Kevin Shannon sets leaving date for his zero emissions expedition

Bowthorpe tells him to steer clear of kamikaze wombats

by Kevin Emery   October 14, 2009  

Kevin Shannon (Photo Credit www.jonparkerlee.com).jpg

Kevin Shannon finally has a leaving date for his Zero Emissions Expedition to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle – and he has a few words of advice from someone in the know to take with him as well.

Kevin will leave on Sunday, March 28, and he will be cycling approximately 36,000 miles across five continents and sailing across two oceans, and arriving back on his doorstep around three years later.

Such a trip would fill pretty much anyone with a bit of trepidation to say the least. So it was a good job Kev was at last weekend’s Cycle Show in Earls Court. And an even better job that round the world record holder James Bowthorpe was on hand there too.

Bowthorpe was on Kevin’s stand at the show and he had some words of advice and wisdom for Kev.

Kev said: “James was very impressed with my route and the zero emissions challenge. He was very busy at the show but the piece of advice he gave me was to try and not hit any wombats in Australia like he did.

“The Cycle Show was great and I had a lot of interest in the trip, and a lot of people wished me well.”

Bowthorpe survived the kamikaze Wombats, a mugging attempt in Iran and severe stomach problems in India on the way to becoming the new record holder for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle.

And Kevin has an endorsement from him on his website in which Bowthorpe said: “Kevin is taking on the challenge of his life. I think that if I’d had to sail across those oceans after cycling cross-continent I would have crumbled. That’s what makes this challenge so good; its bold and brave, and with zero emissions its a message for our times.”

He will be leaving from The Outdoors Show Extra at the Birmingham NEC, which runs from Thursday, March 25-Sunday, March 28, on the final day – and he won’t be alone. At least not for the first few miles out of the 36,000.

“I'll be at the show during the first two days and I'll be leaving on the morning of the 28th accompanied by 200 cyclists. The cyclists will be part of Action Medical Research's 100 mile ride which will feature at the show. The riders have very kindly agreed to ride with me for the first few miles.”

He was originally going to be setting off on his expedition last month but was delayed due to a film production company expressing an interest in doing a documentary on it.
“I had a meeting with the production company on Saturday and they are really excited about it.”

Kevin, 23, who lives in Mobberley in Cheshire, will also be aiming to raise £1m for the ex-servicemen charity Combat Stress on his adventure of a lifetime. While the majority of the expedition will be on bike, Kevin will also be sailing some of the way.

During this time he will face extreme sub zero temperatures, scorching heat, thirst, hunger and physical and mental exhaustion, and he hopes to meet, interact and immerse himself in different cultures from every corner of the globe.

His route will take him from the UK, through western Europe, eastern Europe and into Russia and across to Siberia, then through Mongolia crossing the Gobi Desert and
into China and Southeast Asia, and then crossing over to Australia. Then he will travel to South America and head north following the west coast until the US. From there he plans to head towards the east coast of Canada and then back to England.

“Now that I have a date it really can’t come soon enough, but I’ve got to raise the last bit of money to make the trip happen before then. I’m more excited than nervous but I’m sure the nerves will kick in around March. I’m also speaking to a bike company about sponsorship.”

Kevin is looking for a corporate sponsor to help with the costs of the expedition and enquiries can be made through the Just Giving website, where you can also make a donation.  He is also on Twitter - his name is @Kev_Shannon.