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Twenty-five year-old Mark Beaumont was on a mission - he wanted to establish a new record for being the fastest man around the world on a bicycle - and establish he did. He completed the trip in about 195 days, breaking the existing world record of 276 days, set by Steven Strange, by a whopping 81 days!
His 18,000 mile, seven-month journey started in Paris on August 5th last year, took him through 20 countries, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States (see his route map below)
Mark rode an average of 91 miles a day on his road bike while carrying a tent and about 160 pounds of other equipment. He slept wherever he could find a safe spot at night, sometimes in hotels and on other nights in his tent.
In order to keep up his energy, he had to eat about 6,000 calories a day (a normal person eats about 2,000), a feat he found a little difficult in some parts of the world. He says his biggest challenge was finding "healthy" options, especially in Australia and the U.S.A. In the Australian Outback, where shops are scattered every two hundred miles or so, he was forced to survive on chocolates (yum) and cans of baked beans. He believes this "junk" food slowed him down and that he that could have ridden much faster had he had more healthy food options.
Mark kept a diary of his entire trip and said he encountered many exciting and memorable adventures during his trip. In Louisiana, U.S.A he was knocked off his bike by a motorist who skipped a red light. In Pakistan, he became sick from food poisoning. However, his most terrifying experience was in Istanbul, where he had to weave his bike through really crowded and bad roads (no special bike lanes here!). He also had some very fun times, meeting lots of amazing people and going through some beautiful countries.
Mark grew up in a remote farm in the Scottish Highlands and was home-schooled until he reached high school. He completed his first major solo ride at the age of fifteen, biking over 1,000 miles and raising 3,000 British Pounds for charity. Surprisingly, while he loves to bike, Skiing is his first love, and he was the captain of the Ski and Snowboard Club at Glasgow University, where he received his degree in Economics and Politics.
Mark's worldwide trek, helped raise 18,000 British Pounds towards various charities and will earn him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the " Fastest to Cycle around the World".