Godwin in 1939
|Full name||Thomas Edward Godwin|
|Discipline||Road – Endurance rider|
|More than 200 Amateur and Professional |
Road and Time Trial Events
World Endurance record for a single year
in 500 days (May 1940)
Thomas Edward Godwin (1912–1975) was an English cyclist who held the world cycling record for most miles covered in a year (75,065 miles or 120,805 kilometres) and the fastest completion of 100,000 mi (160,000 km).
In 1939, Godwin entered the Golden Book of Cycling as the greatest long-distance rider in the world. 75,065 mi (120,805 km) in a year, averaging over 200 miles (320 km) per day. This record stood until 2016.He rode
Godwin was born in 1912 in Stoke on Trent. To help support his family he worked as a delivery boy for a greengrocer (or newsagent 25-mile (40 km) time trial in 65 minutes.) and with the job came a heavy bike with metal basket. The basket was hacked off and the 14-year-old Godwin won his first
After his initial time trial success he subsequently clocked inside 1 hour 2 minutes for 25 miles on four occasions, and covered 236 miles in 12 hours.
In 1933 he earned the seventh award in the 'Best All-rounder Road Riding Competition, open to all amateur cyclists in the United Kingdom. His average speed was 21.255 mph. His individual performances were :
Godwin left his amateur status at Potteries CC to join Rickmansworth Cycling Club as a professional. After more than 200 road and time trial wins, the mileage record beckoned.
In 1911 the weekly magazine Cycling began a competition for the highest number of 100-mile rides or "centuries" in a single year. 34,366 miles (55,307 km). The inspiration for the competition was said to be the efforts of Harry Long, a commercial traveller who rode a bicycle on his rounds covering every part of England and Scotland and who covered 25,376 miles (40,839 km) in 1910. The world record for distance cycled in a year began in an era when bicycle companies competed to show their machines were the most reliable. The record was officially established nine times up to 1939. A tenth claim in 1972, by the English rider Ken Webb, was later disallowed. [ citation needed ]The winner was Marcel Planes with 332 centuries in which he covered
In January 2016 Godwin's very long-standing record was broken. The American Kurt Searvogel completed 76,076 miles (122,432 km) in one year, confirmed by the Ultramarathon Cycling Association, and this was later also recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.
|1911||Marcel Planes||34,366 miles (55,307 km)|
|1932||Arthur Humbles||36,007 miles (57,948 km)|
|1933||Ossie Nicholson||43,966 miles (70,756 km)|
|1936||Walter Greaves||45,383 miles (73,037 km)|
|1937||Bernard Bennett||45,801 miles (73,710 km)|
|1937||René Menzies||61,561 miles (99,073 km)|
|1937||Ossie Nicholson||62,657 miles (100,837 km)|
|1938||Billie Dovey (female)||29,604 miles (47,643 km)|
|1939||Bernard Bennett||65,127 miles (104,812 km)|
|1939||Tommy Godwin||75,065 miles (120,805 km)|
|2015||Kurt Searvogel||76,076 miles (122,432 km)|
|2016||Kajsa Tylen (female)||32,526 miles (52,346 km)|
|2017||Amanda Coker (female)||86,573.2 miles (138,517.2 km)|
In 1937 the Australian Ossie Nicholson had regained his record from Briton Walter Greaves by covering 62,657.6 mi (100,837.6 km). At 5 am on 1 January 1939 Godwin set out to bring the record home. He wasn't alone; two other British riders started that day, Edward Swann and Bernard Bennett. Swann crashed after 939.6 mi (1,512.1 km), but Bennett fought it out with Godwin for the rest of the year. In sportsmanship their support teams, which included pace-makers, stopped at 50,000 mi (80,000 km) to let the riders complete the attempt on personal merit. Godwin was sponsored by the Raleigh Bicycle Company and Sturmey-Archer.
Godwin's bike weighed more than 30 pounds (14 kg). As war came, he rode through blackouts, his lights taped to a glow. Silk knickers were substituted for chamois inserts and Godwin maintained his vegetarian diet. For the first two months, Godwin's mileage lagged 922 mi (1,484 km) behind Nicholson's schedule. Godwin increased his daily average beyond 200 mi (320 km) a day, and on 21 June 1939 completed 361 mi (581 km) in 18 hours, his longest ride of the record.
On 26 October 1939, Godwin rode into Trafalgar Square having completed 62,658 mi (100,838 km), gaining the record with two months to spare. He rode through the winter to complete 75,065 mi (120,805 km) in the year.
In May 1940 after 500 days' riding he secured the 100,000-mile (160,000 km) record as well. Godwin dismounted and spent weeks learning how to walk before going to war in the RAF.
Godwin returned to cycling in 1945, keen to race as an amateur. However, despite a petition by fellow cyclists, the governing bodies ruled that having ridden as a professional he was barred from amateur status. Godwin became trainer and mentor to the Stone Wheelers. Godwin died aged 63, returning from a ride to Tutbury Castle with friends.
Godwin is commemorated by a plaque at Fenton Manor Sports Centre in Stoke on Trent that was unveiled on March 2005 by Edie Hemmings, the culmination of a 30-year campaign by her late husband, George.
Godwin entered the Golden Book of Cycling on 31 December 1939. This recognised his record-breaking exploits for averaging over 200 miles a day for a year.
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