Kajsa Tylen is a competitive, record-breaking cyclist. On December 31 2016, the Nottingham-born cyclist beat the 78-year-old standing Guinness World Record for the number of miles cycled in one year by a female.
Cycling throughout 2016, she clocked up 52,025 km (32,326 miles) in those 365 days, and battled injuries as well as the weather to achieve her goal. It's a challenge she took on in an effort to inspire people to do more exercise.
What makes Kajsa’s achievement even more extraordinary is that when she started off on the 1st of January 2016, she had only been cycling for just over three years. Having done practically no exercise up to the age of 26, Kajsa started kick-boxing lessons at her gym. Then followed the challenge of a half Ironman event which encouraged her to start cycling in 2013, and it's fair to say that since then she has taken on more than most ever would consider! By the end of 2014 she had decided to take on the world record that would see her cycling just under 90 miles per day, every day for a year.
As one highlight of her year in the saddle, she decided to cycle to her birth-country of Sweden and spend some time seeing the country, even riding through the midnight sun in the northern parts of the country. In her own words: "Cycling is my way of escaping the world and seeing places without being a "tourist". It also brings me closer to my friends and is a great way of making new ones. In fact, some of my best friends have been made as the result of sitting on a bicycle for countless hours, talking rubbish and putting the world to rights!"
Cycling is my way of escaping the world and seeing places without being a "tourist". It also brings me closer to my friends and is a great way of making new ones.
In 2017 Kajsa started the Sweat Pledge concept as a way to keep her motivated. Rather than raise money for a charity that encourages activity, she encourages people to make donations of sweat instead, and during the year she inspired thousands of people to be more active and achieve physical goals they never thought possible. This community of people taking on their own personal battles was a great motivation tool to keep her, and others, going on their health and fitness challenges.
The challenge itself was not the only inspirational behaviour that was noted in Kajsa's nomination. "Throughout her year, Kajsa often rode with others and made a particular effort to do short, slow days to encourage newer riders, it must have been really difficult for her to have to make up those lost miles. She still encourages and supports others to achieve, this year she's supporting a new cyclist who is going to ride London to Paris!"
What is 100 Women in Cycling?
Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling is an annual list celebrating inspirational women who are encouraging others to cycle.