A cyclist from Cornwall is on target to break the world record for cycling around the world.
Vin Cox, 34, is ahead of schedule to beat the current record of 195 days. He is taking on the challenge to raise money for the Geoff Thomas Foundation, which works with the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to get advanced new treatments to patients more quickly.
Vin, a cyclo-cross champion racer, departed on the 18,172-mile trip from Greenwich on 7 February 2010 and he is on course to arrive back at the same point towards the end of July.
The current record was set in 2008 by Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont, who averaged approximately 95 miles per day.
Vin is currently on schedule to beat the record by approximately 20 days, despite facing unfavourable cycling conditions. He said: “The ride has kept on throwing up adversity for me to overcome – it’s good for me, but each time it’s tough to go through.
"Recently I’ve come up against endless headwinds in Australia, a ‘weather bomb’ in New Zealand and a pass closed due to snow in California. That’s all on top of the conditions you naturally plan for such as the heat in Death Valley, Nevada and Arizona. I need a few breaks to get the distance covered, but I’m still on target.”
There is no set route for round the world Guinness World Record attempts but it must be at least 18,000 miles and not involve any back-tracking.
Vin’s route involves 12 plane and boat transfers and takes him through six different continents and across more than 20 countries. He would be the first record holder to visit Africa and South America on the journey
He said: “I planned a pretty adventurous route and so far it’s meant that I’ve had an incredibly broad experience of different cultures and climates - all the things which make cycling both difficult and exciting. I’ve met some amazing local people and other adventurers along the way.”
“I hope my ride will inspire some people and also raise awareness and money for the Geoff Thomas Foundation. Geoff’s goal of increasing access to life-saving treatments for people with blood cancers is so important. It’s been a great motivator on some of the more gruelling parts of my ride.”
Geoff Thomas said: “What Vin has achieved so far is in his record attempt is absolutely incredible. I completed the Tour de France after going into remission from my leukaemia and that was one of the toughest things I have ever done.
"To cycle ten-times that distance uninterrupted and keep going takes an amazing amount of physical and mental strength – it’s inspirational.”
Vin’s journey has so far taken him through France, across Northern Africa, across Asia, then through Australia and he is currently cycling across Northern America.
He will then catch a flight to South America, where he will cycle across Argentina and Chile, before heading up through Spain, France and arriving back in the UK.
People can get involved by visiting www.greatbikeride.com, where they can support Vin’s fundraising efforts for the Geoff Thomas Foundation, follow his progress on twitter and join his facebook group.