Liz Dimmock, a 35-year-old businesswoman from Wargrave, near Henley-on-Thames is planning an assault on the record for circumnavigating the world by bike.
Dimmock is aiming to ride 29,968 km (18,621 miles)in 150 days. If she hits the mark that will just edge out Juliana Buhring’s existing record of 152 days.
Dimmock will start in Istanbul, Turkey on October 12, 2013, and travel east to west through Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, UK, France, Spain, Portugal, US, New Zealand, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Oman, and the UAE.
Speaking at the recent launch event for her ride, Dimmock said: “People keep asking me if I’m excited for the journey ahead. The answer is absolutely yes but of course there is what I hope is a healthy level of anxiousness too. There is a lot to do over the coming months.
“If you’d told me two years ago I’d be preparing to cycle the globe and set a new World Record I would have not known where to begin.
“This is a very different journey to other world cycle events, one where we are inviting and encouraging others to ride with us.
“We are travelling fully supported so that we can share this journey with other enthusiasts. One of the things I love the most about cycling is that it is best enjoyed with friends, and whilst in conversation.”
Dimmock discovered and fell in love with cycling six years ago when she tried out a road bike with a friend. She went on to ride local sportives and more challenging longer-distance rides in the UK and abroad.
In 2012, Dimmock was the only female rider to complete the 2012 Tour de Force, a 3,479 km charity ride that mirrored all 20 stages of the 2012 Tour de France, a week ahead of the professionals. That planted the seed for her round-the-world attempt, dubbed WorldRide.
As well as setting a new record for a bicycle circumnavigation, Dimmock aims to raise £1 million for War Child, the charity that protects children from the effects of war and helps to rebuild their lives.
Dimmock is also aiming to raise awareness of cycling among women and encourage more women to take up cycling.
“Cycling has grown significantly but this growth has not been mirrored in women’s cycling,” says Dimmock. “It is a fantastic sport that women can enjoy at any level, anywhere and is a great way of keeping fit, seeing friends and exploring beautiful places. I hope to see more women cycling at all levels.”
Dimmock has rounded up an impressive collection of sponsors. She will have two Jaguar XFs for her support team and Rapha, Condor, and Bremont will supply clothing, bikes and watches.
Juliana Buhring rode unsupported when she set the existing record. Asked for her thoughts on Dimmock's record attempt, Buhring tweeted: "I challenge a woman to beat my record unsupported. ;)"
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.