World & National 24 hour TT Champion Cyclist Jasmijn Muller will be attempting to break both the women’s solo cycling records for LEJOG – Lands End to John o’Groats – and for 1,000 miles in July this year and has a story to tell. Hers is not just about determination but also about paying respect to the women who have attempted and set records in the past.
The 39-year-old management consultant from London, whose record attempt window starts 6th July, aims to cover the 842.5 mile LEJOG route – and 35,227 feet of climbing – in under 52 hours and 45 minutes, breaking Lynne Bidulph’s record that has stood since 2002.
Whilst there have been more male record holders, there have been only eight solo female record holders ever since the very first End to End record attempt in 1885. Jasmijn wants to honour the strong and brave women who successfully set out from the same start line before her.
Muller credits her inspiration to a meeting with Eileen Sheridan who set her own LEJOG time of 59 hours and 7 Minutes in 1954. Sheriden’s own 1,000 mile record stood for 48 years until bettered by Lynne Biddulph in 2002. After hearing the veteran cyclist talk at a local event, Jasmijn decided to set her sights on the challenge as a celebration of what can be achieved with determination and persistence. Although she would be happy to break just one RRA record, Jasmijn will wear the number ’21’ during her attempt in honour of Eileen Sheridan who held all 21 RRA records that were in existence at the time.
Eileen was the absolute star of her era and built a career out of beating pretty much all of the place to place records, some of which still remain unbroken today. Nicknamed ‘the pocket Hercules’, as she is only 4ft 11in tall and was sponsored by Hercules (which was at the time one of the biggest cycle manufacturers in the country), she was 31 by the time she attacked the End to End record. Of all the many time trial and place to place records Eileen broke, she is most famous for her 1954 LEJOG ride that she completed in 2 days, 11 hours and 7 minutes with hardly any rest stops. After that, she cycled on to beat the 1000 mile record in 3 days and 1 hour, a record which stood until 2002.
“For me, LEJOG isn’t just about breaking a record” says Muller “everyone who has ever attempted the ride knows that it’s a test of who you are as much as of what you can do; I hope that I’ve got the same inner strength as the remarkable men and women who have taken on this challenge over the years; In turn, I hope that I can inspire others to challenge their own limits or enjoy the satisfaction of travelling from A to B under your own steam; I hope to become the 9th solo female End to End record holder, but I also have hope that there will be many more to come after me; Records are there to inspire and to be broken after all!”
Having already had one attempt at breaking the record last year, which ended in Chorley after she became ill, Jasmijn is even more focused and determined this time around. She’s had plenty of time to reflect on what went wrong last year and has put a lot of the learnings into place already in her preparations.
Muller will also be raising money for charity during her record attempt. She has chosen Cancer Research UK as the charity to support because of the admiration she holds for people enduring cancer and cancer treatment. It was a CRUK 100-mile bike ride in 2010 that drew her to cycling as a sport and is why Jasmijn continues to raise funds for the charity each time she steps up her challenges to the next level.
Jasmijn’s support team will also be tweeting at @lejogrecord during the attempt and will pass on comments from well-wishers while she is on the road.
For anyone wishing to give her and the support crew a cheer from the roadside, check the schedule for the record attempt but check the tracker to avoid long waits or missing her. Just make sure any cheering is done on foot only as riding with Jasmijn or shouting encouragement from a moving vehicle can get her disqualified.
The team behind the attempt are hoping supporters can send messages of encouragement via Twitter to @lejogrecord. The rules governing the attempt require her to ride solo. Roadside cheering is very welcome but only permitted on foot. Riding with her, or even shouting encouragement from a moving car, is not permitted. Tight and precise timings on the ride mean she will not be able to acknowledge her gratitude to well-wishers until after the challenge is completed.
Jasmijn is grateful for the support she has received for her LEJOG record attempt from:
- LE COL – kit sponsor – providing high-performance clothing
- Safewell – health & safety consultants
- AMION – Specialist economic, financial and management consultants
- Isobar – compression socks and calf guards
- Performance in Mind – sports psychology
- Performance Coaching – coaching
- Sonja Whatson Photography – website design and 2017 photography
- London Road Bike Repairs – Bike repair and maintenance
- Forth Edge – Bloodmarker testing
- Sigma Sports – largest road cycling and triathlon store in the UK
- Raw Velo – sports nutrition
- Precision Hydration – high strength electrolytes
- Exposure Lights – powerful road lights
- Kingston Wheelers – timing devices and car safety beacons
- Verbatim Europe – powerpacks and digital data storage
- FinditFilm – curates, produces and screens films about women’s sport and adventure
All individuals who have contributed in kind and in cash at https://www.lejogrecord.co.uk/getinvolved