention in the World Book of Records? I wouldn’t want my own son to set out to do something like this.

  32. als

    Yeah, you might be right. It does seem a bit silly to set and then achieve a personal goal that offers little to no reward; other than proving to yourself that you can do it when everyone else says its impossible.

    So what types of goals do you want your son to set out for? The ones that offer rewards of publicity, notoriety, fame, wealth?

  33. sillypuddy

    ALS, i commented on her appearance, but didn’t mean it n a bad way. I wss just alittle supprised she wasn’t bone thin. Riding that daily milage at that speed is a really fast clip. I c ” larger folks ” riding big miles but at alot slower pace. I personally dont ride for mileage, but for time. Onl about 6 hrs a week. Any less and i start 2 c it n the mirror. Didn’t mean to get u upset again.

  34. steevo

    When I would ride long with Danny Chew at mile 177 or something he would yell “A FREDDY” – meaning a Fred Hoffman, because you would have to do 177 miles a day to get his average annual milage.

    Anybody doing more than 100 miles a day everyday for any amount of time needs to have their brain checked.

  35. als

    Oh come on Scrum, is that the best ya got? Shit man, here I was thinking you’d could do a helluva lot better than that while throwing me some shade. Damn! I guess you proved me wrong! Nice job buddy!

    Sorry you didn’t pick-up on the subtle sarcasm of my prose. But why I’m a apologizing for your ineptness you didn’t see the glaring irony in your comment and your reply to mine. Like somehow calling her a fraud simply because she doesnt have a tan would put you on some moral ladder to say my use of ‘silly’ is fucked up.

    Please try harder next time Scrum!

  36. Randy Legeai

    UCI “Elite” is an age categorization (over 23) not a skill categorization. The USAC road categories would apply for USAC-sanctioned domestic races. When riders show up at USAC-sanctioned races with international licenses issued by other countries’ federations the referee has to decide (or more often let the rider decide) in which USAC category the rider will race. As for the USAC racing licenses, the legacy USAC database is in the process of being completely re-done under the new, not yet ready for prime time, system and there have been a ton of issues like Steve saw. Basically they are running the old database and at the same time establishing the new database. I have seen a number of people who got dropped down to the entry level categories in one or more disciplines when renewing under the new license system. The new system is trying to pull the legacy rider information from the old system and it seems like sometimes things don’t match up right. I’ve seen a number of cases just like Steve’s. USAC is quick to fix them as soon as they hear from the riders. The full new system and website are probably not going to be able to go live until the fall.

  37. wheelman61

    Englishman Steve Abraham was on a pace to crush the 75000 mile mark in 2025 & 2016 before injuries from a crash compelled him to abandon. He was riding on the open road every day. He’s not a toothpick either, so don’t draw too many conclusions about body type and the legitimacy of the record attempt

  38. wallymann

    anyone remember clara hughes? world class speedskater and cyclist from canada. she would never be accused of being particularly lean or ripped, but it never stopped her achieving world-class results in 2 sports. anyone remember tommy danielson? a confirmed doper and world class climber, while he was trim he was also never particularly ripped.

    clara —


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