Cyclist circles the globe in 174 days

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

British man driving himself around the world

A little more than a year ago, Roy Locock set out from his home in the U.K. with the simple plan of proving someone wrong. He had been told by friends that there was no way he could possibly drive around the world. But now, 14 months later, he’s not only through the most challenging part of the journey, he’s in the home stretch, having reached Regina, Canada yesterday.

Roy left the U.K. and drove across Europe, into Asia, where he eventually arrived in India. From there, he caught a boat to Australia, drove across that country, and caught another boat to South America. Turning is car north, he continued to drive, until he crossed into North America, eventually arriving at his current location in Canada. He’ll head east from Regina, eventually reaching the Atlantic coast, where he’ll grab one last boat back home.

Before setting out, Roy decided he needed to find just the right car to accompany him on his journey. He admits that he wanted to travel in style and look good on his long distance road trip. He eventually settled on a 1977 MG Midget convertible that he lovingly dubbed “Bridget the Midget”, a car that the he says he had wanted since he was a teenager.

The around-the-world drive isn’t just about proving his friends wrong however and it isn’t just about the adventure either. Roy is also driving for a cause, as he has been raising funds for UNICEF, a charity that met his two criteria, of having an international reach, and directly benefited children in the process.

With a little luck, Roy should be home in just a few weeks time. But he isn’t in much of a hurry. He has enjoyed his time on this journey, and admits that he likes the freedom of the open road. The question is, how many others has he inspired to get in their car, drive down the street, and just keep going, in the process.

[via the Lake Powell Chronicle]

Teenager sails solo around the world

He’s not old enough to drink, he’s not old enough to vote, but he’s old enough to sail solo around the world.

American teenager Zac Sunderland, 17, has become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe alone. When most kids his age are playing Xbox or hanging out in the mall, Zac decided to achieve his dream.

He started his 28,000 mile (45,000 km) voyage from a marina in Los Angeles 13 months ago when he was still just 16 years old, and faced storms, equipment failure, and a close call with pirates before making it back to the same marina yesterday.

During a speech after he made it home Zac said that he was amazed at the generosity of people in the developing world, and he hopes his journey will inspire other teenagers to do more with their youth.

“Society puts younger people into a kind of a box. . .nobody is expected to do much,” he said.

Well Zac, as a father myself I have to say that I hope my three year-old will be just as crazy as you in a few years, and I’ll be just as nervous and proud as your dad must be.

Solar powered plane to circle the globe

While Boeing and Airbus scramble to make larger, more luxurious planes, others are pushing the envelope in different directions, attempting to find ways to make them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Take the Solar Impulse for instance. This plane is setting the bar high, with a plan to circumnavigate the globe completely under solar power.

The Solar Impulse is the brain child of Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss adventurer and environmentalist, who launched the project back in 2003 with the aim of promoting the use of renewable energy sources. Now, in 2009, he is closing in on that dream. His plane has a 200-foot wingspan which is lined with 12,000 photovoltaic solar cells that will draw energy from the sun to power its four engines.

Piccard unveiled the latest design for his plane on June 26th in a ceremony near Zurich. This prototype will undergo test flights in 2010, including night flights using solar power stored in batteries. In 2011 the next design of the plane will be completed, with 2012 set as the tentative start of its world tour. The fact that this plane can fly even at night is one of the the things that separates it from other solar powered aircraft in the past.

While we might be years away from solar power becoming commercially viable for flights, it is projects like these that are paving the way for the future of flight. A future that is clean and environmentally friendly.

Epic round-the-world cruise follows in the wake of famous explorers

In March of 2010, an adventure cruise of epic proportions will get underway from Singapore that will send travelers on a round the world expedition, following in the footsteps of some of history’s most revered explorers.

Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers will send 120 luck passengers on a 335 day cruise aboard the Spirit of Oceanus, the flagship of the Cruise West fleet. Departing from Singapore on March 6, 2010, the ship will sail west, and eventually return to its starting destination on February 3, 2011. In between, passengers will be treated to 24 individual voyages, encompassed by six defined “chapters”.

Each of these six chapters correspond to a historical figure who explored the world by sea. The first chapter follows the path of Marco Polo, while the second takes the route of Odysseus and the Phoenicians merchants. Subsequent chapters follow the adventures of Lief Eriksson, Christopher Columbus, James Cook, and Ferdinand Magellan. Each cruise within each chapter will follow historical routes and offer insights into what the explorers experienced as they went about their own voyages.

Through the course of the cruise, travelers will experience 242 ports of call spread across 59 countries. They’ll aslo visit 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites, cross 14 seas and oceans, and traverse the Suez, Corinth, and Panama Canals.

So how much will this epic cruise set you back? Good question! You can book any single cruise or combination of cruises starting at $4995. But if you want to do the whole thing, spending all 335 days circumnavigating the globe, it’ll set you back a cool $233,995. I wonder what Marco Polo would think of that.

For more information on the cruise read the press release here.