Saratoga County, New York, Saturday 11th July, 2009. After stopping a little before the 12-hour mark with 211 miles, Maria Parker riding a Cruzbike Silvio not only set the recumbent 12-hour course record for women, but went farther than any previous female road biker had ever done in the annual Saratoga long distance event.
The event covers 32-miles of rolling hills along the Hudson River in northeastern Saratoga County, including Bacon Hill, a 10% grade for 3/4 miles that must be climbed every 32 mile lap.
Maria Parker complimented her bike after the race, saying “Before I got my Cruzbike, I was suffering with a sore neck, shoulder and wrist every time I went more than 20 miles on my diamond frame bike - not anymore”.
The conditions were difficult “There was a wicked 15-20 mph wind on the southerly stretch of the course that I heard another rider describe as “tree trunk bending” said Cruzbike CEO Jim Parker MD who also competed in the event. At Bike Sebring in Florida, where male riders have set many 12-hour recumbent records, the 12-hour record for a recumbent woman is 137 miles, which is less than 2/3rd the distance Mrs Parker covered at Saratoga in difficult conditions. The eleventh hour was memorable for its hard driving rain and bleak darkness.
John Tolhurst, designer of the Silvio, waited anxiously for news from Perth Australia. "I knew from my own testing that the bike ticked all the important boxes for being a fast long distance platform, so it great to have this independent evidence. You can’t expect people who havn’t ridden it to fully appreciate what the Silvio offers. They deserve tangible evidence, like competition results", he said.
Mrs Parker reflected on riding her normal road bike before she started on Cruzbike: “I endured the pain because that's how I thought it was supposed to be. The minute I rode my husband's first Cruzbike I was sold, and have never gone back.” The record shows that to be the right decision.
"We knew these bikes were fast and good climbers. It’s nice to finally have some objective evidence to back that up. I’m very proud of Maria for smashing everyone else’s expectations of what a woman on a recumbent can do. I never doubted that she and her Silvio could do it", said Dr Parker.
The front wheel drive Silvio is available from Cruzbike Inc, www.cruzbike.com.
Read more about the record breaking ride at Maria Parker's post or at Jim Parker's post or at the Robesonian*.