World Cycle Race 2014: Race Around The World On A Bike

Are you one of those adventure travelers who has pretty much gone everywhere and done everything? Have you already climbed Kilimanjaro, trekked the length of the Himalaya and run an ultramarathon in the Sahara Desert? Are you looking for a new challenge that will motivate you to get off the couch while allowing you to continue exploring the world at the same time? If so, then you may want to consider entering the World Cycle Race 2014, a one-of-a-kind competition that pits competitors against one another in a bike race around the world.

The race will commence on March 22 of next year with riders electing to depart from either London, Singapore or Auckland. They will then be free to take any route they choose, traveling east or west, as they attempt to become the fastest person to circumnavigate the globe on a bicycle. Their route must cover a minimum of 18,000 miles, however, and the rider must pass through two antipodal points on the planet as they go. That is to say, they must pass touch two points that are on the exact opposite side of the world from one another.

The race will feature three categories with both male and female riders entered into each of them. In the “Supported” category a single cyclist will take to the road with a team that will provide assistance whereever necessary. That crew can help make bike repairs, find places to stay, provide food and so on. This is the category for those who are hoping to take a legitimate shot at the world record for the fastest time around the globe. In both the “Solo” and “Pairs” category, riders will travel completely unsupported with just the gear they can carry with them to see them through. While out on the road, they’ll need to be entirely self sufficient, dealing with whatever challenges arise completely on their own.The challenge may be big, but the entry fee for the World Cycle Race couldn’t be any smaller. Registration is now open for the event and race organizers aren’t charging a single dime for those who want to take part. Simply fill out the online letter of intent that you’ll find on the race’s official website and they’ll notify you with more details as they are made clear. In the meantime, you can keep yourself busy by training and riding your bike. After all, the start of the WRC is less than a year away.

The inaugural World Cycling Race took place last year with British rider Mike Hall taking the crown. Hall, who raced solo and unsupported, managed to circle the globe in just under 92 days. This time out, Hall has joined the race staff as a WCR ambassador and will serve on the race’s rules committee.

The race is brought to us by the Adventurists, the same team behind the amazing Mongol Rally and Rickshaw Run, amongst a number of other crazy adventures. That means the WCR will be well organized and accessible to just about anyone who feels the need to ride their bikes for an obscene number of miles each day.

[Photo Credit Eddie Clark Media]

Teen sailor Laura Dekker to complete round-the-world voyage today

16-year old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker will complete her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world today when she arrives back at the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. She is expected to make landfall around 3 PM local time this afternoon, exactly a year and a day after she set out on her voyage.

Dekker gained international attention when she first announced her intent to sail around the world at the age of 13. That sparked a great deal of debate on how young was too young for that kind of endeavor. Officials in the Netherlands even went so far as to step in and block her from sailing while they evaluated her skills and observed her relationship with her divorced parents. Eventually, after months of legal wrangling, she was allowed to sail, and at the age of 14 she hit the open water aboard her ship the Guppy.

Her shakedown cruise of Guppy took her to Portugal and then across the Atlantic to St. Maarten, where she tuned the vessel and prepared it for the long journey ahead. From there, it was through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa. Her non-stop crossing of the Atlantic was the final hurdle to overcome before being done.

Now, more than a year and a half after she initially set out, Laura’s about to reach her goal, and break the previous “youngest around” record by eight months. That record was set back in 2010 by Aussie Jessica Watson, who was 17 at the time.

On her blog, Laura says that she is looking forward to being back on land, taking walks and enjoy fresh food, while spending time with her family. They will greet her at a ceremony in her honor upon her arrival today, where a host of journalists are expected to be on hand to interview the teen.

Congratulations to Laura on a job well done. When I was 16 I could barely circumnavigate around the block in a car.

New round-the-world sailing speed record set

A 130-foot trimaran yacht, with a crew of 14, set a new speed record for sailing around the globe last Friday when it returned to port in Brest, France. The ship, which is named the Maxi Banque Populaire V, shaved nearly three days off the previous record, and earned the crew the coveted Jules Verne Trophy in the process.

