Fastest round the world bike ride for Cornishman
A man from Par in Cornwall has been confirmed as the new world record holder for the fastest cyclist to circumnavigate the world, beating the previous record held by Scotsman Mark Beaumont by over a month.
Vin Cox, 34, arrived back at his start point, the Greenwich Royal Observatory, in August, but he has faced a nervous wait for the Guinness World Records authorities to confirm that his attempt had conformed to their strict guidelines.
Vin’s official circumnavigation record is recognised as 163 days, 6 hours and 58 minutes – during which time he cycled 18,225.7 miles, averaging 112 miles a day. He set off on 7 February and arrived back on 1 August. 11 days 23 hours and 21 minutes were spent on or waiting for international transfers and these have been deducted, according to Guinness World Record’s rules.
Mark Beaumont’s previous record of 195 days was set in 2008 and has remained Guinness’ official record holder until this month. Two other cyclists, James Bowthorpe and Julian Sayarer, both made claims to have completed the circumnavigation in faster times since then – 175 days and 165 days respectively – but Guinness did not recognise their attempts.
Vin, a cycling proficiency instructor and South West ‘cyclo-cross’ cycling champion, said: “It’s a massive, massive relief. I knew that I’d understood and complied with all the rules for the record while I was having the adventure, but as the ride came to an end, an inner tension developed. I was full of doubts about my evidence and how Guinness World Records (GWR) would interpret it. Delays in the assessment process built up that tension too. Now I know that it’s recognised I can relax on that issue and start driving my life forward.”
Vin took on the challenge to raise awareness and money for the Geoff Thomas Foundation, which works with the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to get advanced new treatments to patients more quickly.
There is no set route for round the world Guinness World Record attempts but they must include at least 18,000 miles of cycling and not involve any back-tracking. Vin’s route involved 12 boat and plane transfers and took him through five different continents and across 17 countries. His record attempt was the first to visit Africa on the journey.
He said: “I planned a pretty adventurous route and it’s meant that I’ve had an incredibly broad experience of different cultures and climates – all the things which make cycling both difficult and exciting. I met some amazing local people and other adventurers along the way.”
“I hope my ride will inspire some people and also raise awareness and money for the Geoff Thomas Foundation. Geoff’s goal of increasing access to life-saving treatments for people with blood cancers is so important. It was a great motivator on some of the more gruelling parts of my ride.”
Geoff Thomas, who played football for England and Crystal Palace, said: “What Vin has achieved is absolutely incredible. I completed the Tour de France after going into remission from my leukaemia and that was one of the toughest things I have ever done. To cycle ten-times that distance uninterrupted and keep going takes an amazing amount of physical and mental strength – it’s inspirational.”
People can visit www.greatbikeride.com, where they can support Vin’s fundraising efforts for the Geoff Thomas Foundation.