Trans-global cyclist James Bowthorpe is pushing his daily mileage up to 150 as he crosses America in his bid to beat Mark Beaumont’s Guinness World record.
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Bowthorpe’s aim to knock three weeks off the 194 days and 17 hours recorded by Beaumont in 2008 suffered a setback after an illness contracted in India forced the Londoner to rest.
“I lost a huge amount of weight because I was doing around 120 miles a day on just breakfast and huge amounts of sweet fizzy drinks,” he said. “I had five days bed rest in Thailand. The support team didn’t want me to leave until I could eat at least 4,000 calories in a day.”
Bowthorpe has covered 14,000 of the 18,000-mile route and has now picked up the Trans-American cycling route to the East coast. The worsening political situation in Pakistan forced a diversion with extra legs being added in the States to make up the mileage. “It was already a lot more dangerous when I left London than when Mark went through. By the time I got there, even the previously safe bits were dangerous,” he said.
Bowthorpe aims to be back on schedule by the time he flies out of Boston headed for Europe. “I can now do 160 miles in the same time I was doing 120 when I started. I think the most important thing is the mental side,” he said.
You can follow Bowthorpe’s progress at www.globecycle.org and make a donation towards the £1.8 target in aid of research into Parkinson’s disease. He is also on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlobeCycle.