Around the World – Bicycling Record Attempt
- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 16 June 2009
At the end of March, James Bowthorpe left London’s Hyde Park to cycle 18,000 miles round the globe, aiming to break the recently set world record and raise ?1.8 million to support research into Parkinson’s Disease.
James has been riding over 100 miles per day, through wind, rain, temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius and fearsome headwinds. Despite ambushes in Iran and illness in India and Thailand, James is now setting off from Perth for the next leg of his epic journey along the southern coast of Australia. He hopes to fly out of Sydney before the end of the June.
James is aiming to break the current record set by Mark Beaumont in 2008. The ride started in London and led through Europe, passing into Asia at Istanbul and crossed Iran and India – where conditions for cycling got a lot harder, with swiftly rising temperatures and the motorized assault course of the Grand Trunk Road. Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore were kinder and James made swift work of the roads from Bangkok to Singapore. The 4000+ miles of Australia and New Zealand present the next challenge; Canada and the USA make up the rest of the mileage from Vancouver to New York before the final stretch from Portugal to London.
Cycling challenge for Parkinsons Disease Research
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) was first described almost 200 years ago, but what’s driving the disease is still unknown. Current routine treatments only target the symptoms; a change in approach is desperately needed. There are over 120,000 people with PD in the UK and millions worldwide. For the last two years, James has been a volunteer with the "What’s Driving Parkinson’s" research team, which is funded through the Psychiatry Research Trust (UK Charity No. 284286) at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. The research is headed by Doctors John and Sylvia Dobbs who have developed a unique approach to the disease over more than ten years. The next stage of the research will cost ?5 million. James’s experience of the work is what has inspired him to take on this massive challenge.
James hopes to achieve his fundraising target through small amounts from a large number of people, using the internet and word of mouth to spread the news.
James has cycled long distances before, his first trip taking him to the far north of Canada when he was 18. He has since crossed the Indian Himalayas and biked from Alaska to LA, but the challenge at hand is proving to be infinitely harder than anything he has done before, both mentally and physically.
Follow his progress via GPS tracking and twitter updates at www.whereintheworldisjames.com