In around twice the amount of time that I am planning on cycling from the UK to Puglia, this guy – Alan Bate is his name – is planning to cycle “around the World”. In the words of his own press release:
On the 31/03/10, British professional racing cyclist Alan Bate will begin a dramatic attempt to sensationally lower the Round the World Cycling Record to just 99 days. This punishing schedule has been widely ridiculed as “impossible”. Mark Beaumont set a fantastic Guinness record of 195 days for the 18,000 miles. This record was broken twice last year and now stands at 165 days (to be ratified by Guinness) His birth date is 01/04/65. So, at 45 years of age on the first of April, he is twice that of the current record holder. It’s been said I am just an April fool…..well let’s see! Alan’s approach on the bike though is 100% serious. He is based out in Thailand and has been preparing at altitude in the mountains of the north for three years. The start point for the challenge is Bangkok, Thailand.
I don’t know anywhere near enough about cycling around the World to really comment on his chances of doing so in 99 days; I suppose you have to admire his efforts and his own self-deprecating attitude to the adventure as he does admit that his attempt has been “widely ridiculed”. I put “around the World” in inverted commas above as, if you look at his route, he conveniently misses out the tricky bit in the Middle East going from Athens to Dubai and then to India. I think the rules of the attempt state that you have to cycle in one direction for 18,000 miles passing through two points on opposite sides of the globe, but his route does seem to be stretching the definition of “around the World”. His detour to pass through northern Europe (and the UK) presumably allows him to clock up the miles in a less war-torn area (although he still has south-east London to contend with).
Good luck to him. I hope he has a chance of wearing something other than yellow en route! He reminds me of Woody Allen dressed as a sperm. You can follow his progress via his website.