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Around the world cycling record

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Title: Around the world cycling record  
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Around the world cycling record

The Guinness World Record for fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle is awarded for completing a continuous journey around the globe by bicycle and other means, consisting of a minimum 24,900 miles (40,073 km) (the length of the Equator), of which at least 18,000 miles (28,968 km) must be cycled. The male record is currently held by Alan Bate, GB. Juliana Buhring holds the first female record, completing her attempt in December 2012, in a total of 152 days.

The rules have changed and the old record of 106 days 10 hours 33 minutes (which excluded transit time) will now stand in GWR archives. The new rules now state that the clock does not stop for any transit flights or ferries or at ports etc. It only stops when the rider crosses the finish line after completing the circumnavigation. The new record, under the revised rules is: 127 days and is held by Alan Bate, who completed the journey in August 2010.

Guinness rules

The rules state "the journey should be continuous and in one direction (East to West or West to East), that the minimum distance ridden should be 18,000 miles (29,000 km), and that the total distance travelled by the bicycle and rider should exceed an Equator's length, i.e. 24,900 miles (40,100 km)." They also state that: "Any considerable distance travelled opposite to the direction of the attempt must be discounted from any calculations of the overall distance travelled," and that the route "must be ridden through two approximate antipodal points."[1][2]

Alan Bate writes, "The record criteria requires the rider to cover 28,970 kilometers by bike, in an East to West or West to East direction, wavering no more than 5 degrees off course. The total journey distance must be a minimum of 40,075 kilometers, to include all transit by flight or sea. The ride must start and finish in the same place and must pass at least two antipodal points (these are two points that line up through the earth's center). When the rider reaches a transit point to connect with a flight or boat to the next continent or country start point, the clock stops with regard to the actual riding time *(no longer the case anymore since the rules have changed in relation to transit time, which is NOW included in the total time). As most of the earth's surface is water, this is unavoidable and fair as it applies to all athletes attempting the record. Once customs is cleared at the next destination, the clock immediately starts again. The same bicycle must be used throughout the attempt, although repairs and replacement parts and bikes are allowed for mechanical failure. Satellite tracking is highly recommended by Guinness World Records and a daily log, signatures of dignitaries and photographs at strategic points must be collated as evidence."[3]


Nick Sanders

Nick Sanders, the first person to set the record.

Nick Sanders set the original record in 1984, riding over 13,000 miles (20,900 km) around the Northern hemisphere in 78 days. In 2003, Guinness changed the rules to require a journey of at least 40,075 kilometres (24,900 mi) in total, of which at least 28,970 kilometres (18,000 mi) must be cycled, via two antipodal points. The changes invalidated Sanders's record. Sanders still holds the Guinness World Record for fastest ride around the coast of Great Britain, riding a verified 4,800 miles (7,720 km) in 22 days.[4]

Steve Strange

On 13 February 2005, Steve Strange completed the first record attempt under the new Guinness rules, achieving a world record of 276 days and 19 hours.

Phil White

In April 2005, Phil White completed a record attempt in an estimated 299 days.[5] His time did not beat the one set two months earlier by Steve Strange.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont

On 14 February 2008, Mark Beaumont completed a circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle in 194 days and 17 hours.[6]

James Bowthorpe

In September 2009 James Bowthorpe completed an unratified circumnavigation in 175 days.[7][8][9] James raised £58,000 for a foundation What's Driving Parkinsons?, James was hoping for more. [10][11]

Julian Sayarer

In June 2010 Julian Sayarer completed a record attempt, with a time of 169 days.[7][12]

Vin Cox

Cox in San Francisco on 28 May 2010, during his ride around the world

In August 2010 Vin Cox completed a circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle. This was certified by Guinness as the new world record with a recorded time of 163 days, 6 hours, 58 minutes for 18,225.7 miles (29,331.4 km).[13]

Cox is also a mountaineer, and long distance trekker.[14] [14][15][16][17]

In spring 2012 Cox devised a new challenge which he called the “Hungry Bike Ride”.[18][19] He rode from Cornwall to Scotland trying to forage for wild food all the way as a modern-day hunter-gatherer. Cycling Active magazine compared his diet along the journey to the Paleolithic diet in their May 2012 edition where Vin is pictured carving meat from roadkill.

