My name is Sean Conway, and on 18th February 2012, I will be attempting to break the world record for cycling solo and unsupported around the world.
I chose this challenge, partly as it will most definitely be the most physically and mentally demanding experience I have ever had, and partly as I wanted to do something that would allow me to raise as much money for charity as possible.
This Saturday, February 18th, Sean Conway seeks to become the fastest person to cycle the Earth, alone and unsupported.
Conway will kick off his journey in Greenwich, London and make his way through France, Morocco, South America, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Bangkog, India and Istanbul. If his timing is right, he’ll make it back to London just in time for the 2012 Olympics.
An adventurer that one day plans to climb Everest and swim the English Channel–cycling being the hardest of the 3 challenges–Sean is also a motivational speaker and photographer with a penchant for charitable causes. During this particular journey, he hopes to raise £100,000 for Solar Aid.
While Sean has been uber-busy training and mapping out logistics, he was kind enough to answer a quick Nerve Rush email and tell us a bit more about his background. For a more comprehensive interview, check Sean out on Adventure Inspired.
You grew up in Zimbabwe. Where has your sense of adventure taken you so far?
Adventure, in its purest form, is simply a way of thinking. You don’t have to climb mountains or row oceans to be adventurous. I think adventurously. Yes, this way of thinking has made me climb Kilimanjaro dressed as a penguin, made me chase some cheese down a very steep hill, made me cycle the length of Britain in winter and sent me around the Himalayas. Those are the big ones. But we mustn’t forget the small yet equally important parts of adventure like walking home in the snow instead of taking the bus, waking up at 4:30am to play a game of chess on a hill at sunrise before work. It’s the small simple things that can make the big difference to our lives without us having to spend a fortune climbing a very steep hill.
Tell us about the history of the challenge. About Tommy Godwin & Mark Beaumont.
Well, firstly the bar has been lifted a bit and the record now stands at 96 days set by Alan Bate on 2010. Some say the bar has been lifted pretty far out of reach as I now need to average 188 miles per day. I say that the bar has been put back to where it was 70 year ago. Tommy Godwin cycled 75,000 miles in one year back in the 30’s. That’s an average of 200 miles per day for a year. Now that’s real cycling. When Guinness changed the rules in the 90’s to make it 18,000 miles instead of the previous 13,000, many people didn’t think it was worth doing. It took the likes of Mark Beaumont to take on the challenge and remind people of what was possible. He has just made long distance cycle records cool again. Thank you Mark. Now, 5 years on there are a bunch of us looking to push the boundaries even further. Around the world in 80 days. It that possible?
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What can Nerve Rush readers do to help? Where else can we find you?
I am looking to raise as much money for charity as possible so am looking for everyone to follow my attempt. I will be blogging, tweeting and on Facebook the entire way round which will give everyone following a unique insight into what it’s like competing in the toughest race on earth. You can do this via my website www.cyclingtheearth.co.uk. It really will be all blood, swear, tears and gears. A true epic adventure.
Sean, Nerve Rush HQ thanks you for taking the time to tell us about your grand adventure. Best of luck. You’ve got our support and praise. Cycle your heart out!
Sean also wanted us to let you know that he would love to have folks come cycle with him as he rides through your city or town. Check out his planned route: if you are anywhere near him and interested in joining him for a day or two, let us know in the comments below and we’ll connect you with Sean!