Q & A with Amanda Coker

We conclude our Women’s History Month celebrations by interviewing another inspiring lady, @amanda__coker.  In 2011 Amanda was hit by a distracted motorist, a crash that threw her 50 feet (15 m), knocked her unconscious and left her with a traumatic brain injury. She resumed cycling in 2015 after recovering from brain and spinal injuries and has since broken several Guinness World Records, including being the first woman in history to break 500 Miles in 24 Hours riding solo. She also forms part of the TWENTY24 Cycling squad and has a successful coaching business (Amanda Coker Coaching).

Let’s find out more about Amanda:

Who is Amanda Coker? 

I'm an only child and have always been close to my family. I enjoy going to amusement parks, and classic British car shows, relaxing by doing crosswords and puzzles, and trying to make the most of every day that I can.

As a cyclist, I have 17 Guinness World Records, such as:

-        The Most Miles Ridden In A Year By Any Human with 86,573.2 miles

-         Fastest Completion Of 100,000 Miles in 423 days (236.4 miles a day)

-         First Woman In History To Break 500 Miles in 24 Hours (512.5 miles)

I am planning on setting more world records in the near future too!

I've been a cycling coach since 2021, which has been a very rewarding occupation. To be a part of so many athletes' accomplishments is wonderful, it really has made me a better cyclist and person to be a factor in their successes. During my world records, I adopted a phrase after meeting such wonderful and inspiring people from all of over the world, "inspiration is contagious!" 

Where is home?

A small town in central Florida. Been a Floridian for nine years now and love the year-round weather, the abundance of activities to do, and places to visit. 

When did you fall in love with bikes

I grew up watching my dad compete in triathlons. When I turned 15 I asked if I could receive a road bike as my one birthday gift so I could try racing in my first triathlon. I competed in triathlons for a couple of years until I started focusing more on cycling. From there my love for the sport grew and cycling became what motivated me in life. Looking back it's hard to think of a time since I was 15 where cycling wasn't the main focal point. 

What is it that attracts you to the sport? 

The versatility of it. There's a great variety of disciplines in the cycling world. For example, road cycling isn't just road races, there are criteriums and time trials, which out of the three, I love time trials the most. I love the concept of putting your best effort forth and racing not just the clock, but yourself to produce the best results possible. What's great about cycling is if road cycling isn't for you, there are so many other options like gravel, mountain biking, cyclocross, and track (just to name a few). The community that the sport of cycling has built is amazing; it's kind of like the concept of math, it's the same in every language. Thanks to cycling, I've made lifelong friends and coach wonderful people from all over the world, it's so great how we all have a mutual love for the sport. 

Favorite Foods?

Mangos, seafood, gummy bears, sushi, french fries, watermelon

Strangest food you were thinking of while riding? Nothing too strange, but I crave french fries after a hard race and an ice-cold soda or protein shake after a hard workout. During my world records, I did eat slices of pizza, donuts, chips, and candy bars while on the bike!  

Lucky charm? I have always travelled with a small turquoise gem my grandmother gave me many years ago. 

What do you always take on a trip?

My pillow, you never know how the hotel pillow is going to feel, and getting a good night’s rest is so important. Other than that, a bag of gummy candy to snack on. 

What would you be if you were not a racer?

Before my accident in 2011, I was in school for exercise physiology with a minor in statistics, with the hopes of creating a program that athletes could exceed their limitations naturally by studying each individual’s makeup. How fate should have it I've been a cycling coach for the last couple of years and am happily coaching athletes from all over the world. I strive towards growing the Amanda Coker Coaching program bigger every day!

You’re favorite Squirt Cycling Product? 

That's tough as all their products are the best. I've used the long-lasting chain lube the longest and will never use another brand of lube ever again. It truly protects your drivetrain better than any other leading brand, and given the amount of miles I train and race, I need long lasting chain lube! The best aspect of Squirt products is they are all biodegradable, so using their bike cleaner in the yard is of no worry. 

Best tip for beginners? 

Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't ever let someone make you feel bad for asking them. We all have to learn somehow! We as a cycling community should prioritize sharing tips, advice, and techniques with others so the sport can grow and thrive. Also, always remember why you started cycling because it's fun!

I like my coffee….as a medium or dark roast, black, with no additives, and only one cup in the morning

I would love to go ride with…my dad and close friends in the Alps or Pyrenees 

The secret to happiness...cherish the small things and celebrate the short term goals on your way to your ultimate dream. Surround yourself with positive people who support your dreams, and do what you can to help those special people reach their dreams too. 

My greatest exhilaration…working hard towards what can be perceived as unattainable and completely crushing it!

I fear…never being able to physically ride again so I do as much as I can now to cherish being active

Passion…learning something new every day to utilize as knowledge to share with others

When I wake up…I go straight for a hot cup of coffee and a crossword puzzle to wake my brain up

I wish…people would slow down and enjoy the small and simple joys of life

I rage…when unfathomable accomplishments made by women are overlooked and not recognized

Rider Profile:

Name: Amanda Coker

Nickname: HAM'R Girl, AC

Age: 30

Birthdate: July 27th, 1992

Birthplace: North Carolina

Height: 5' 7"

Shoe size: 9 wide

Social media handle: 

Facebook: facebook.com/goamandacoker

Facebook: facebook.com/amandacokercoaching

Instagram: @amanda__coker