Serial endurance adventurer Sean Conway is to attempt the fastest crossing of Europe by bicycle this August. Conway and his distinctive bushy ginger beard, has already become the only man to cycle, swim and run the length of Britain and completed a 4,000 mile ultra-triathlon which circumnavigated the entire coast of Britain.
Sean will set off from Cabo de Roca, on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, on August the 5th and attempt to cycle 4,500 miles across Europe finishing at Ufa in Russia in less than 25 days. The current record stands at 29 days, 18 hours and 25 minutes and was set by the UK’s James McLaren in May 2016. If Conway wants to hit his 25 day target he’ll need to cycle around 180 miles a day.
Sean will be carrying out his attempt unsupported, carrying his own kit which he’s pared down to just 16kg in total and includes, according to the kit list we’ve seen, a plant pot attached to the front of the his custom Trek Madone in which he’ll keep essentials…
As well as the plant pot Sean will be relying on the generosity of strangers across Europe, especially in isolated locations, for food, water and places to sleep. He’ll be carrying a range of language cards to help him explain what the hell he’s actually doing! “I’m looking to not only break the Guinness World Record for the fastest cycle across Europe but also to have the opportunity to meet some incredible people along the way,” explains Conway. “It’s an uncertain time across Europe at the moment and we rarely hear reports of how nice people can be, only the bad stuff.”
“Europe is an incredibly diverse continent with so many different people and cultures. I hope that I will be able to spend some time along the way chatting to the people that I meet and finding out more about the lives our neighbours lead. I also hope to try to use this journey to encourage more people to not only embrace an active lifestyle but to consider travel by bicycle as it is just the best way to see the world. I’ve completed a world first and a world’s furthest but this is my first shot at a world’s fastest record and I can’t wait to get going.”
Sean’s going to be monitored throughout the record attempt by Dr Howard Hurst, Sports Scientist at the University of Central Lancashire, who is interested in monitoring the effect that cycling 180 miles a day for nearly 4 weeks has on the body. They’ll be looking at heart rate, power and pacing during the attempt along with body composition changes and VO2 max changes before and after the challenge. They will publish a report on the effects on the body after 3 weeks of solid activity 16 hours a day.
Sean’s record attempt is being supported by Yellow Jersey Cycle Insurance who have insured Maggie, Sean’s custom Trek Madone bike supplied to him by Spokes of Bagshot as well as providing cycle travel insurance. You can follow Sean’s World Record attempt via his live tracker
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