Round the world cyclist week 6: India, 43 days, 5383 miles, 126 days to go

James Bowthorpe hits India in his attempt to beat the record for cycling around the world

by Tony Farrelly   May 10, 2009  

Globe Cycle Homepage

After his brush with danger in Iran last week – this week has been one of change for round the world cyclist, James Bowthorpe. He is now in India battling the heat and illness as he in his attempt to break the round the world cycling record.

As recounted here and in his blog earlier in the week the attempt to rob and possibly kidnap him just after he had crossed in to Iran from Turkey left James badly shaken and he decided that despite the wonderful hospitality from all the Iranians he met subsequently that he was not safe. So instead of 12 days riding through Iran he cut his schedule to three, riding to Tehran airport and flying on to Amritsar in India.

After a brief stopover there he was back on the road on Wednesday. Tackling 37°C heat (he drank 3 litres of water by 11am) and taking in a very different country. Following advice from his support crew the first day back on the bike was a short one, but there was good cycling territory to come and it promised some big mile days.

However, cycling around the world in a record time was never going to be a piece of cake and James remarked on Twitter that he had a slight tickly cough, one thing you need to keep riding is good health, but of constantly pushing your body is going to place a great strain on your immune system.

On Friday, James fell ill with… well, Dehli belly probably best describes the symptoms. Remarkably after only one lost day he was back on the bike and earlier today tweeted that he'd just been co-opted by a political party whose symbol is the bike.

The drama in Iran and the need to change his schedule has cost James time - he started the week with a day in hand on the the existing record - his illness cost him that. However James has plenty of time and some good roads ahead to help him make up the difference.

His route now takes James on through India towards Thailand and then Malaysia.

James has set himself a target of raising £1.8m for research into Parkinson's at the moment he has raised three per cent of that target amount with the total raised so far standing at £37,287.38. If you want to support James in his quest you can donate at his site, you can also follow his progress via live GPS updates at and he also has his own video channel on Youtube.