RTW Argy-Bargy


A little more about circumnavigations, following on from my History Lesson.

Firstly, the frankly odd world of RTW cycling worldt record.

A record was "set" by a man with the faintly unbelievable name of Steve Strange back in the heady days of 2005. He did 277 days. Mark Beaumont (yeah? Scottish guy. You saw him on a phone advert) managed 194 days. Then a bloke called James Bowthorpe, using a bike with a belt instead of a chain managed it 20 days quicker. Then a bit of a angry-young-man, called Julian, appeared on the scene and did it even faster: 165 days. Although it all still seems a bit unsettled at the moment...

This Julian chap has a bit of an axe to grind with Mark Beaumont which gets a bit heated, odd and, well, unreadable by the end (I skipped to the more interesting bit: the comments).

My thoughts on the matter are that it is slightly silly (which I like!) to turn the world into a race track. Because of that, the "contenders " have had to conjour up "sensible" motivations: Mark wanted fame, a tv series, book, and a springboard to his next adventure. James wanted to raise money for Parkinson's desease, and Julian wanted to moan about Mark, the world and everything. I think there is still a lot of leeway left in the record and I wouldn't be suprised to see several more attempts. Perhaps by retired proffessional cyclists?

Regardless, at the moment I wouldn't dream of going as fast as those guys (around 120 miles a day) because if I did I would miss out on so much good stuff. More fun is to get involved with local events off the beaten track, to go off on adventurous side trips (very slow going on gravel or bad roads usually) and just spend time chatting with people you meet.

On a more positive note, Vin Cox (with a name like that the record is practically in the bag) will set off on his record attempt today (7th February 2010). His route is more adventurous than the ones to date taking on as it does Africa and South America. However, his choice of name for his expedition leaves a lot to be desired: The Great Bike Ride. In 2012 he plans to organise the first ever round the world race. I've got to tell you: I'm interested!

Ok, next there is the controversy over the Human-Powered RTW record. (Which I am interested in as a possible future expedition!!!) Colin Angus has basically done it, but not to Guinness guidelines... Jason Lewis too. Here are the guidelines. Here is a bit of Colin's website. Even if someone does it to the guidelines, it would still be a great trip, possibly even worth trying to do it faster or longer!

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