38-year-old Scottish cyclist Jenny Graham shattered Paola Gianotti’s previous world record of 144 days on Thursday, when she completed her epic journey around the world by bicycle in just 124 days, 10 hours, and less than 50 minutes. Leaving from Berlin, she rode for 18,000 miles east across Asia, south through Australia and New Zealand, then traveled to Alaska for a trip across Canada and the US, and finally returning to Berlin from Portugal. A map of her entire route can be found here.
According to Guinness World Records, to qualify for the record a “rider must travel the same distance as the circumference of the Earth — 24,900 miles — in one direction, starting and finishing in the same place. Travel by sea and air is allowed, but at least 18,000 miles of the route must be cycled.”
On the journey, Graham traveled through over a dozen countries while carrying her own gear, and had to deal with worn-out equipment, flat tires, fatigue, and a host of other environmental factors. In true Forrest Gump fashion, many strangers joined her on the ride, and she was often greeted by locals cheering her on, or offering food and shelter. Indeed, food was incredibly important, as she needed to consume approximately 660,000 total calories to maintain enough energy to cover 180 miles a day as planned.
Graham is now set to become the fastest female rider to ever circle the planet, pending an official review. To view photos she took along the way, check out her Instagram account, and get an inside glimpse into the adventure with this weekly diary she filed for the BBC.
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