Tommy Godwin redefines what it means to be a dedicated cyclist. In 1939 he set the world record for most miles ridden in a year by riding 75,065 miles (120,805 kms). In order to do so, he had to average 205 miles every day for the entire year. He rode the equivalent of three times around the Earth’s circumference. To top it off, he did all of his riding on a more than 30-pound Raleigh with a four-speed Sturmey-Archer hub (Raleigh and SA were Godwin’s sponsors). When he finished his record setting year, he spent several weeks re-learning how to walk before heading off to fight in World War II.
Godwin was born in 1912 in Stokes-on-Trent, England. He began to realize his potential as a cyclist while working as a bike delivery boy for a grocer. He went on to a successful amateur and professional cycling career winning over 200 road and time trial races before tackling the world record.
Cycling writer Dave Barter has details on Godwin’s history and record breaking year on his blog.