Round-the-world charity cyclist James Bowthorpe has just arrived in Australia after riding from Thailand through Malaysia to Singapore. Although exhausted from what must seem like an eternally long stretch of south-east Asia, James has still made time to meet with Western Australia’s Deputy Premier and Health Minister Dr Kim Hames AND speak on ABC radio about his travels.
So, while James relaxes with a loaf of freshly baked bread and a jar of plum jam in Perth, let’s look back at his journey from Bangkok to Singapore…
In Thailand, James was forced to rest in Bangkok due to a stomach bug which laid him low and meant that he was unable to keep down the required 6,000-plus calories he needs to keep him going each day. “The medical team think I might have some sort of protozoa,” James posted on his blog, “which sounds like it might be a Bryan Ferry side project but isn’t, so I will be dropping off a stool sample with some lucky someone soon.”
He reckoned to have lost about 15kg; some of it through dehydration in India but more of it from muscle wastage. He noted that his legs were bulking up until Delhi, and started to reduce in size afterwards.
Of course, being struck down with illness has raised questions about the viability of his record attempt. He had planned to make the attempt in 170 days, beating the record by two weeks, which he has said would be the ‘minimum’ he would like to achieve it in. With this in mind James set off for Malaysia knowing that he would have to increase the mileage and complete the 1,300 mile journey in ten days rather than 11.
“I will do everything I can to break the record by as much as possible,” he said. “I have always said that the speed and endurance of my challenge directly reflects the urgency of proper funding for the research charity that I volunteer for. This is ever present in my mind; the current lapse just makes it a bit more interesting.”
He arrived in Malaysia on May 27 and was escorted by police to his first hotel because they were concerned he might take a wrong turn. James instantly noticed the cooler climate and started to experience the fun of cycling in warm, tropical rain. Although he was ‘chased by more dogs than Albion Moonlight’ he was enjoying the constant thumbs-up signs from friendly Malaysians and, having decided to cycle down the west coast of the country, arrived in Kuala Lumpur on May 30 after a taxing 200 km trek the day before.
The following day James set off for Singapore and as he cycled through a tropical electrical storm, “admiring the CGI” he realised that he had now passed a third of the total mileage. Way to go, James!
James is doing this ride to raise money and awareness for research into Parkinson's disease. The total raised so far is £38,642.38 and he is 3 per cent of the way towards his goal of raising £1.8m. If you want to support James in his quest you can donate at his site www.globecycle.org, you can also follow his progress via live GPS updates at www.whereintheworldisjames.com (James has attached lots of pictures to the route too so that it is very much more than a line on a map) and he also has his own video channel on Youtube.