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How the Hell do you... Ride round the world in 19 days and four hours?

Published: 05 December 2016

Updated: 23 August 2016

The world’s leading professional nutcases, daredevils and racing heroes reveal their expert knowledge on the most ridiculous biking feats you can imagine in MCN’s 20-part, once a week special. Don’t try this at home!

Here's part 16

Answered by Nick Sanders - Global adventurer Nick has been around the world seven times and holds the Guinness World record for the fastest circumnavigation on a bike

There are actually rules to circumnavigating the world. I travelled 19,300 miles, but to achieve the record and say you have circumnavigated the world you need to go to antipodal points, which are points directly opposite one another if you draw a line through the centre of the world, then you have to cross the equator and visit a series of continents and travel a minimum of 18,000 miles in the same direction.

When you aren’t physically moving on the bike the days aren’t counted, so you can cross oceans by plane or boat, but it’s still a massive task. You need to average just over 1000 miles a day, which is a tough feat of endurance. When I set the record I did it on a Yamaha YZF-R1 and it was more a mental challenge than a physical one. The riding itself wasn’t hard as you get used to the bike and you find a comfortable way to ride, but it is the sleep deprivation that gets you. I didn’t give myself the option to fail and just dug deep, even when it was very hard.


I found the best way was to take a power nap every three or four hours for fifteen minutes and just kept going, treating myself to three hours sleep in a hotel every three days. You don’t ride yourself into the ground until you fall off; you break the journey up and give yourself brief sleep points to recharge. Nowadays you can prove your time via petrol receipts, customs stamps etc so it is actually impossible to cheat, but to succeed and set an endurance record you need to be incredibly mentally tough as it is a real feat of endurance.


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