Jenny Graham smashes round world cycling record
Inverness cyclist Jenny Graham, 38, rode into Berlin, Germany, today to take the new female round-the-world record. She circumnavigated the globe by bike in 125 days, almost three weeks faster than the previous record.
Jenny rode 18,000 miles across 16 countries, unsupported, carrying all her kit. She endured sub-zero temperatures of an Australian winter, bear risk in Canada and close-passing lorries on Trans-Siberian Highway.
The previous record of 144 days had been held by Italy’s Paola Gianotti since 2014.
Jenny, who is a mum to a teenage son, started her journey in Berlin on June 16, 2018. She cycled 15 hours a day, sometimes riding at night when the roads were quieter.
She managed an average of 156 miles a day, keeping an average speed of 13mph for around 12 hours each day.
The 18,000 mile route took her across four continents and through 16 countries, including Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Mongolia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium and Holland. She took four flights and a boat.
Jenny, who is part of the Adventure Syndicate, a collective of female endurance riders, was met by a crowd of supporters at the Brandenburg Gate including her son, mum and sister.
She said: “I just set out to see how far I could go. The furthest I’ve cycled before was from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, now I have cycled right around the world. It’s sometimes been tough, but I thrive on challenges on the road and, of course, it has also been so amazing.
“I knew I wanted to do something solo to test my physical and mental ability. I am the fittest I have ever been, so I thought I’d train hard and give it a go. And here I am back in Berlin. I can hardly believe it.”
Jenny’s journey was tracked by GPS, with thousands of fans checking the live stream to see how far she had travelled.
To make the record official, Guinness World Records will need to ratify the data. If her record is confirmed, both the male and female round the world cycling records will be held by Scots.
The fastest circumnavigation by bicycle (male) record is held by Cycling UK member Mark Beaumont. It took him 78 days with a full support team in 2017.
Mark said: “Just phenomenal riding and all the way with a smile, with a cheer, with a sense of humility and the excitement of the unknown around the corner. Hopefully, we’ll have two Scots holding the circumnavigation in world records by bicycle. Brilliant!”
Jenny is also a member of Cycling UK. The charity’s chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “Jenny is following in a great tradition of Brits who have set off by bike and had an amazing adventure.
“Jenny’s record-breaking trip shows that you don’t need to be a professional athlete to turn a love of cycling into an inspirational journey. She has certainly encouraged others to see they are so much more capable than they think they are.”