Cyclist pedals for world recordPublished 6:55pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Alvin Maxwell goes the distance. The bicyclist specializes in 24- hour races, covering hundreds of miles within that span of time. And next weekend, he plans to break the men’s world records for distance covered over a 24-hour period on a unique bike: an ElliptiGO cycle.
The ElliptiGO bicycle is considered an alternative to the conventional bicycle and a substitute for low-impact running — it’s essentially the elliptical trainer found in gyms across the nation, transformed into a stand-up, two-wheeled cycle.
Maxwell, and other distance riders, are taking the ElliptiGO to new distances, and on Saturday, Oct. 5, he and a fellow Team ElliptiGO member, Jill Paxson, will be riding in the Ride Without Limits Easter Seals/UCP fundraiser. The ride begins on the Washington waterfront and will take a 112-mile loop around eastern North Carolina. While other riders will be calling it a day once they return to the waterfront, Maxwell and Paxson will keep riding — down to McCotter’s Marina and back again, traveling the 15-mile loop all night long, until Maxwell hits the 250-mile mark that would earn the world record.
To cover that kind of distance means riding roughly 23 out of 24 hours, stopping only for necessary rest breaks.
“I don’t have any problem staying awake,” he laughed.
Maxwell hooked up with ElliptiGO through Inner Banks Outfitters, which carries the specialty bikes. When he said he and Paxson wanted to break some records, ElliptiGO sent two bikes, paid for Team ElliptiGO’s Ride Without Limits registration and made a donation to Easter Seals, Maxwell said. Likely, ElliptiGO reps were influenced by Maxwell’s history with 24-hour races. In August, he hosted a Race Across America qualifying race based in Washington. With 99 participants — from nine states and two other countries — Maxwell bicycled 505 miles in 24 hours, well surpassing the 400-mile qualifying distance. His goal is to participate in the 3,000-mile race from San Diego to Annapolis in June 2014.
“The winner will do it in about eight days,” Maxwell said. “To be competitive you have to ride about 350 miles a day. Just to finish it, it would be 250 miles.”
Next weekend’s goal of upping the world ElliptiGO record is another way for the distance-biker to challenge himself, Maxwell said.
“I already do 24-hour racing on the bicycle, so I’m looking for any new challenge I can get,” Maxwell said. “Of course, it’s a fundraiser so it’s a good cause.”
To sponsor Team ElliptiGO in the Easter Seals/UCP Ride Without Limits, visit www.ridewithoutlimits.org. Ride Without Limits begins at 8 a.m. on the Washington waterfront.