World Record for Cycling Around the World

The World Record for cycling around the world is one of the most challenging Guinness World Records. It requires the cyclist to complete over 18,000 miles traversing all the major continents. The current world record is held by Vincent Cox in a time of 163 days, 6 hours (average of 110 miles ad day.

In 2003, Guinness changed the rules for the Cycling around the world record. The official rules require the cyclist to complete 18,000 miles+ by land, and  another 8,000+ by sea or air, via two antipodal points.

World Record Holders for Cycling Around the World

  • Steve Strange. – On 13 February 2005, Steve  completed the first record attempt under these new Guinness rules, completing the distance in  276 days and 19 hours.
  • Mark Beaumont. On 14 February 2008, Mark Beaumont completed a circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle in 194 days and 17 hours.
  • James Bowthorpe – In September 2009  completed an unratifiied circumnavigation in 175 days.
  • Julian Sayarer – In June 2010 J-  time of 169 days
  • Vincent Cox – In August 2010  Vincent Cox. Completed the cycle around the world in a time of 163 days 6 hours 58 minutes for 18225.7 miles. Guinness have confirmed this as new record.

Mark Beaumont’s Record


Mark Beaumont on his way around the world.

Mark Beaumont, 25 years old from Scotland has become the fastest man to cycle around the world, taking 81 days of the previous record. Although, not officially confirmed, Guinness said it is very likely a new record will be set. Mark Beaumont cycled the 18,000 miles in 195 days and six hours, averaging 91 miles a day.

On route Mark faced many challenges, one of which was to find suitable food. In Australia and US, he said his diet was pretty meagre living off fast food and Mars Bars – a diet which slowed him down considerably. Apart from his diet, he was knocked off his bike by a motorist driving through a red light in Texaz. He was also robbed when he stayed in a motel full of crack addicts. He cycled around the world on a £2,500 road bike, carrying 81kg of equipment, including his own tent. His ride gained considerable media interest; when he finished in Paris yesterday he had difficulty getting to the finish line, there were so many people. Well, as we say in cycling “Chapeau Mark!” 

James Bowthorpe’s Record for Cycling around the world.


Bowthorpe’s route took him through Europe, Iran, India, South-East Asia, New Zealand, Australia and North America.

Difficulties along the way included an attempted mugging in Iran (he was helped by passers by – and was considered to be quite lucky), severe stomach problems resulting from a snack at Calcutta airport, a collision with a wombat in Australia that catapulted him off the bike and a mid-summer crossing of one of the USA’s hottest regions.

He rode a Santos Travelmaster Alu 2.6 with hydraulic rim brakes, Rohloff hub and belt-drive system, which required just one change, due to an initial misalignment of the belt. See review of Santos Touring Bikes

Vincent Cox’s Record

In Vincent’s epic breaking world record, He encountered floods, gale force winds, 10ft snow drifts and roads closed by an earthquake; survived dysentery, being chased by wild dogs, and being detained by police in Indonesia and arrested in Egypt. Vincent was self-sufficient using a dynamo from his front wheel to charge his mobile phone. (his running repairs included 13 tyres, 11 chains and 3 bottom bracket bearings

Why Cycle Around the World

As Vincent Cox said, the hardest thing was often answering the question ‘why?’ Many people asked him this. He relied

‘I think there’s also a belief that we’re defined to a certain extent by what we do – and I like to do a lot.’ [1]



7 Responses to World Record for Cycling Around the World

  1. nicola muircroft September 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    I just did the family pedal for scotland today, and met mark. got my photo taken with him and my son….he is extremely lovely!! What a guy to go around the world!! Very well done to you mark, cant wait to read your book. Good luck with 100,000 words before christmas…

  2. Daniel Burt June 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    with an average of 300 km per day. from paris to paris, its on record, it is more km and less days.

  3. Daniel Burt June 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Tal Burt, my brother hold a guiness world record for cycling with a bicycle around the world in 1994 in 77 days for the lengh of 22000 km. check it out!

  4. john de weert November 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Hi Chris
    Can you please tell me where i can get a DVD on your
    “the man who cycled the world

  5. Phil Meakins September 11, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Mark, just watched your trip on TV, mate my hat comes off to you. Well done proud to be British.

  6. Mr Chipps August 22, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    I’ve been watching his progress on TV. Riding on bumpy roads for months and months with nothing to think about but the saddle sores he described as “open wounds”, I can only admire this guy. He negotiated more and bigger hurdles in his first two weeks of riding than I have in the whole of my 54-year-old life. He overcame mental and physical hammer blows for the whole of the ride.
    He is self-effacing, sometimes quite shy, never over-confident but in his own quiet way this is one tough hombre.


  1. Cycling Round the World on A Penny Farthing | Cycling UK - November 10, 2008

    [...] in the year, Mark Beaumont cycled 18,000 miles around the world in a new record of 195 [...]

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