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British cyclist Mark Beaumont creates history by cycling around the world in 78 days

Nidhi Iyer
193   //    19 Sep 2017, 16:35 IST

cycled 16 hours every day across 16 countries,

He cycled 16 hours every day across 16 countries.

What’s the story?

British cyclist Mark Beaumont, has scripted history by traveling around the world on his bike in a record-breaking number of 78 days, 14 hours and 14 minutes after he started his journey. In order to achieve this spectacular feat, the 34-year-old cycled 16 hours every day across 16 countries.

The context

Beaumont set off from Paris on the 2nd of July this year, questioning the possibility of this journey around the world and initially aiming to complete it in 80 days, inspired by the French writer Jules Verne. The fact that he managed to complete it two days ahead of the target has been a dream come true for him.

Heart of the matter

He travelled to Russia from Europe in the first leg of his journey, and then subsequently to Mongolia and Beijing. He moved on to cycling across Australia and New Zealand for his next leg. The third stage took him to Anchorage, Alaska which he finished in Halifax, Nova Scotia after which he finally flew back to Lisbon and pedalled north of Paris.

Beaumont endured severe physical, mental and emotional stress throughout his journey, from tackling bitter cold to sweltering heat and heavy storms. Besides these, he had to deal with accidents and severe physical wear-and-tear on the way. On one such instance, he was so tired he fell asleep when a member of his backup team replaced a filling for him after a fall in Moscow.

Beaumont admits that this was the hardest experience of his life in his two-decade-long career of facing endurance challenges. But no matter the hairline fracture or the broken tooth, he would like everyone to understand that if one has their eyes set upon something, they can easily achieve it.

This isn’t the first time, the Brit has held a record. In 2008, he achieved the same feat but in 195 days. This record was broken in 2015 by Andrew Nicholson’s 123 days. What is spectacular is that Beaumont has managed to make a mark by accomplishing the feat in half the time he had taken the last time and 78 days is quite the solid record, on that that has little chance of being broken easily. A second record that he beat was that of having cycled 11,315.29km (7,030 miles) in the first month of his challenge.

Despite the enormity of what he has accomplished, he believes that his record can easily be broken by a ‘proper’ cyclist.

What’s next?

This is one amongst many other stints that the endurance athlete has partaken in to break world records and only time will tell what is in store for his next activity.

Author’s take

It is not a small task to cycle around the world and to top that, in just 78 days. It is incredibly inspiring to hear stories of such athletes who are limited by nothing that comes in their way and go on to achieve such feats creating important benchmarks for athletes to come.

Nidhi Iyer
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