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Surrey cyclist ticks off 13 countries in 7 days for new Guinness World Record

David Haywood's journey took him 1,100 miles from Belgium to Slovakia...

A cyclist from Surrey has ridden through 13 countries in seven days to set a new Guinness World Record.

David Haywood, a 22-year-old Great Britain Age Group triathlete, undertook the challenge last autumn partly for pre-season training and partly as “an adventure.”

His near-1,100-mile ride, which he undertook between 12 and 18 October, was supported by his local bike shop, Spokes of Bagshot.

“Starting in Belgium, I cycled through the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and finished in Slovakia,” he told

“I cycled 155 miles a day on average, with a 204mile (328km) day to finish.

“I also suffered a failed (snapped) gear cable whilst trying to cross the Alps, and wasn’t able to repair it for the next 100miles, leaving me stuck in an unfavourably tough gear in the mountains.

“It was a tough, challenging but ultimately rewarding adventure,” added Haywood, who suggests that bike-packing could be an ideal way of adding variety to cycling or triathlon training.

His achievement has now been officially recognised by Guinness World Records and he has written about his adventure in diary form on his website, where you will find information about his route and equipment.

Previously, the record was held by Robbie Ferri from King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Last September, he managed 12 countries in seven days, although he had originally been aiming for 14.

> New world record for most countries cycled in seven days

Simon joined 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.

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surly_by_name | 6 years ago

If you got an early-ish start in Maastricht (NL) or better yet Aachen (DE) you could conceivably have 4 countries  (DE; NL; BE; LUX) done by lunchtime for c.200kms. You could then knock out a gentle 40 or so kms after lunch to Thionville to get in a fifth (FR). Admittedly rate of countries then slows down considerably until you get to Swiss/Lichtenstien/Austrian/Italian corner.

atlaz | 6 years ago

I think you'll find it probably has to be under your own steam so, I guess, unless you're rocking the pedalo you're going to be in trouble. On top of that it gives you quite a lot of extra distance to cover across France and Belgium that you don't have if you start near Maastrict. 

Leviathan | 6 years ago
1 like

Could have started in Dover, and finished in Czechia. Scope for few more if anyone wants to really have a go. How is Steve Abrahams doing?

pockstone | 6 years ago

Know your limit (screw)s!

BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
1 like

Seems like a nice jolly and great mileages, shame he didn't realise how easy it is to get your derailleur to stay in a lower gear but bemused as he did list a spare gear cable amongst his spares.

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