Ultracyclist Juliana Buhring has assured her followers on social media that she is fine after her tracker stopped moving as she crossed Australia’s Nullarbor Plain during a race across the continent – and has explained that she suffered an allergic reaction and is now returning to the start to begin her ride all over again.
Buhring, who in 2014 became the first woman to set a world record for circumnavigating the world by bicycle in compliance with the rules set by Guinness World Records, is currently competing in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, which covers 5,300 kilometres from Fremantle to Sydney.
There was concern among followers of the race, however, when her tracker stopped updating.
In a detailed post on Facebook – accompanied by a video as she headed back to the start after hitching a lift from a pair of truckers driving a road train – the 35-year-old explained exactly what had gone wrong.
Some commenters to her post expressed surprise and concern that she had continued riding despite stopping for medical attention during the second night of the race, with a doctor discovering blood in her urine and an irregular heartbeat.
But Buhring replied that she’d assumed the former was from saddlesores and that “if you're cycling 500+ km a day, an irregular heartbeat is hardly strange.”
It was afterwards that the big problems began though, with Buhring, who is allergic to Ibuprofen, having a very bad reaction to a medicine she was given to treat pain in her knee that turned out to contain the drug.
“By the time I got into Caigula outpost I was in very bad shape,” she revealed.
“My face was so swollen I could hardly open my eyes, my head felt like it was being inflated with a bike pump, my skin was on fire and I was struggling for breath.”
She’s now heading back to Fremantle on the Indian Ocean where, after a few days recuperation, she plans to “start over from the beginning and do it all again, cuz I haven't come this far to go home.”
Buhring's determination to finish the Indian Pacific Wheel Race comes after she had to abandon last year's Race Across America on medical grounds after she began coughing up blood.
Currently, Belgium’s Kristof Allegaert leads the race, having covered 2,233 kilometres, and is now headed towards Adelaide.
Meanwhile Great Britain’s Mike Hall, who as we reported yesterday has experienced a difficult first few days seems to have recovered and is 43 kilometres behind the Belgian on 2,190 kilometres.
In third place – and the leading woman – is Australia’s Sarah Hammond, who has ridden 2,023 kilometres.
There are still 60 of the 70 starters left in the race, and you can keep tabs on how all of them are doing through the live tracker, which you’ll find here.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.