- As dawn broke on October 24, 1996, Michael Secrest
- "The Hammer" as he is known by other cyclists, pedaled his way into
the cycling record books for the third time in 24 hours. En route to
his new World Record for 24-hour unpaced cycling on a track (532.74 miles)
he also broke the world record for 12 hours of unpaced cycling on a
track (278.10 miles - previous record: 272.06 miles formerly held by
Paul Solon of Corte Madera, CA) and for 200 miles of unpaced cycling on a
The 24-hour outdoor track record - his main goal - was formerly held by Paul
Solon, at 509.29 miles. Secrest's total eclipsed the old record by over
23 miles. His effort also bested Rod Evans' indoor velodrome
record of 530.41 miles, set on May 22, 1994 in Australia by more than
The records were set October 23-24, 1996 at the Olympic Velodrome at California
State University in Dominguez Hills, CA. Secrest used a
GT bicycle which was built for him
for this event, outfitted with Shimano components,
Aerospoke aerodynamic wheels,
and Profile clip-on handlebars.
Throughout the effort, Secrest's fluid intake and output, speed, cadence
and other parameters were monitored as part of a pilot research study. The
study was conducted by Fedel Performance,
Inc. in order to identify the effects of various parameters on
performance during the ultramarathon cycling event.
Frank J. Fedel,
C.E.S., an exercise specialist/researcher at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit,
MI conducted the research and acted as logistical statistician throughout
Secrest's ride. By monitoring variations in speed relative to hydration
status as well as making predictions based on ambient temperature and
pedal rpm variation, Fedel was able to predict Secrest's final distance total
to within 2 laps (final total 2072 laps; predicted total laps: 2070 laps).
"Michael is incredibly consistent and rides within himself well", said Fedel,
who added "his average pace during one 6-hour period didn't vary by more
than 1/2 lap per hour - that's like riding one and a-half century
rides without stopping and maintaining a pace within 0.1 mph for the entire
ride - without any feedback." Secrest didn't ask for music to
be played, updates from his crew, or crowd support during his ride, although
he received quite a few "Go Michael" and "Get 'em, Hammer"'s along the way.
Visitors heard about his World Record attempt on his
website, through newsgroups
on the net, or by word of mouth.