Guinness World Records have confirmed that British cyclist Vin Cox has set a new record for circumnavigation of the globe by bike.
Setting off from London in February, the 34-year-old completed his Great Bike Ride last month in 163 days, six hours and 58 minutes – 13 days faster than previous record holder James Bowthorpe.
He travelled through 17 countries along the way, and hopes to have raised £18,000 for the Geoff Thomas Foundation – £1 for each mile he travelled.
Cox had to cope with temperatures as low as -7°C and as high as 50°C, as well as battling leeches in Malaysia, diarrhoea in Libya and erratic drivers pretty much everywhere – including a run-in with a bus, and local police, in Java.
“My route is special,” he said. “Not only did I plan to break the record, I wanted to have a proper adventure. I wanted to be the first record holder who’s visited Africa and South America on the journey; in fact the only continent I didn’t visit is Antarctica because it’s got no roads and is a bit cold.”
Cox rode a Genesis Croix de Fer kitted out with Shimano components including BR-R505 mechanical disc brakes and an eight-speed Alfine hub gear. “Everything was pretty reliable,” he said. “I went through plenty of inner tubes, obviously, and a total of 11 tyres as well as 11 chains too.
“I buckled the front disc brake in a collision with a cat and replaced that on day four of the journey. The following needed replacing once only: brake pads, handlebar tape, sprockets, shoe plates and a gear cable. That’s it. Very reliable stuff!”
Cox, who works in IT and is a Bikeability instructor, is now back home in Cornwall with his wife Helen planning his next adventure. You can check out his ride in a series of videos posted on YouTube.