Jenny Graham Sets Women’s Around-the-World Cycling Record
A huge congrats to Jenny Graham for shattering the women’s around-the-world cycling record and completing the feat in 124 Days, 10 hours and less than 50 minutes. Here are a few details, plus a video Jenny made about bikepacking earlier this year.
Jenny Graham is a 38-year-old endurance cyclist from the Scottish Highlands. On the 16th of June, Jenny left from Berlin, Germany, riding east. Last Thursday, she pedaled back into Berlin from the west. Within the 125 days this mission took to complete, Jenny rode some 29,657 kilometers across four continents to become the fastest woman to ride around the world unsupported. The old record of 144 days was nearly three weeks longer, set by Paola Gianotti in 2014.
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Operation 'Round the world go-go-go' complete 🚴🌎💦 in 124days 10hours 49minutes I travelled 29,657km across 4 continents 🌎🌍🌏 #boom! The support from EVERYONE has blown me away (or around, I'm not sure) both at home and away YOU have all been sooooooooooooo kind ♥️ thanks a MILLION!! I might have been the one pushing the pedals but there was a team of very special people donating time, money and experience to this project 🙌 #hellyeah @adventuresynd @johnhampy @beowulfthedop @thomashogben @nicolabrown @leecraigie_ @penlatin @edaleskyline @enduraofficial @apidura @leighdaycycling @unitasglobal @shandcycles @komoot and @evans_cycles @cyclinguk 🤙🤘 #yourock!! Planning to race round the world DOES NOT make you a good bet for a fun night out (unless russian visas, kit spec, training rides and going home at 9pm are your thing) but my family and friends showed relentless patience #thanksyouguys 😘 scooping me up when I'm knackered and smothering me with love. I'm gonna be soooo much fun now, right after (Zzzzzz 😴) I wake up 😉 Much love ✌️❤️ #eastboundRTW #selfsupported #solorolo
In her pre-planning statement on the Adventure Syndicate, Jenny estimated that the ride would require cycling through 14 countries, riding 16 hours per day and over 660,000 calories. Ultimately, Graham rode through 15 countries. Starting in Berlin, Graham cycled east through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and across Russia, before crossing Mongolia and dipping into China to Beijing. She then flew to Perth and cycled across Australia and New Zealand. Graham then flew to Anchorage and pedaled from Alaska into Canada and across the northern United States before boarding a plane to Portugal, where she’d ride the final big stretch from Lisbon to Berlin. Here is the full map of her ride.
As the ride was fully self-supported, Jenny’s rules were: “I’ll do it all myself, under my own power – no drafting; I’ll carry all my own gear I won’t accept any outside support (deliveries only to public addresses or open homes, no vehicles of any kind meeting me along the way to provide supplies or assistance).”
Guinness World Records dictates its rules for the fastest circumnavigation of the world on a bicycle record are that “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.” Pending Guiness’ official review, Graham will become the fastest female to cycle around-the-world and join Mark Beaumont (also Scottish) as the fastest male, who set that record in less than 79 days, although his ride was van-supported.
What makes this feat even more incredible is the fact that Jenny is a latecomer to bikepacking. According to the Adventure Syndicate, her first race was in 2015 on The Highland Trail 550. “Afterwards she realised that life would never be the same again and spent the next three years developing her considerable aptitude in long-distance self-supported bike racing, completing challenges such as the Cairngorm Loop, the Arizona Trail Race and a four-day winter LEJOG.”
Congratulations, Jenny… rest up! Thanks to Lee Craigie for the cover photo. Also, make sure to follow Jenny on Instagram at @jennygrahamis_, and to get to know her, check out the short film above made by Thomas Hogben earlier this year.