Mike Hall smashes round-the-world record in a time of 91 days, 18 hours

Yorkshireman arrives in Greenwich after taking two weeks off previous mark

by John Stevenson   June 4, 2012  

Yorkshireman Mike Hall arrived in Greenwich just before one o'clock this afternoon after smashing the round-the-world bike ride record. The 31-year-old from Harrogate took around 91 days, 18 hours  to circle the world from west to east, averaging almost 200 miles per day. As well as crossing the finish line on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend, today happens to be Hall's birthday.

A small but enthusiastic crowd was waiting for Hall at Greenwich Park – including his mum Patricia – with champagne and a couple of birthday cakes to mark the occasion.

Mike Hall crosses the line in Greenwich after smashing the round-the-world record

Hall said he hadn't been expecting “anything like this” as he found himself surrounded by reporters, a video crew from the Press Association, reps from sponsors including Quick Energy and Upgrade Bikes, lots of friends and well-wishers from the long-distance cycling word and quite a few passing tourists who'd picked up that something was happening and stuck around to cheer him in.

Once he'd got over the surprise of being almost mobbed, we were able to ask what he'd been looking forward to most about being back. “Getting out of these shoes!” he said. “I've worn them away from the inside and there's a rivet that holds the rubber on the outside. Every time I pedal, it's all on my big toe, it hurts like crazy.”

The official distance - 29,080km

Would he do it again? “Not for my own reasons, I don't have any curiosities to be out there satisfying and I think you need a personal reason to do this otherwise you end up coming home when it gets bad.”

Would he do things differently? “Lots. If you did six lots of 3,000 miles, and hit them all in two weeks, you could get the time right down. But it feels like more of an achievement to have gone through those long periods on the bike.”

Hall's longest continuous stint was when he crossed the USA. That 32-day section was the hardest, he said, because after a couple of weeks you can't remember when you started and you can't imagine the end.

With very proud and happy mum Pat

Stopping for a couple of days at an airport for a transfer section “resets you.” By breaking the trip up into two week segments, Hall said he thought the record could be reduced to “certainly less than 80 days.”

“This record's open to a lot of criticism in the rules, and that [two-week stage strategy] would sort of lose something. This is a riders' race and we spoke among ourselves and decided that the winner would be the first back. We were all signed up to the Guinness rules so we had to stick to that, but if we did the race again, it'd be first back.”

"Shall I cut a Meridian?" Mike and a cake iced with his route.

Of course, on those terms or on the official Guinness rules, Hall is a clear and stunning winner. His journey started on February 18 when he and 9 other riders set out on the World Cycle Racing Grand Tour [http://worldcycleracing.com/]. Of the 10 starters only three are still riding, and Hall's closest rival Richard Dunnett is still in India, over 5,000 miles behind.

Cake, champagne and Yorkshire tea!

The previous record – 106 days, 10 hours and 33 minutes – was set last year by Alan Bate. Bate had a support crew for some of the distance, while Hall has ridden entirely unsupported, making his achievement in breaking the record by a two-week margin all the more astounding.

If you're wondering how the time since February 18 amounts to 92 days, it's all down to the rules set by the Guiness Book of Records for round-the-world rides. For a record attempt to qualify, riders must ride for at least 18,000 miles, continuously travelling East or West, and with flights and ferries etc must cover a total distance greater than the length of the equator. Transfer times are not counted in the record time and must use public transport. The route must also pass through two approximately antipodal points. The time Hall has spent on planes and ferries therefore doesn't count toward the record.

One of the aims of Mike's world record breaking ride was to raise money and awareness for the charity Cycle a Difference which works to improve the survival chancesof babies born prematurely in poorer parts of the world. You can find out more about Mike and his ride via his website www.normallyaspiratedhuman.com.

The bike. Aside from punctures, Mike had very few mechanicals. He ripped off his rear mech hanger, but was able to replace it after he found a cafe with the right Allen key, and Reynolds tweaked his wheels when he passed through Utah.

12 user comments

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Sean Conway is still out there and got the clock paused after he was rear-ended by a truck in Arkansas. Is he too far out to still be a contender?

posted by zanf [380 posts]
4th June 2012 - 17:44

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What is he riding? Looks an awful lot like a Planet X Dirty Disco?!?!

http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/imgs/products/900x650_constWH/FROOCXD_P1...

But they're not an upgrade brand... It's certainly nothing in the Kinesis range (yet).

Anyone know?

Oh yeah, brilliant ride!!!!! 200+ a day is epic.

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [231 posts]
4th June 2012 - 19:05

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Quote:
What is he riding? Looks an awful lot like a Planet X Dirty Disco?!?!

Would be nice with a tech review of his bike.
Not that the bike can take the glory for this accomplishment.
Impressive work Mr. Hall

posted by sorenspeder [6 posts]
4th June 2012 - 20:24

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It is a PX Dirty Disco but Reynolds / Upgrade provided the wheels. Nice article btw.

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posted by Blackhound [434 posts]
4th June 2012 - 21:27

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Impressive work - weel done

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1941 posts]
4th June 2012 - 22:57

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Legendary.... unsupported too. Well done Mike!

posted by james-o [178 posts]
5th June 2012 - 14:52

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Excellent work indeed. What's the luggage he has? Not the typical Ortlieb panniers, that's for sure...

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posted by steeley [1 posts]
5th June 2012 - 17:20

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Is there a map anywhere of the actual route that Mike took - the bits he rode, the bits he crossed by plane or ferry? Fantastic achievement, I'd just love to know the full details of the route. The rules seem to suggest that you can more or less pick your own way so long as you ride at least 18,000 miles and keep travelling in one direction with no backtracking.

posted by crazy-legs [436 posts]
6th June 2012 - 12:48

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You can see Mike's route on the tracker here:

http://trackleaders.com/worldcycleracei.php?name=Mike_Hall

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [828 posts]
6th June 2012 - 13:36

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Yes it's the On One Dirty Disco. I love mine. Probably won't ride round the world on it just yet though. BIt busy.

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posted by minnellium [69 posts]
6th June 2012 - 20:43

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Great ride but odd to start a story with the name of an English county. That usually happens only with local newspapers. Is this to be a new trend on roadcc? I'm looking forward to reports beginning with "Northern Territories' Cadel Evans" and "Stotfold's Victoria Pendleton". Your's, Ealing's Max Glaskin

posted by Max Glaskin [8 posts]
8th June 2012 - 14:55

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Max, It's not just AN English county is it? It's THE English county.

Yorkshire's John Stevenson

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posted by John Stevenson [828 posts]
8th June 2012 - 16:02

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