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. ;)"
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.