British cyclist Mark Beaumont on Friday claimed the world record for being the fastest person ever to pedal around the world.
The 25-year-old Scotsman rode into the Paris after pedalling 18,000 miles in a world record 195 days. Averaging 100 miles a day for over six months, he took two months off the existing world record.
“It’s an absolutely fantastic feeling to achieve the world record after six months on the road,” said Beaumont at the finish in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
Beaumont set off from Paris last August and crossed 20 countries, including Iran and the Pakistan/Afghan border.
He endured storms, floods and road rage before being knocked off his bike by an elderly woman driver who failed to stop at a red light in Louisiana.
His bike was badly damaged and he was forced to stay in a nearby hostel, which turned out to be a drug den. A fight broke out during the night and in rumpus that followed he was robbed of his wallet and camera.
Update: Some readers have mentioned bike and motorbike adventurer Nick Sanders who did a round-the-world trip in 80 days in the early 90s. According to this BikeRadar forum posting Guinness has changed the rules since then, so that land circumnavigations have to be more than 18,000 miles (28,800km), plus 8,000 miles (12,800km) by sea or air, and go through two antipodal points.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008