Scot breaks record for circumnavigating the globe on a bike
Saturday 16 February 2008
He encountered floods, road rage and even a careless motorist dodging a red light. His wallet and camera were stolen during a fight at a hostel. And he lost a stone while sweating his way through 18,000 miles and 20 countries with dramatically varying climates.
But at 2.30pm yesterday, pedalling past the Arc de Triomphe in the city where his mammoth journey began, it was all worth it for Mike Beaumont, an economics and politics graduate from Fife who has become the fastest man to cycle around the world.
The 25-year-old's epic, Paris-to-Paris bike ride began nearly seven months ago, but 195 days and six hours later he earned his place as a record-breaker, beating the previous incumbent who took a relatively sluggish 276 days.
Guinness World Records said the feat still needed to be verified. But that didn't spoil the celebrations among Mr Beaumont's family, who were waiting for him in the French capital.
"I'm delighted, although I think it will take a while for it to sink in," said Mr Beaumont, who lives in Newburgh in Fife. "It's great to see my friends and family and now I'm looking forward to getting some sleep.
"The challenge was one of those things which was out there to be done. I love the idea of being the first and the fastest and I felt I was capable of beating the record."
Thousands of pounds were raised for charity by the extraordinary journey, which took in countries including Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
It was in the last of these, passing through the state of Louisiana, that Mr Beaumont was knocked off his bike after an elderly driver careered through a red light. Other challenges included the robbery – which took place at a Miami hostel after a fight broke out among fellow residents – and dealing with the weather extremes of several continents: floods, driving rain and bitterly cold conditions.
Yesterday, as he reached the finish line of his solitary circumnavigation of the globe, Mr Beaumont's mother Una, father Kevin and sisters, Heather and Hannah – over from Shanghai as a surprise – were there to greet him at the Arc. "I am very proud of him," said Mrs Beaumont. "With Mark, the passion is being the first and the fastest. It's about pushing himself to the limit."
Her son began the Artemis World Cycle Challenge in Paris on 5 August last year. The aim was to break the record for the fastest round-the-world cycle of 276 days, 19 hours and 15 minutes, held by Steven Strange from Devon.
Having comfortably achieved that, Mr Beaumont received a personal letter of congratulations from Prince William, who is president of the wildlife charity Tusk – one of several for which the trip was raising money.
The Scottish Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy also expressed admiration, saying "I think it's an amazing feat he's achieved."
Mr Beaumont, originally from Bridge of Cally in Perthshire, began long-distance cycle trips at the age of 12, riding from John O' Groats to Land's End.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for Guinness World Records confirmed: "We will be reviewing documentation from Mr Beaumont and our researchers will go through the paperwork, but it has been logged as an official attempt and it seems everything is in order."
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia dubbed 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
- 5 Michael McIntyre walks off stage after woman in the front row uses her phone
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Permanent Year 6 TeacherThe job:This...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: KS1+KS2 Teachers required ASAP for l...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 2 Teacher The position is to wo...