Parker Breaks 12-hour Bicycle Endurance Record

Maria Parker, a 46-year-old newcomer to long-distance cycling from Lumberton, NC, set a women's 12-hour world record on Saturday in White Oak, NC. Parker road a recumbent bicycle 241 miles through wind, rain, and even a crash, beating a 240-mile record set by Nancy Raposo in 1992.

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Parker receives water from son, Will.

I was a little light-headed from not getting the nutrition I needed due to the nausea, and I got too close to the car, bumped it, and went down.

White Oak, NC (PRWEB) October 14, 2009

Maria Parker averaged over 20 mph on a 20-mile loop course of public roads near White Oak, NC. Pending certification by the Ultramarathon Cycling Association (UMCA), her distance of 241 miles will be the farthest 12-hour ride ever by a woman on an unfaired recumbent bicycle, and also exceeds Nancy Raposo's existing women's diamond frame bicycle record. Raposo set a women's record in the 3000-mile Race Across America in 1990, and set the 12-hour and 24-hour UMCA world records in 1992 in Egg Harbor, NJ.

Parker suffered nausea after setting a blistering pace for the first 100 miles, which she finished in 4 hours 48 minutes. At approximately the 125th mile, during a "hand-off" of water from her support vehicle, she collided with the vehicle and wrecked. She blames the incident on herself, "I was a little light-headed from not getting the nutrition I needed due to the nausea, and I got too close to the car, bumped it, and went down."

Bleeding from her left arm and leg, she picked herself up from the pavement and demanded a bike from her support crew. "I wouldn't let her back on the bike she wrecked because I could see it had some damage," said chief mechanic Doug Burton of Richmond, VA. "We had a back-up Silvio. She seemed okay physically and mentally, so we rinsed out her abrasions and let her loose on the other bike." The Silvio is a front-wheel-drive recumbent bicycle made by Cruzbike, Inc.

Parker had to follow rigid UMCA requirements for her official record attempts. No other bicycles were allowed on the course to prevent any benefits of drafting, and at least one UMCA judge had to be observing her at all times. The course had to be a loop of 5 to 20 miles to prevent any advantage from prevailing winds, and the distance of the course had to be certified using the "shortest possible path" method, even if that path crosses into oncoming traffic.

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