5 things we can all learn from Kajsa Tylen and her Guinness World Record attempt


Here we discover what inspired Kajsa Tylen to take on an epic World Record and reveal the secret weapon to her riding strength…

Lots of us harbour fantasies of taking on a Guinness World Record, but few of us take the next step and actually attempt it. But Kajsa Tylen isn’t your average person. 

Inspired by Billie Fleming, who set the women’s world record for cycling the greatest distance in one year back in 1938, Kajsa set herself the goal of breaking Billie’s record of 47, 642.5km, with a plan to hit a personal target of 50,000km. At lunchtime on 9th of December she did it. 

Here’s what we can all learn from Kajsa’s achievement.

1) Billie Dovey is a bad-ass
Kajsa was inspired to ride after reading about Billie Fleming, an amazing woman who set out to cycle as far as she could in one year because she wanted to promote and inspire a healthy and active lifestyle for women. 

Billie embarked on her adventure with a bicycle provided by Rudge-Whitworth (a bike brand that no longer exists), and copious amounts of Dairy Milk thanks to her other sponsor, Cadbury’s.

Fleming’s story really resonated with Kajsa: “She was really passionate about cycling and promoting a healthy lifestyle, but she seems like a normal person who just decided to attempt it. I love that about her.”

Takeout: You can find inspiration in the most surprising places. And sometimes, the more surprising the better.

2) You replace one vice with another
Kajsa says she hasn’t drunk a drop of booze for the whole year she has been undertaking this challenge. However, her replacement fix is the good old-fashioned scone. 

On a strong day, she can put away two or three of the clotted-cream-slathered discs of joy. When asked how she will celebrate after crossing her target distance, Kajsa replies: “Friday will probably be a triple scone day.”

Takeout: Scones rock.

3) It’s a slippery slope
You don’t just wake up in the morning and decide to take on a Guinness World Record.

“I started off with a bungee jump,” says Kajsa, “and I’m terrified of heights, so it was a pretty big deal. Then I climbed Kilimanjaro, which was so much harder than I was expecting it to be. Then I started triathlon and built up to an Ironman, and when I’d done that I wanted another challenge. Then I discovered Billie Fleming’s story and it sparked the idea in my mind…”

Takeout: Each time you set yourself a new challenge, you grow in confidence, regardless of whether you succeed or not.

4) Together we’re stronger
The thing that got her through the low points of the year were the brilliant people who would join her for rides.

The Challenge Roth Ironman was a real breakthrough for Kajsa. She and two friends completed it as a team and it proved to be a huge source of inspiration. 

“I did the bike and managed to do it within the cutoff, which was amazing when I consider how fast I’d been riding generally. I think it was the adrenaline of the day and being around friends. Everything just came together, which was a huge boost.”

Takeout: Social cycling is an amazing motivator.

5) A sweat pledge is much nicer than it sounds
Another catalyst for Kajsa’s Record was a desire to get more adults exercising, which was why she came up with the Sweat Pledge. 

Instead of riding for a charity, Kajsa would ask for donations of minutes of sweat and a commitment to make a lifestyle change in 2016. So far, over 200 people have pledged their sweat thanks to being inspired by Kajsa.

Takeout: If you make a pledge or write down a goal to do something, you are much more likely to achieve it.

Final thoughts
Be careful when you bungee and well done Kajsa.

Get more from Kajsa on her site: A Year in The Saddle


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