James Bowthorpe received a hero’s welcome when he arrived at Hyde Park in London on Saturday after breaking the round-the-world cycling record.
The Londoner beat the previous record set by fellow Briton Mark Beaumont by three weeks, circumnavigating the globe in just 176 days – an average of over 100 miles a day (not including his meagre five-and-a-half rest days).
A gaggle of supporters rode with him on the final leg from Portsmouth, and an even larger crowd awaited him at the finish. Many had been following his progress for months via his Twitter updates and blog.
Bowthorpe’s aim was to raise £1.8 million for the charity What’s Driving Parkinsons?, an organisation he’d volunteered with in the past.
The amount raised stands at nearly £58,000 but James’s fundraising activities are far from over, with some new UK-based challenges in the pipeline for coming months.
Supportive comments from Lance Armstrong during the ride meant a lot to him, and he hopes to get some tips from the consummate fundraiser now that he’s back.
Bowthorpe’s route took him through Europe, Iran, India, South-East Asia, New Zealand, Australia and North America, and was not without drama.
Incidents included an attempted mugging in Iran, severe stomach problems resulting from a snack at Calcutta airport, a collision with a wombat in Australia that catapulted him off the bike and a mid-summer crossing of one of the USA’s hottest regions.
He rode a Santos Travelmaster Alu 2.6 with hydraulic rim brakes, Rohloff hub and belt-drive system, which required just one change, due to an initial misalignment of the belt.
James’s new world record should be confirmed by Guinness soon. You can follow his fundraising efforts on his blog.
James Bowthorpe has a drink of champagne with Robbert Rutgrink, the MD of Santos, who supplied James with a bike