Geoff Thomas asked Cox to raise money and awareness for his charitable foundation linked to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research during his circumnavigation. Vin also represented this charity during a 24-hour tandem mountain bike challenge in 2011.[20] In 2012, Hungry Bike Ride Vin raised money and awareness for the disaster relief charity ShelterBox. Vin also keeps involved with the charity Cycleability, which helps disabled people to cycle in Cornwall.[21]

Alan Bate

On 4 August 2010, Alan Bate completed the circumnavigation in 106 days, 10hrs and 33mins.[22] The time was certified by Guinness World Records in January 2012.[22] Unlike previous self-sufficient attempts, Bate's ride was partly completed with an accompanying support team.

Mike Hall

On 4 June 2012, Mike Hall completed the circumnavigation in 91 days 18 hours. His unsupported ride was part of the World Cycling Race Grand Tour in which 11 riders set off from Greenwich on 18 February to race with the hope of breaking the record. Hall rode through Europe to Turkey, across India, Australia, New Zealand and the United States before returning to Europe in Portugal and cycling back to the starting point. Shortly after the completion of Mike's ride Guinness World Records changed the rules to include total travel time. Under the new rules Mike recorded a time of 107 days 2 hours 30 minutes.

Thomas Großerichter

On 31 December 2012, the German Thomas Großerichter from Herbern in NRW completed the circumnavigation in 105 days 1 hour and 44 minutes.[23] He started his trip on 17 September 2012, his 27th birthday. Großerichter and his crew went through Europe to Moldavia, across Thailand and Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico and South America. Thomas Großerichter was the first who crossed the Andes during his Guinness World Record attempt. He returned to Europe via Portugal, Spain and France and cycled back to the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, Germany. Guinness changed the rules, so that the whole travel time is now relevant for the record and not just the cycling days.[24][25] Guinness did not accept his record[26] so Alan Bate, GB, still holds the official record.

Juliana Buhring

On 22 December 2012, Juliana Buhring, of British/German nationality (though born in Greece), completed the circumnavigation in 152 days including total travel time, becoming the first woman to attempt and to complete a circumnavigation of the world by bicycle using a route that complies with the requirements of Guinness World Records. She holds the current women's record for Fastest Circumnavigation by Bicycle[27][28] Buhring's ride was mostly unsupported[29] and the first started with the new rules by Guinness. Her trip began on 23 July 2012 in Naples, Italy, and took her through Europe, the United States, New Zealand and Australia, Southeast Asia, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and back to Italy. She is also known for co-writing the book Not Without My Sister.

Lee Fancourt

On 13 June 2014, Lee Fancourt completed a circumnavigation in 103 days, 23 hours & 15 minutes. His supported ride was part of the World Cycle Race 2014. Fancourt had been disqualified for a technical rule breach on 30 March 2014.

Race 2012

On 18 Feb 2012, the 18,000 miles (29,000 km) World Cycle Racing Grand Tour began in London.[30] 11 riders took part. The race was run according to Guinness Record rules. Mike Hall was declared the winner on 4 June after completing the circumnavigation in 91 days, 18 hours. Richard Dunnett would finish on the 7 July 2012, followed by Simon Hutchinson on the 27 July 2012.

World Cycle Race 2014

On 1 Mar 2014, the second edition of the race began with three riders, Lee Fancourt (England), Breifne Earley (Ireland) and Franziska Hollender (Germany), leaving Greenwich Park, London and a fourth, Prasad Erande, from Bangkok, Thailand. As in 2012 the race was run by The Adventurists under the rules set by Guinness World Records.

On 12 Mar 2014 Franziska Hollender withdrew from the race because of an achilles tendon injury. [31] On 30 March 2014 Lee Fancourt was removed from the official classification after being disqualified for a technical rule breach [32]

The "Year Record"

The "Year Record" was awarded for the longest distance cycled in a single year. It is held by Tommy Godwin, who rode 75,065 miles (120,805 km) from 1939 to 1940. Godwin also holds the record for fastest time to cycle 100,000 miles (160,934 km).[33] The record was verified by Guinness World Records [34] and recognised at the time by Cycling magazine.[35][36]


