Finally it’s official: Vin Cox is the new Guinness World Record holder for “fastest circumnavigation by bicycle”.
As we reported last month, 34 year-old Cox finished his 18,172-mile journey on 1 August.
The Cornish cyclo-cross racer’s official time is 163 days 6 hours and 58 minutes. That’s a little over a month faster than Mark Beaumont's previous record time of 194 days and 17 hours for his 18,296 mile journey. It’s also faster than the unratified attempts made by James Bowthorpe and Julian Sayerer in 2009.
Vin travelled through 17 countries, with the challenge starting and finishing in Greenwich, London, to raise money for the Geoff Thomas Foundation, which works with the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to get advanced new treatments to patients more quickly. To make a donation visit Vin's Just Giving page. He hopes to raise £1 for every mile he rode.
The challenge began in February in temperatures as low as -7C, but they soon rose to as much as 50C hotter in the heat of North Africa. Vin and his Alfine-hubbed Genesis Croix De Fer rolled on through India, Asia, Australia, the USA, and returned through Europe.
Vin said: “Events, people, and places were exciting all the way; from the depths of dysentery in Libya and being detained by police in Indonesia, to the highs of receiving random acts of kindness or seeing the sea after thousands of miles in-land.”
There is not a set route for circumnavigation record attempts, but there are rules. They specify some criteria for the route, above all; starting and finishing in the same place, travelling at least 18,000 miles and not back-tracking.
“My route is special,” said Vin, “not only did I plan to break the record, I wanted to have a proper adventure. I wanted to be the first record holder who's visited Africa and South America on the journey; in fact the only continent I didn’t visit is Antarctica because it's got no roads and is a bit cold.”