British endurance athlete Mark Beaumont arrived in Paris on Monday where he was greeted by friends and family having completed an around the world cycling journey. Beaumont broke the record for traveling around the world by bike. He covered nearly 30,000 km in 78 days, 14 hours and 14 minutes. Most days during the trip, he would be on the bike for 16 hours.
In the first month of his ride, he covered a leg aching 11,315.29 km which is also a new record. He had intended to complete the ride in 80 days like the famous French writer Jules Verne but instead surpassed his own expectations.
“It’s been the longest two and a half months of my life, The dream was to get around the world in 80 days. To get back here in 78 days is a dream come true,” he told The Guardian. “When I left Paris there were a lot of people wondering if it was possible, if I could actually do this.”
Beaumont began the ride from Paris on July 2 with the first part of the trip taking him through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and then to Beijing. Australia was next, then New Zealand. The third stage began in Anchorage, Alaska and ended in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The final leg was from Lisbon, Portugal and back to Paris. He covered approximately 29,000 km in every condition imaginable.
“It has been, without doubt, the most punishing challenge I have ever put my body and mind through. The physical and mental stamina required for each day was a challenge in itself,” Beaumont said. “The success of cycling around the world in 80 days shows that what seemed impossible is possible.”
In Moscow, Beaumont suffered a fall after which a member of his backup team needed to replace a filling for him. He was so tired, he reportedly fell asleep during the procedure. The effort brought him to tears on four occasions throughout the journey as he said he was in some “very low places”.
In 2008, he set the previous record completing the ride in 195 days. The new record bests the one set by New Zealander Andrew Nicholson of 123 days in 2015.
“I am very grateful for the support I’ve received from people all over the world, from fellow cyclists joining me on the road to messages and wishes online,” he continued. “The experience has been incredible, and I’m excited to share this journey for years to come.”