The ship, which featured a mostly French crew, set sail on November 22nd of last year and managed to circumnavigate the globe in just 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, and 53 seconds. That beats the previous record, set in 2010, by more than 2 days, 18 hours. While out on the water, the speedy yacht logged more than 29,000 miles and had an average speed of 26.5 knots.

By setting the new round-the-world mark, the ship and her crew now hold the Jules Verne Trophy. Named for the famous author, whose seminal work of travel-fiction Around the World in 80 Days has inspired many adventures, the cup is awarded to the yacht that holds the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the planet. It was first given out back in 1993, when the record set at the time was 79 days, 6 hours. Less than 20 years later, we’ve now managed to cut that time almost in half. It seems only a matter of time before someone manages to sail around the globe in less than 40 days.

British adventurer plans to circumnavigate the globe in a wheelchair

British adventurer Andy Campbell isn’t big on making excuses, or letting a little thing like the fact that he can’t walk, get in the way of chasing his dreams. Eight years ago he fell while rock climbing, injuring his back and confining him to a wheelchair. Despite that horrible injury however, he continues to climb, ski, kayak, paraglide, and even scuba dive. And later this year, he intends to set out on his greatest adventure yet – a circumnavigation of the planet under his own power.

In June, Andy will depart from London and begin a 30,000 mile, 2-year long, journey that will begin with him crossing Europe and Asia in his wheelchair, paraglider, and kayak. Upon reaching the Pacific Ocean, he will then hop a flight to North America, and continue the expedition by traveling from Alaska to the southernmost tip of South America. Along the way, he intends to kayak the Missouri and Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, and roll his specially designed wheelchair along the Pan-American Highway.

While the trip will certainly be its own reward, Campbell has other aspirations in mind as well. He hopes to raise as much as much as £1 million (roughly $1.54 million) for his fledgling Chutkara Initiative. This new charity is hoping to fund purchases of outdoor gear for disabled athletes who may not normally be able to afford those items themselves. For instance, an off-road wheelchair can cost as much as £2000 ($3085), while an adaptive climbing harness will run £900, or about $1388. By helping to provide that gear for the disabled, Any hopes to inspire them to get outside and experience their own adventures.

Campbell has been training for this challenge for awhile, and will be as physically fit as possible once the journey begins in a few months time. He’ll also be joined by a two-person support crew who will assist him as needed along the way and ensure that he safely makes it across some of the more challenging regions he’ll be traveling through.

This is a pretty inspiring endeavor and it should be interesting to follow his progress once he gets going.

German woman attempting to paddle around South America

Earlier this week, long distance kayaker Freya Hoffmeister set off on another epic journey. The German woman, who once spent 332 days kayaking around Australia, has set her sights on an even bigger challenge – a solo circumnavigation of South America.

On Tuesday, Hoffmeister set out from Buenos Aires, Argentina where she immediately started paddling south, down the Atlantic Coast. Her first few days went fairly well, as she knocked off more than 30 miles per day, but high winds appeared late in the week, slowing progress to a crawl.

For the next two years, Freya’s days will mostly be spent in the cockpit of her kayak, while nights will be passed camping on shore. She’ll take occasional breaks along the way of course, enough time to recharge her batteries and enjoy some creature comforts, but for the most part, Hoffmeister will be focused on making progress – rain or shine.

The voyage is expected to take upwards of 24 months and cover 15,000 miles before Hoffmeister completes her journey around South America and returns to Buenos Aires. Before she does that however, she’ll need to brave the turbulent waters off Cape Horn, turn north along the Pacific Coast, and face thousands of miles of remote, empty coastlines. After months of travel, she’ll then navigate through the Panama Canal, back to the Atlantic Ocean, and turn south once again. A daunting task to say the least.

You can follow Freya’s progress on her daily blog and trip map, which is automatically updated as she moves along.

Spending two years in a kayak will require a lot of dedication and hard work. But considering her track record, I think Freya may be up to the task.