A cyclist dressed as Superman is a hundredth of the way into a five year, 100,000km ride around each of the world’s seven continents.
Will Hodson, 38, set off from his Putney home on Saturday, May 30, as he extends his annual cycling holidays into a continuous half-a-decade journey.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
The former primary school teacher, who has given himself the moniker Super Cycling Man due to his daily attire, is hoping to raise more than £100,000 for The World Cancer Research Fund, Parkinson’s UK, World Bicycle Relief and the cycling charity Sustrans.
“I have previously travelled the world in chunks by riding in the summer but the trouble was I didn’t want to stop,” he told Cycling Weekly.
“I’ll be going all the time, riding 100km a day, until the Antarctic when I will have to come home to get an ice bike and warmer clothing.
“I’m hoping to be in Istanbul and Asia come the end of August.
“The outfit is on every day that I’m riding including the cape. It will not come off!”
Hodson says that the ride “is not a race as I want to enjoy the trip” and is staying in local communities each day to experience different cultures – though he is relying on the generosity on locals for accommodation.
Speaking from his current location of Brussels, 1,000km complete, he explained how he has was invited to stay with a Belgian pop star called Raymond, and how his novelty clothing is negotiating him an extra couple of inches space.
“It’s as fun as it sounds. Everyone finds the outfit hilarious, you get old men and women in France shouting ‘Allez, allez, Superman!’,” he said.
“There’s none of the cycling hatred we’re accustomed to – I get more space on the road; the solidarity of cycling is amazing.
“I broke my rear spoke in France so went into a bike shop and they fixed it but refused payment.
“I’m staying in communities and seeing the sights and friends, as well as linking up with local schools to give assemblies.
“When I tell Belgians that I stayed in Raymond’s luxurious pad they are amazed; he is the equivalent of Chesney Hawkes – if there can be such a thing.”
The sight of the Tour de France peloton snaking up Alpe d’Huez this July will undoubtedly become one the year’s most iconic images.
But swap the prestige for humour and Hodson could claim to be 2015’s greatest ascender of the 21 hairpins.
“I’ve never ridden up Alpe d’Huez before so I am this time round. I doubt anyone dressed as Superman on a touring bike has ever ridden up it,” he laughed.
To donate to Super Cycling Man visit his fundraising website.