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The 34-year-old Scotsman, currently in Melbourne, Australia, is roughly on track to circumnavigate the globe by bike in 80 days

The motorhome following Mark Beaumont on his Artemis World Cycle challenge in which he is attempting to ride around the world in 80 days was hit from behind by a car driver near Melbourne, Australia today. The Scottish adventurer has confirmed none of his support crew nor the occupants of the car was seriously injured, but acknowledged that the incident could have been “a lot, lot worse.”

Beaumont was riding along the hard shoulder of the highway when the camper van with his support crew was rear-ended by a car driven by a woman whose one-year-old child was a passenger in the vehicle.

Fortunately, no-one in either vehicle suffered anything worse than bumps and bruises, and Beaumont’s team have hired a replacement vehicle for the remainder of the leg.

In a video posted to Facebook, Beaumont said: “It’s been one of the most difficult days on the whole trip.”

“It really makes me pause and think, because it’s getting busier as we approach Melbourne.

“It was a quiet section of highway, the visibility was fantastic, we had our hazards on.

“The police had passed us just a few minutes earlier and were happy with what we were doing, we were fine.

“If I’d been in the road rather than the hard shoulder, you know … game over.”

Beaumont, who said the episode probably cost him about 50 miles of the day’s target, added: “Very serious, but it could have been a lot, lot worse, and the team did brilliantly.”

As we reported earlier today, Beaumont is now halfway around the world in his bid to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle in 80 days and roughly on track to break the World Record by 40 days.

He has cycled 16 hours per day for the past 38 days. His was one of the early attempts for fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bike ten years ago – only this time he is riding with a full support team, including physiotherapists, and his mum, Una, running “base camp” back in the UK.

Beaumont, 34, left on July 2, and has cycled 9,000 miles in 38 days – halfway towards his planned 18,000 mile total. He points out, though, extrapolating those numbers won’t necessarily predict his overall time, because of the number of flights in the second part of the attempt.

Cycling round the world in 80 days: the race begins

Beaumont’s route is broken down into four segments, the first from Paris to Beijing, the second from Perth, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand; the third stage will see him cycle from Anchorage, Alaska, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the final, shortest stage, will run from Lisbon to Paris.

Yesterday in one of his video blogs along the route, Beaumont thanked people for their support online and on the road.

“Whilst I can’t see it all, because I’m busy pedalling, I’m certainly aware of the support online – massive amount of people following the journey, which is brilliant. In particular this evening, coming through these towns in Victoria, in the South of Australia, loads of people coming out, loads of well-wishers, and I don’t know how the word is getting out, but it’s incredible.”

The challenge has been three years in the planning, but is a lifelong dream of Beaumont’s. He calculated if he can ride 240 miles a day, he would need 70 days’ riding to complete the challenge, with the rest taken up with flights and travel.

To test this theory, and himself, he cycled 3,500 miles around the coast of Britain in April 2017 on a training ride.

“It’s just about ultra-endurance, it’s about, physically and mentally, can you do this?” he said.

Beaumont hopes to take 40 days off the current record, held by New Zealander, and former Speed Skater, Andrew Nicholson, which stands at 123 days and 43 minutes, and set on an unsupported ride.

Beaumont himself held the record, in 2008, at 194 days and 17 hours, though he made the attempt under different conditions than today.

“In the past it was wild man style [riding], I was foraging for my next meal, I was trying to find a safe place to sleep, whereas this time it’s purely about performance,” he says.

“It’s a huge leap in performance.”

Mark Beaumont route change plan at lunch time

Mark Beaumont route change plan at lunch time

Beaumont wants people to see what he has achieved, and ask themselves, what’s my 80 days?

“I’ve been building to this since I was a 12-year-old boy cycling in Scotland, it’s my biggest dream.”

With less than five hours’ sleep last night, the Scotsman heads into Melbourne to meet a journalist and a man called Damian he encountered ten years ago, on his last World Record attempt, who will join him on the road for a few miles. Beaumont intended to appear on Sky Sunrise this morning, but the appearance had to be rescheduled due to technical difficulties.

The around the world cycling record was also held, in 2012, by the late ultra-endurance cyclist Mike Hall, who completed the circumnavigation in 91 days, 18 hours. Guinness World Records changed the rules after his attempt, to include travel time.  

You can follow Beaumont's progress here.

18 comments

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alansmurphy [864 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Fairdinkum cobber shouldn't be on the damn road!

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brooksby [2581 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Someone rear-ended them on an *Australian* road?!? Long empty road: Oz has a very low population density. Clearly the sun was in the driver's eyes. Or they thought Beaumont's van was a 'roo, or something.

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WillRod [232 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Seems like world tours are getting more dangerous, either that or more people are attempting them. Another Brit was killed in a race in Australia only a few months ago.

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2trax [12 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
WillRod wrote:

Seems like world tours are getting more dangerous, either that or more people are attempting them. Another Brit was killed in a race in Australia only a few months ago.

I think that you are probably thinking of Mike Hall, wo was mentioned in the article. A huge loss to the cycling community, and of course his family and friends.

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antigee [429 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

had the impression road.cc wasn't covering this? sad

anyway Mark is in for a tough day state wide severe weather warning issued 50-70kmh average windspeeds and 100km/hr gusts expected today 

http://m.bom.gov.au/vic/melbourne/warnings/IDV21037/

 

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StewartM [8 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Yep, we have export-quality crap drivers here in Australia. Cyclists cop a lot of it, but frankly, the level is just generally bad enough that pedestrians, other drivers, trees, roundabouts and even kerbs aren't safe.

Whenever I see news of someone riding around the world, I get this sinking feeling that one of my countrymen will find a way to stop them.

Our sports teams are losing their sheen - our cricket team migth struggle to retain the Ashes, our rugby team has to use Google to remember what the Bledisloe Cup or the Web Ellis Cup look like and that 1983 world-changing America's Cup win seems a lifetime ago. But at least our bad drivers are beating the world.

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Al__S [1254 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

just to be clear here: the driver drove into the back of SODDING BIG CAMPERVAN DRIVING ALONG THE EDGE OF THE ROAD WITH ITS HAZARD LIGHTS ON.

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fukawitribe [1945 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Al__S wrote:

just to be clear here: the driver drove into the back of SODDING BIG CAMPERVAN DRIVING ALONG THE EDGE OF THE ROAD WITH ITS HAZARD LIGHTS ON.

You've not been to Australia I take it ?

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JRM NZ [13 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Brace yourself...  If the drivers in Australia are bad the drivers in NZ will be worse.  Roads in NZ are narrower due to the hilly terain and winding nature of how the people in charge decided to connect point A to point B.  Just like in Australia we have a tendancy to take out round the world cyclists.  I remember an Indian one legged cyclist who was taken out here in NZ, certain irony that he was hit by a truck on the Bombay hills... 

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Another David [27 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

What a task, 16 hours a day for 80 days, in a row. Even a fully doped up pro - and there are a lot of them - couldn't manage that, this guy is a great rider. Keep going Mr Beaumont, it will be worth it, we're cheering for you here.

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psling [255 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Another David wrote:

Even a fully doped up pro - and there are a lot of them - ...

 

Eh?

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burtthebike [1114 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

No mention of whether the car driver is being prosecuted?

Definitely time drivers in Oz were required to wear helmets.  You know the theory "If it saves just one life it'll be worth it."

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ultracyclist44 [1 post] 2 months ago
0 likes
WillRod wrote:

Seems like world tours are getting more dangerous, either that or more people are attempting them. Another Brit was killed in a race in Australia only a few months ago.

It's certainly not that the sport has become more dangerous, or even that there's been a significant rise in attempts (however there has been huge growth in the grass roots centuries), but there's been a massive growth in the last 10 years of the coverage that Ultra-marathon cycling has received. The Race Across America Solo, for example, hasn't seen another death during the race for over a decade, where there were 2 Solo riders killed in the preceding 5 years in 03' and 05'.
Part and parcel of the sport is simply the exposure to huge hours on the road, mixed with fatigue and a lack of sleep in a lot of cases. The sheer number of hours on the road will always increase the chance of incidents. 

The Brit killed that you talked about I believe, is the aforementioned great Mike Hall, killed during the TransAmerica ride this summer.

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davel [1683 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Transcontinental, In Oz, not TransAmerica.

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psling [255 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
ultracyclist44 wrote:

The Brit killed that you talked about I believe, is the aforementioned great Mike Hall, killed during the TransAmerica  Indian Pacific Wheel Race ride this summer.

Sorry, had to correct for you.

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DaveE128 [914 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
ultracyclist44 wrote:

<snip>

The Brit killed that you talked about I believe, is the aforementioned great Mike Hall, killed during the TransAmerica ride this summer.

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race across Australia, I believe.  2

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davel [1683 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

That's the one. Still got the TCR dotwatching in my brain.

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RPK [104 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
JRM NZ wrote:

Brace yourself...  If the drivers in Australia are bad the drivers in NZ will be worse.  Roads in NZ are narrower due to the hilly terain and winding nature of how the people in charge decided to connect point A to point B.  Just like in Australia we have a tendancy to take out round the world cyclists.  I remember an Indian one legged cyclist who was taken out here in NZ, certain irony that he was hit by a truck on the Bombay hills... 

There was also the Japanese rider in the Kiwi Brevet who was killed on a straight road down south.