Following the Great Bike Ride
Talk about taking a spin on your bike. Vin Cox’s ride is taking him around the world, in an attempt to break the record for circumnavigating the globe by bicycle. The 34-year-old Brit started his Great Bike Ride on Sunday, February 7 in London. About two weeks later, he’s now in Libya and well on his 18,172-mile journey. The last world circumnavigation record was broken in December 2009 by Julian Sayarer, who completed his trip in 165 days, averaging 109 miles a day. Cox is aiming for less than 150 days.
Although there are no rules preventing support along the way, he’ll continue in the style of his predecessors and forgo it–meaning he’ll usually ride alone, carry his own baggage, often camp road-side, and rely on himself and the kindness of strangers to solve problems. The only set of rules that he’s bound by are: starting and finishing in the same place, traveling at least 18,000 miles, and not backtracking.
Cox has chosen a route for its adventure rather than ease. If he completes his itinerary, he’ll be the first record holder with a route through Africa and South America. He’ll also be hopping continents, biking in Libya, India, Thailand, Australia, Canada, Chile, and Spain, among others, and he plans to fly between legs of his route before finishing in London. In total, he’ll visit some 20 countries on six continents.
Originally from Cornwall, England, Cox is a champion cyclo-cross racer, mountain biker, mountaineer, and long-distance trekker. In 2008 he decided to break the circumnavigation record, and he’s been training ever since. Now that he’s on the road, you can follow him on his website, on Facebook, or on Twitter, where you can get updates like “30+ mi of snow, ice & salty slush,” “shame about the cat incident,” and “Thanks to the y5 girls @Lerryn school for giving me sweets I ate today.” You can even track his progress via GPS.
The title of “world’s fastest circumnavigator” isn’t his only motivation. Cox is hoping to raise £18,000 toward the Geoff Thomas Foundation. The organization–named in honor of the ex-England and Crystal Palace footballer who was diagnosed with leukemia–helps those battling blood cancer.
Reported by Alison Brick; Photo courtesy GreatBikeRide.com
- Nat Geo Expeditions