Last weekend, British cyclist James Bowthorpe rolled into London’s Hyde Park, finishing an epic ride around the globe, and setting a new world’s record in the process. Bowthorpe became the fastest person to circumnavigate the planet by bike, finishing the 18,000 mile ride in 174 days, beating the old record by 20 days.
Bowthorpe’s journey took him across France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, before returning him home. In order to finish in this record time, he averaged more than 100 miles per day, and near the end of his journey, he was riding as much as 150 miles in a single go.
The 32-year old cyclist, who rode to raise funds for Parkinson’s research, faced plenty of challenges along the way. The weather was a constant adversary with high winds and rains tormenting him at times, while heat and humidity took their toll at others. Road conditions were tricky in some of the more remote areas as well, and while he was riding through India, Bowthrope took ill and spent three days in bed trying to recover.
The new record bests the one set by Mark Beaumont last year when he circled the globe in 194 days. Beumont is currently on another long distance cycling expedition, riding from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in South America.
Although the ride may be over for Bowthorpe, his goal to raise money to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease continues. He had hoped to raise £1.8 million on his journey, and he is still focused on reaching that goal. To find out more about James and his long distance ride, and how you can contribute to his cause, go to GlobeCycle.org.