Marathon cyclist talks to camera to beat the blues

'Wilson' has become rider's best mate during long haul down the Americas

by Tom Henry   February 13, 2010  

mark beaumont.jpg

A video diary with a difference is being made by a Scot cycling the length of the Americas.

Mark Beaumont, previously the record holder for the fastest round-the-world cycle ride, talks to his camera not only as a record of his trip, but as a way of keeping the blues at bay.

He's even gone as far as naming the camera 'Wilson' – a nod to Captain Scott's fated 1911 Polar Expedition, perhaps? - and is in regular conversation with it as he cycles alone for long periods of time.

The 27-year-old Fife man is now just a week away from finishing his 13,000-mile journey from Anchorage in Alaska to Ushuaia in southern Argentina.

During the adventure he has climbed to the summits of North and South America's highest mountains – Mount McKinley, which stands at 20,321ft, and Mount Aconcagua, 22,841ft .

Beaumont has been joined by a BBC cameraman three times but only for a few days. For much of the eight-month journey he has cycled alone, with only his camera for companionship.

The Fife cyclist told the Scotsman newspaper: "My constant companions on this journey have been my bike, and my camera. The bike has no name but I call the camera Wilson, as for long periods it's the only thing I talk to.

"Nine months is a very long time to travel like this. People have travelled alone by bike for much longer but not at such a pace, with such specific focus.

"At times it stopped feeling like an expedition and became simply my lifestyle, cycling all day, living wild, eating where I could find food.

"Time often loses relevance when alone for so long."

Beaumont should reach the finish line around 19 February.

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Quote "He's even gone as far as naming the camera 'Wilson' – a nod to Captain Scott's fated 1911 Polar Expedition, perhaps?"

Probably not, but we live in hope. More likely to be inspired by the Tom Hanks film Cast Away where he had a Wilson basketball that he talked to.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [583 posts]
13th February 2010 - 8:46

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