Dean Scott had already planned to break the cycling record on the 22,500-km Pan American Highway that runs from the southern tip of Argentina to Alaska. However, the British cyclist’s plans were changed mid-way through the ride when he received an unexpected invitation. Scott decided to further increase his record-setting pace halfway through his trip when he received an invitation to Prince Harry and Meghan Markel’s royal wedding.

Abandoning rest days, Scott completed the ride in a record-setting 99 days, 12 hours and 56 minutes. He originally planned to complete the trip in 110 days but ended up knocking off 17 days from the previous record.

“When I originally set out on the campaign the world record was 117 days and five hours, my aim was to do it in 110 days,” Scott told the Evening Standard from Alaska. “I did the South America phase and took 10 days off that world record, so I knew I was in a good position. Then the day after I got into America, my wife rang me to tell me we were being invited to the royal wedding.”

Scott didn’t leave much time to make it to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding on May 19 despite the significant pace increase that saw him abandon rest-days. He completed the ride a week before the wedding and won’t have time to travel home ahead of the ceremony at Windsor Castle.

“If I originally went for 110 days it [the wedding] would have been on day 107, so I literally had to give up my rest days and start pushing out some big miles – that was another incentive,” Scott said.

Scott is a long time friend of Prince Harry. They met in 2007 training together in the military for six weeks and continued to stay friends since. The ride received royal support and raised £500,000 ($870,000) for Heads Together, a mental health campaign that receives support from Prince Harry and his brother Prince William. Scott suffered from mental illness after retiring from the military because of an injury he sustained in training.

The record-breaking ride required an average of 10 hours in the saddle each day and crossed 13 countries. By the end of the trip, Scott was averaging 17 hours on the bike to make it to Alaska in time to fly back for the wedding.

The challenge now will be finding a suit that fits for the wedding as Scott shed 22 lbs over the trip. “We land on Thursday in time for the wedding – I won’t even have a chance to go home to Aberdeen – I’ll have to get my morning suit tailored because I’ve lost about 10 kilos,” Scott said.

Over the trip, Scott kept in touch with Harry. It was an eventful journey with Scott suffering several collisions with vehicles, food poisoning and being chased by dogs in South America.

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