New Record for Cycling Around the World
By Andrew Crumpler
A British man has smashed the record for cycling round the world.
Mark Beaumont, from Fife, Scotland, completed his journey in 195 days—crushing the previous record of 276 day held by Steve Strange from Devon in southwest England.
Mark, a 25-year old Glasgow University graduate, suffered water poisoning in Iran and food poisoning in Pakistan, and was knocked off his bike three times: by a donkey in Pakistan, a motorbike in India and by a motorist who ran a red light in the U.S.A.
He was also mugged in Louisiana by crack addicts, locked up by police in Pakistan, and nearly washed away by torrential rains in Thailand. He endured all of those hardships and many more in hopes to have raised $35,000 for a handful of international charities.
He started his journey at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on August 5th, 2007 and rode a grueling 100 miles a day carrying panniers weighing more than 80lbs. Mark rode a 63cm Koga Miyata which was custom-made for him at the Koga factory in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
Mark's bike features a Rohloff 14 speed internally geared hub and a set of Koga Multigrip handlebars that have a unique butterfly shape; the bars gave Mark multiple hand positions which helped him fend off any nerve damage to his hands during his long trip.
During his ride through the lawless Baluchistan province in Pakistan, he was given a police escort and was forced to sleep in cells at the police station for his own protection.
When asked about his trip he replied, "The challenge was one of those things which was out there to be done. I love the idea of being the first and the fastest and I felt I was capable of beating the record."
After 21 countries and 18,492 miles he returned back to Paris to a warm welcome from his family and lots of fans and media on February 16th, ready to take a break from his bike.
For more on Mark's travels go to his website.
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