Via the iPlayer, I watched a four-part series about Mark Beaumont. He’s a cyclist from Scotland who set himself the challenge of crossing the world – 18,000 miles – in under 200 days to set a new Guinness World Record.
If you missed the programme, there’s plenty of information about it on the BBC website, including when and where it will be on (if it’s repeated).
The guy was absolutely amazing. He travelled through Europe, Asia, all the way across Australia, all the way across America and through Europe again, starting and finishing in Paris. Only a couple of flights to avoid the ocean, and a bike, were his means of travelling, and he had to record his mileage every step of the way.
The programme was excellent. Sometimes it felt as if they were skipping bits out, large chunks of the world disappearing. But I suppose there’s only so many interesting shots of a man cycling!
He was stared at in India, almost went over a cliff in LA, and mugged in Louisiana. He met a physiotherapist at several locations by the roadside, and spent Christmas Day cycling through pouring rain. Through Australia he found a massive spider on his bag, and yet the whole time he just kept on cycling. By himself. For seven months.
The sheer idea of it blows my mind.
I can’t even go for too long a walk before I get bored and need something to occupy my mind. Fancy cycling for 200 days with nothing but an iPod for company. It’s not like he could stop and admire the scenery because he was too busy cycling through every daylight hour available. When he wasn’t cycling he was putting up a tent and taking it down again.
Seems like a lot of effort to me.
Anyway, I recommend the programme, and the website, because it’s an incredible story.