Chris Paradysz, 47, set a 24-hour velodrome record of 416.09 miles (669.63km) at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania, raising funds for the S.L.E.* Lupus Foundation.
His 19-year-old daughter Allie suffers from the disease. The old record, set in 1980, was 391.29 miles (629.72km).
“I wanted to do something that required mental toughness and physical endurance,” Paradysz said, “because that is what it takes to live with lupus every day. I did this to honour my daughter and the other brave people with lupus.”
Paradysz cycled as a teenager. But, until he began training for the 24-hour ride attempt last summer, he had rarely ridden a bike in 25 years.
“This was an amazing accomplishment and a testament to a father’s love for his daughter,” said Margaret G. Dowd, executive director of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation. “Lupus is a young women’s disease that often goes undiagnosed. It has been over 50 years since a new treatment was approved for lupus. Research money is urgently needed.
Extraordinary efforts, like Chris’s ride, bring needed attention to the disease and help raise research funding,” she added.
According to Paradysz, his training was more physically challenging than anything he’d even thought about doing, never mind did.
“It’s not just the intensity but the duration, too,” he added. “Creating extreme levels of power using a bike is so simple, yet so mind-bendingly painful. Overcoming resistance; tyres on pavement, winds pushing you in the opposite direction, even my head placed in the wrong way creates extra friction (resistance).
“And, just when I think I can’t push it further, my body adjusts and allows for a little more. That’s the story of the past six months,” he said.
To make a donation or read Chris’s blog on his training, visit www.lifewithoutlupus.org.
*Systemic lupus erythematosus (S.L.E.), commonly called lupus, is a chronic and potentially fatal auto-immune disorder and one of the nation’s least recognized major diseases.