Posted by Doug Sutton on May 14, 2019
Mike Smith our guest speaker with avid cyclists Neil Pinto and Phil McIntosh
 
Members were astonished by the cycling feats of today's guest speaker Mike Smith. He was introduced by Phil McIntosh, the instigator of the Gears and Beers Festival. Phil told us that Mike had left Melbourne the previous evening at 7.30 pm on his bicycle and had arrived in Wagga in time for our meeting. That is an astonishing 450ks plus in under 15 hours! Riding on the Hume Highway! Phil said that Miles had contacted us because he admired what we do through our Gears and Beers Festival and wanted to redirect the sponsorship money he gets through our Club to Rotary Health.
 
 
Miles, who took up cycling in recent years and who is 58 years old, wants to break the Guiness Book World Record for the most number of kilometres ridden in a single year. This record is known as the HAMR, Highest Annual Mileage Record. With legs like tree trunks and Heart and Lungs to match, he plans to achieve his goal, by riding  approximately 550 ks per day, every day for a year, commencing in August. If successful, he will achieve over 90 other records along the way.
 
Miles currently works with the Rotary Club of Bright which organises The Alpine, a four peak 250 k ride, regarded as one of the toughest rides in Australia. He wants to help with Polio eradication and has a number of Corporate Sponsors. He believes our Club can receive a lot of money from our work in cycling and he will donate his certificates for his various records which can be auctioned in tandem with our Gears and Beers festival.
 
Riding such long distances each day doesn't leave a lot of time for eating and sleeping, but Miles has simple but effective strategy. Each night before he rides he checks the weather forecast for wind direction the following day. He then sets our on the day of the ride, i.e. next morning, by taking his bike on a VicRail train against the wind for approx. 250ks. While on the train for about three hours he goes to sleep. He then rides with the wind back to Melbourne and repeats the exercise. By doing this he always rides with wind assistance which is legal under the terms of the record.
 
Miles' rides are constantly monitored and checked by Guiness. He carries four GPS trackers monitoring time, distance, heart rate etc. He also has a CB radio on his bike which allows him to talk to truck drivers. The latter call him the Hume Fairy, because of his hi vis clothing and not, he hopes, because they think he is a wuz.
Miles' trusty bike. Note the size of the drive gear sprocket. Miles averages 35ks an hour!
 
The furthest distance Miles has ridden in a day is 720 ks. An engaging ex-Yorkshireman with a good sense of humour, Miles told us that, needless to say, he is not married. Members were totally blown away by his physical capacity and even more so when he responded to a question about travelling home, that he said he was jumping on his bike for the return journey immediately after our meeting! Sleep could wait!
 
President James presented him with a bottle of Olive Oil produced by some of our members. He jokingly said it would be very useful for oiling his chain. At least we thought he was joking.
Members, somewhat awestruck, applauded this incredible human being.