If you think you’ve put in some long days at the shopping mall, cyclist Michael Knudsen almost certainly has you one-upped! He rode 5000 km on Zwift in a Danish shopping center. “To be in one of Scandinavia's biggest shopping malls was quite cool! Something very different from the events I've done in cycling shops,” says Michael.
“The reaction was everything you would expect! Mostly people thought I was crazy. Some downright didn’t believe I had been there for so long without going home, but most people found it entertaining that I was there in the mall and found it funny that I was still there the next time they went shopping. I got a lot of encouraging words during the event.”
Michael is training for Race Across America - a 4800 km race from the west coast of the United States to the east - and as part of that process, he wants to bring ultra-cycling to the mainstream. “Ultra cycling is still quite a niche part of cycling and my goal was to try and put the event in a more mainstream location compared to normal cycling shops.”
Michael also connected with cyclists around the world by encouraging them to join him on Zwift. “The result was outstanding. So many Zwifters from all over the world joined me and lots of people bested their previous longest ride, beat their weekly mileage and so on. I received lots of happy messages from people telling me that the last 10 days motivated them to spend more time on the bike.”
In-person Michael was joined for a total of 850 km by his girlfriend Kathrin Fuhrer, who also helped him stay on top of his nutrition and hydration - a strategy Michael said involved, “basically eating and drinking anything!”
But riding 5000 km, while not moving an inch, was tough despite all the support. “When you go these incredibly long distances the real battle is always in your head. In this particular event it was the case of being stuck in the same place for 240 hours,” says Michael. “The worst part was probably the last couple of days when it got rather boring to sit there in the mall looking at the same 32" screen. I love to ride a bike and during last year’s Trans-Siberian Extreme I found ways to make time fly away on the bike. But it's difficult to apply these tactics indoor on a trainer on the same spot on day 8!”
Michael is already back on his bike preparing for Race Across America.
Give him some kudos: https://www.strava.com/activities/2852015082