Gerry Eddlemon Road Course Records

Rider G.K. Eddlemon’s Narrative Summary for the WUCA Road Time and Distance Trials Record Attempts
111th through 114th WUCA Records (pending certification)!
Note to reader: I’ve yet to recheck my arithmetic for total number of records, but I believe these are the correct figures.  And yes, some of these records were set in some of our smallest states, but some also in larger states like Alaska and Florida.

Ten time and distance trial record attempts were made concurrently: because only two officials were available, the record attempts were terminated after the 12-Hr attempt.
WUCA Road Time/Distance Trials:  100-Km; 100-Mile; 200-Km; 300-Km; 6-Hour; 12-Hr.
Name of Rider:  Gerald K. “Gerry” Eddlemon
Start date and time:
Oct. 21, 2017 at 2:30:00 PM local (EDST) time.

Exact Start Location:
Official USTAF- and WUCA-certified start line on Hilly Branch Road just a few meters south of the junction of Andrew Jackson Hwy [US 74 (Alt)] and Hilly Branch Road south of Lumberton, NC.  Actual length of one lap = 32.193161 miles = 51.80987 Km.
Conditions:  Sunny and warm (with highs in the high 70s or low 80s F in the day; unpleasantly cool (low of ~ 50 F) in the night. Mostly light winds.
The asphalt road was in fairly good condition, but produced a modest but tiring washboard effect that became increasingly irritating as the miles piled up.

Why attempt these records?  At 72 years of age, a benefit of serving on the board of directors was learning that the WUCA was incorporating several new metric distance world record events into the old series of only five time and distance trials recognized by the WUCA as official record events, making a new total of 13 record events.  I thought it would be fun to go for as many of the the official WUCA records in my 70+ age class as possible, including four already owned by me.

I was all too aware that at my age, my times and distances were likely to be much slower and shorter than some of the younger elite cyclists were capable of.  In the event, I was stunned at just how my performances would suffer from old age; interrupted and inadequate training due to multiple family illnesses, injuries, and hospitalizations
Another reason: extending myself further and further to see what I can do with the opportunities and admittedly limited talent God seems to have given me after I believed, only 13 years ago, to be all washed-up as an athlete after a devastating knee injury.  I’ll certainly never be in the same league as a Penseyres, Haldeman, Hogan, Robic, or Strasser, or one of any number of other outstanding ultracyclists, but I’m nevertheless amazed at how far a fairly ordinary and aging athlete can manage to push himself on a bike.
And yet another reason: demonstrating to the public what even older folks can accomplish on what is perhaps the most efficient machine for transportation ever invented – the bicycle.  Most people who inquire about what in the world I’m doing are surprised, if not sometimes downright flabbergasted, to learn not only that I’m riding hundreds of miles in a single day, but that I’m often as old or even much older than they.  Just maybe some of them will be encouraged to get off the couch, out of the house, out of the car, and see the world from a bike.
And quite frankly, a chance to add to my list of successful record attempts – 110 confirmed WUCA records (one of which was actually a tie), most of them open-class – 1 if one counts my speed-hiking records in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a Tennessee Senior Olympics 20-km cycling record (imagine that — an ultracyclist winning and setting a record in a 12-mile race!).  For some time I had been saying that maybe I’ll go for an even hundred if I live long enough, and I was dead serious about that latter condition –  “if I live long enough.”  But no longer!  Pending certification by the WUCA, these four or so admittedly slow performances should yield a total of 114 WUCA records in my 11-year career.  By no stretch of the imagination did I consider this a possibility when I first tested myself at a WUCA record attempt across my home state of Tennessee about 11 and one half years ago.
Equipment:  Titanium Litespeed Teramo, my outstanding Rivet Cycle Works Independence saddle, Syntace aerobars, SpeedPlay pedals, Cane Creek bar-end shifters, and Shimano Ultegra transmission.  This bike, manufactured in Ooltewah, TN about 80 miles down the road from my home, has been my mount of choice for 106 of my 110 WUCA records and four pending records, and most of the races leading to my only overall UltraMarathon World Cup championship in 2010 and my 2015 and 2016 World Cup Six-Hour Challenge championships.  It was my first modern road bike.  I doubt there is any other single bike in the world ridden for so many records and championships.
The handsome Rivet Independence saddle by Rivet Cycle Works, as it breaks in, is quickly becoming my saddle of choice.
Food and Drink:  Water, including sparkling water, a 50:50 mix of diet and real Coke, chocolate milk, Endurolyte pills, Ensure energy shake, yogurt smoothies, cookies, M&M peanuts, one PB&J sandwich.
Best Part: The expert support and officiating of my wonderful team of Officials Mickey Ledbetter and Bill Williams, crew persons Brent Williams, Mikki Eddlemon, and Betty Williams.
Hardest Part:  Preparations for the record attempts in a rather short time frame.  I’ve rarely been so ill-prepared for a race or record attempt – and I’m notorious for my rather disorganized preparations.  So much time spent trying to recruit crew and officials in such a short time left me with little time to do my own personal preparations, including training and tapering.
My body started rebelling after only a few hours  in the saddle – manifested by upset stomach, dead legs, and seemingly
Unusual Happenings:    Not so unusual anymore –  changing and adding clothes in the night was a time-consuming and frustrating ordeal.
Acknowledgements: My sincere thanks to WUCA Officials Bill Williams and Michael  “Mickey” Ledbetter, crewman Brent Williams, and crew women Betty Williams and Mikki Eddlemon for their professional but friendly help in this crossing attempt. Without good people like these, I would never have been able to attempt my very first record crossing of Tennessee some 11 years ago, nor any of the 114 records since.
And finally, as good King Harry V stated (at least as Shakespeare has it) on learning that  he and his little band of brothers had, almost miraculously, won the Battle of Agincourt – “I thank God, and not my own strength for it.”
Dedication:  I dedicate these record attempts to my ailing, but so much more beloved, Mother and Father, and to my wonderful track coaches of long ago – the late Coach Ben Martin of the Oak Ridge High Wildcats, and very much alive Coach Chuck Rohe of the University of Tennessee Volunteers.  Believe it or not, Coach Rohe, now in his eighties, is recovering from a pretty bad bike crash as I write this!  Get well soon, Coach Rohe – “What a day!” and back on the bike!
Exact Finish Location:
Different points along the roughly triangular course of 32.193161 miles depending on the specific event.  Distances and times determined by WUCA’s proration methodologies.
Exact Finish Times or Distances:
Start time: 2:30:00 PM, EDST, Oct. 21, 2017
Record Event
Clock Time at Finish
Elapsed Time/Distance
Average Speed
(mph)
100 Km
  6:06:49 PM
  3:36:49
27.67 kph
200 Km
10:15:08 PM
  7:45:08
25.80 kph
300 Km
  3:35:21 AM
13:05:21
22.92 kph
500 Km
  DNF
100-Mile
  8:29:41 PM
  5:59:41
16.68 mph
200-Mile
  DNF
300 Mile
  DNF
6 Hour
  8:30:00 PM
100.07 mi
16.68 mph
12 Hour
  2:30:00 AM
174.046 mi
14.50 mph
24 Hour
  DNF