Hang on! Isn’t this my territory???? There I was thinking I had cornered the market in crossing Europe on a bike called anything – I’ve done it three times don’t you know – but I read today that the hirsute Sean Conway is muscling in on my niche!
OK, there are differences. Not only did I pack some razors into my panniers when I cycled from Reading to Brindisi, Cape Sounio to Cape St. Vincent and Tarifa to Nordkapp [Get over it man! Ed.]… but I was usually in no rush to do so. What Sean is attempting is to break the record (Did you know that one existed? Me neither…) of cycling across the continent from west to east. Over to his team:
“Starting from Cabo de Roca on the west coast of Portugal, Sean will attempt to cycle 4,500 miles across Europe finishing at Ufa in Russia in less than 25 days. The attempt will be unsupported meaning Sean will be carrying all of his kit with him along the way.
To put this distance into perspective, it is over double the distance ridden at the recent Tour de France (2,200 miles) in roughly the same amount of time (Le Tour was over 23 days).”
But less than the 4,832 miles I cycled from Spain to Norway. [Move on! It did take you 96 cycling days plus another 15 days of not cycling… Ed.] Back to his team:
“The current record stands at 29 days, 18 hours and 25 minutes and Sean is looking to knock over 4 days off the record. In order to do this, he’ll need to cycle roughly 180 miles a day.”
It’s interesting to note that Mark Beaumont is currently attempting to cycle around the world in record-breaking time and, in order to do so, he needs to average 225 miles per day. Then again, in fairness to Sean, Mark is doing his ride supported (i.e. he’s being followed by a van). A quick update on his attempt: he’s on day 24 and is currently in Mongolia – full details here. Follow Mark on Twitter for regular updates. You can support his charity by texting ‘ORKD80 £10’ to 70070.
Back to Sean… he sets off on his bike – yes, it’s really called Maggie – and she is a rather cool looking bike…
…on August 5th. I guarantee he won’t have any back wheel spoke issues as I did in the Alps and northern Italy back in 2010 (and France in 2015). His sponsors – Yellow Jersey Cycle Insurance – have provided a kit list. He certainly hasn’t skimped on what he’s taking with him but then again, if I was attempting to break a world record, neither would I. Good luck to Sean and continued good luck to Mark. Perhaps I need a record to break. Any suggestions?
Images from YellowJersey.co.uk.