Andrew Nicholson is home again in his native New Zealand after completing an epic round-the-world cycling mission. Over 123 days he crossed the USA, Canada, Europe, India, South East Asia and Australia by pedal power, and if Guinness verifies his time, he'll have set a new world record.
Nicholson, who hails from Dunedin, is not new to athletic feats, cycling or indeed world records. He is a three-time Olympic speed skating competitor, holder of the New Zealand 24-hour cycling record, and has apparently appeared in the the Guinness World Records book twice already.
The ride, which started on the 12 August 2015 from Auckland with a flight to Canada for the first leg of the trip, covered a whopping 29,179km / 18,131 miles over 23 countries. Luckily, the rules allow those attempting the record to bypass natural barriers such as oceans and mountain ranges, as well as war-torn countries, using methods of transportation other than cycling.
The current world record holder is Alan Bate of the UK, who set the record in 2010 in a time of 125 days, 21 hours and 45 minutes. If Nicholson's time is verified by Guinness, he'll take the record by a good 2 days.
For the record to be verified, the attempt must adhere to the following rules;
- The journey must be continuous and in one direction, either east to west or west to east
- Minimum distance ridden must be 18,000 miles
- Total distance traveled should exceed an equators length – 40,100km / 24,900 miles
- Should not waver off course more than five miles
- Must include two approximate antipodal points
Nicholson completed the ride on an Avanti Corsa DR 2, which over the course of the record attempt required four sets of tyres and three chains replacing. Furthermore, he completed the trip unsupported for the most part, which he admits in an interview with the Guardian got lonely at times, but a quick look at his Facebook page suggests he also made many friends along the way.
Nicholson found accommodation as he went, using the website Warm Showers, which allows people to offer room and accommodation to touring cyclists. He reported an excellent experience overall, with his hosts cooking for him and stashing treats in his bags as well a bed for the night.
Each step of the trip was charted and tracked on Nicholson's Te Aho World Ride website, which included live tracking and regular blog posts, and in addition to the world record attempt Nicholson was raising money for Te Ahu Matatū Centre for Translational Cancer Research.