|Newsletter - 2007 Archive|
There are many ways people engage in long distance cycling. Most of these involve events like brevets, long distance races, 24 hour time trials. Sometimes cyclists try to go fast between two places often in search of a record: San Francisco-Los Angeles, Land's End-John O'Groats, Vancouver-Halifax. Here in BC we witnessed, through John Hathaway, a unique form of distance cycling - "extreme touring". Ken Bonner's big distance 2006 provides the opportunity to take a closer look at another form of organized distance cycling - year-round distance accumulation.
Many of you will already be familiar with the two ways, the two systems, for participating in this sort of cycling. Both the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association's (UMCA) Year-rounder Challenge and the Canadian Kilometer Achiever Program (C-KAP) offer ways for cyclists to focus their riding, and give some meaning, or at least some measurement, to their efforts. Both systems encourage participation and fitness, and they have both done the valuable service of creating a community of like-minded cyclists.
Although the two systems are similar in some ways, the rules of engagement are different. The UMCA Year-rounder Challenge recognizes only distances larger than an imperial century, which they peculiarly define as between 90 and 149 miles. The C-KAP system recognizes all distance logged by C-KAP members. This is why when people participate in both programs in the same year, it is likely that that their C-KAP distance will be greater than their UMCA distance - nobody confines their cycling to rides over 90 miles... well, maybe there's one person. Both systems rely on the honesty of participants though the UMCA does require some verification - a brevet card for randonneur distances for example, or receipts from stores or restaurants every 25-35 miles for personal centuries. There is no speed component to the C-KAP, but for UMCA distance there is a minimum speed of 8.33 mph (that's 13.3 km/hr). Each system recognizes several levels of distance achievement. The UMCA's year starts and ends at the winter solstice (Dec 21), while C-KAP uses the normal calendar year.
At a certain point both UMCA and C-KAP systems become a venue for a form of distance cycling achievement comparable to other extreme forms of ultra cycling. I thought it might be interesting to rummage through the UMCA and C-KAP archives and compile lists highlighting some of the extraordinary practitioners of this sort of riding. In the first chart below, the official UMCA figures are the mile figures on the right - for ease of comparison I have converted to kilometers in the left column.
UMCA Year-Rounder Challenge: All-time Single-year Distance List,
50,602 Ken Bonner 2006 (31,444 miles) 41,917 Luc Viau 2002 (26,047 miles) 36,974 Larry Schwartz 2002 (22,980 miles) 32,200~ John Lee Ellis 1991 (20,000+miles)*(note below) 29,764 Ken Bonner 2005 (18,495 miles) 29,747 Larry Schwartz 2001 (18,485 miles) 26,423 Luc Viau 2001 (16,419 miles)
Missing from the above list are year-rounder perennials Crista Borras, Chuck Wood, John Lee Ellis, Woody Graham, Keith Krombel and others who have never reached these distances, but have year after year registered distances at or approaching the 10,000 miles (16,000 km) mark. (Larry Schwartz above is the same person as Lawrence Schartz below.)
C-KAP: All-time Single-year Distance List, 1975-2006
50,934 Ken Bonner 2006 Victoria BC 42,020 Lawrence Schwartz* 2002 Wylie Texas 35,113 Lawrence Schwartz* 2001 Wylie Texas 35,026 Valerie Copeland F 1999 Grimsby Ont 34,878 Frank "Woody" Graham 2000 Columbia SC 33,130 Stanislaw Skonieczny 1998 Toronto Ont 32,223 Valerie Copeland F 1998 Grimsby Ont 32,117 Henry Berkenbos 2006 Richmond BC 31,419 Valerie Copeland F 2002 Grimsby Ont 31,162 Ken Bonner 2005 Victoria BC 30,419 Frank "Woody" Graham 2005 Columbia SC 30,162 Valerie Copeland F 2001 Grimsby Ont 29,572 Henry Berkenbos 2002 Richmond BC 29,403 Henry Berkenbos 2005 Richmond BC 28,970 Stanislaw Skonieczny 2000 Toronto Ont 28,860 Stanislaw Skonieczny 2001 Toronto Ont 28,658 Frank "Woody" Graham 2004 Columbia SC 28,646 Henry Berkenbos 2004 Richmond BC 28,110 Phil Van Alstyne 1983 Lowville Ont 27,534 Frank "Woody" Graham** 2003 Columbia SC 27,266 Frank "Woody" Graham** 1995 Columbia SC 27,031 Henry Berkenbos 2003 Richmond BC 26,920 Stanislaw Skonieczny 1993 Toronto Ont 26,920 Stanislaw Skonieczny 1994 Toronto Ont 26,620 Stanislaw Skonieczny 1995 Toronto Ont 25,490 Stanislaw Skonieczny 1999 Toronto Ont 25,302 Valerie Copeland F 1997 Grimsby Ont 25,180 Stanislaw Skonieczny 1992 Toronto Ont
* Lawrence Schwartz: Deceased
May 4th, 2003, Age - 42. Struck by a school bus from behind.
(link to UMCA's Larry
The Web Sites Obviously this is just a snapshot of the activities of UMCA and C-KAP, and interested cyclists will want to take a closer look at their web sites:
The C-KAP site is a wonderful, eccentrically organized entity, with interesting material in unexpected places. It's well worth taking your time and exploring every nook and cranny. The UMCA website is the best source on the internet for information about every aspect of hard core distance cycling. The year-rounder sub-section of that site could use some harmonization of the yearly results presentation, and some organizational tinkering to improve navigation, but you'll actually have no trouble finding what you want with a little clicking around. (Am I the only person puzzled that the site is .com instead of .org... even RAAM is .org.)
Hats off to John Lee Ellis who organizes the UMCA Year-rounder Challenge, and to James Wilson, the C-KAP coordinator.
One more tidbit of information. Here is an article looking at the annual distance maniacs in a different time, in a different place, and on a different scale. I don't know anything else about these records, and have been unable to easily find anything about them or the riders, including whether or how the records were verified. Still, interesting material. Thanks to Barry Lycett and Ken Bonner for sending this one along:
January 31, 2007
Additional (Feb 15):
* I had thought that UMCA's Year-rounder Challenge began in 1999 - the year we see the first riders' totals list on the web site. According to program organizer John Lee Ellis: "The program started around 1983, I think. (In other words, it is almost as old as the UMCA.) I definitely remember standings from 1984." There are likely other entries pre-1999 on the UMCA list above, but this information is not readily available. One thing John Lee is certain about is his own entry - he was the first person to break the 20,000 mile barrier (1991). His record was then broken the following year.
C-KAP coordinator James Wilson has provided another interesting
list - the list of riders who have logged 100,000 km or more...
some of them, a lot more: