London: Britisher James Bowthorpe has become the fastest man to pedal around the globe, while surviving an ambush in Iran, a collision with a wombat in Australia, food poisoning in India and tendonitis in both ankles.
Bowthorpe cycles into Hyde Park, Central London on Friday afternoon, completing an 18,000-mile bike ride across 20 countries in less than six months, beating the world record by 20 days, reports The Times.
“The best thing about the trip was the people. I’ve been shown some amazing kindness – I’ve had free meals and clothes and bike maintenance. The mechanic at Bullmoose Brothers in Kentucky gave me the cranks off his own bike when mine failed. “There have been some idiots but not many – the person who threw a kebab at me out of their car window somewhere in Western Australia definitely isn’t getting an invite to the welcome-home party,” the paper quoted Bowthorpe, as saying.
However for Bowthorpe, 32, beating the record set last year by the Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont was not uppermost in his mind. After watching his grandfather suffer with Parkinson’s disease, raising money for research into the condition was his main priority.
Before embarking on his challenge in March, Bowthorpe signed up with What’s Driving Parkinson’s, a research clinic at King’s College Hospital in London to raise enough money.
So far, he has accumulated 55,000 pounds out of a 1.8 million pound target.
Bowthorpe set out from Hyde Park on March 29 this year and completed the world record journey on September 18.