  1. ^ Fastest Circumnavigation By Bicycle - Guidelines.  
  2. ^ "Round the world cycling record - The Guinness rules". 2010-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Alan Bate's around-the-world cycling record attempt". Explorers Web. 2010-03-29. 
  4. ^ Nick Sanders (1984-09-14). 22 Days Around the Coast of Britain.  
  5. ^ "Cyclist ends world record attempt". BBC News. 2005-04-24. 
  6. ^ "Scot smashes world cycle record". BBC News. 2008-02-15. 
  7. ^ a b "Vin Cox completes his round-the-world record attempt". 2010-08-02. 
  8. ^ Richard Peace (2009-03-05). "British cyclist aims to break round-the-world record".  
  9. ^ "YouTube: Great Bike Travellers #2 James Bowthorpe // BROOKS ENGLAND". 
  10. ^ Dunn, Lara. "James Bowthorpe home after breaking round-the-world record". 
  11. ^ "“All geared up for the ride of his life”". whatsdrivingparkinsons. 
  12. ^ Simon MacMichael (2009-12-09). "Ex London courier knocks 11 days off round-the-world cycling record - and then attacks past holder". 
  13. ^ "Vin Cox sets new round-the-world record".  
  14. ^ a b Published on Wednesday 20 June 2012 09:30 (2012-06-20). "Richard reaches Turkey in his global ride - Football". Diss Express. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  15. ^ "Caviar's broodmare sire dies". The Australian. 2012-07-02. 
  16. ^ "He's cycling around the world to bring light to Africa - Rediff Getahead". 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  17. ^ "The adventures of Vin Cox". Great Bike Ride. 2010-08-01. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  18. ^ "Vin Cox plans to not spend a penny, to eat from bushes and hedgerows and to drink from rivers and streams during his Hungry Bike Ride in March.<". This is Derbyshire. 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  19. ^ """Vin Cox To Embark On "Hungry Bike Ride. BikeRadar. 2012-01-23. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  20. ^ "24 mountain bike challenge! Vin Cox and Matt Parsons". The Tandemists. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  21. ^ Published on Wednesday 20 June 2012 09:30. "Conference Report". Cycleability. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  22. ^ a b John Whitney (2012-02-04). "Cyclists set for battle in epic round-the-world race". Cox, who rolled into London just over 163 days after he'd left in early 2010, held the record until the turn of this year, when Guinness World Records (GWR) finally awarded the accolade to Alan Bate. His stunning time of 106 days, 10 hours and 33 minutes was achieved with the partial help of a support crew, and with GWR either unwilling or unable to distinguish between what's supported and what's not, he's now considered the man to beat. 
  23. ^ "Weltumradler in Berlin: Groъerichter nach Riesen-Endspurt am Ziel angekommen - Ruhr Nachrichten". 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  24. ^ Von Daniel Claeяen. "westline | Ist Thomas Groяerichters Tour der neue Weltrekord?". Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  25. ^ "thomas grosserichter / fastest world circumnavigation on a bike / cycling the world". Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  26. ^ Thomas Grosserichter (2013-06-27). "The world keeps turning". Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  27. ^ by Simon_MacMichael   December 24, 2012  . "Cult survivor becomes 'first woman' to circumnavigate the world by bike (at least by Guinness World Record rules)". Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  28. ^ Moreton, Cole (2012-12-22). "Juliana Buhring becomes first woman to cycle round the world as she pedals into Naples after 152 days on the road". London: The Telegraph. 
  29. ^ "worldcycle". 
  30. ^ "World Cycle Race". 
  31. ^ "World Cycle Race - Franziska Hollender Withdrawal". 
  32. ^ "World Cycle Race - Lee Fancourt Disqualification". 
  33. ^ "Tommy Godwin's 'unbreakable' cycling record". BBC News. 2012-04-18. In 1939, Tommy Godwin rode 75,065 miles (120,805 km) in a single year to set an endurance riding record that some believe will never be beaten. In fact, he kept on going until 14 May 1940, setting the record for the time taken to ride 100,000 miles (161,000 km). 
  34. ^ "Greatest Distance Cycled in a Year record at Guinness World Records site". 2013-01-29. 
  35. ^ Dave Barter. "Tommy Godwin". 
  36. ^ Dave Barter (2011-12-09). "Tommy Godwin FAQ". Phased Publications. 
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