Gloucester cyclist Lee Fancourt – who is on a quest to break as many Guinness World Records related to cycling as he can – has this week begun his attempt to become the fastest to cycle 10,000km.
To break the record, Fancourt – who only purchased his first road bike in 2011, aged 34 – will aim to cycle 500km every day for 20 days.
Writing on his Facebook page earlier today, Fancourt said:
“Day one complete with 310 miles (500 km). I lost a lot of time yesterday due to various things, punctures, radio interview etc. I really am up against it on this challenge with time pressure. I cannot cycle too fast or I'll risk a burn out. I cannot pace myself too slow or else I won't get the required daily mileage. I do need to get at least four hours sleep in every 24 hours so I can keep going for the three weeks I need to break this record.”
Fancourt is attempting the record on a 27.5km loop around the south area of Gloucester. He will attempt to ride it at least 18 times a day and has invited any local cyclists who would like to join him to come along for a lap or two. You can find the route on his Strava page.
He told the Gloucester Citizen that for this attempt he would be raising money for Gloucestershire Young Carers. "It was inspirational to meet the young carers at the charity. While I choose to take on the challenges I do, they face tough challenges every day of their life – caring for family members who are ill or disabled."
The 38-year-old has broken five records in the last few months. He achieved the fastest crossing of Europe by bike from north to south; three more records for the longest distances covered off-road on a mountain bike over 12, 24 and 48 hours; and most countries visited on a bike in 24 hours – a 323-mile trip that took in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia.
Last month he was forced by illness to abandon his attempt to become the quickest person to ride from Land’s End to John and Groats and back. “Hurdles are called hurdles because they can be jumped over and passed,” he said at the time. “It won't be long before I'm over it and back to doing what I do best.”
Fancourt’s ultimate aim is to become the first person to cycle the world in 80 cycling days or fewer. To achieve this, he will have to cycle an average of 362km (225 miles) every day for 80 days. He is planning to attempt the record in April.