Cycling Around the World


How long does it take to cycle around the world?

Posted by Stephen Peel - Cycling Around the World on May 6, 2017 at 1:45 PM

How long does it take to cycle around the world?

Well later this year, Mark Beaumont, a really great cyclist and all super nice guy, is hoping to cycle around the world in just 80 days!! That’s an average of 225 miles per day, every day.

There are rules, if you want to follow rules, or you can look at the rules as a guideline or you can say sod it, I’m doing my own thing my own way, in any direction I want.

In order to qualify as a true circumnavigation, you are required to cycle at least 18000 miles in pretty much one direction, East to West, West to East, and you are required to pass over 2 antipodal points on the Earth, which are 2 points that are exactly opposite each other if you were to tunnel through. There are a few other little conditions too. This is really only for those wanting to feel they have actually completed a true circumnavigation, and those wanting to beat a world record.

For everyone else, its a free-for-all. For the benefit of the question posed, we will look at a true circumnavigation, or thereabouts.

So I started with Mark’s 80 day attempt. This of course is a super human professional effort, and with a rather large support crew and network able to feed and water Mark on the way bless him. They will sort out sleeping arrangements and all the advanced documentation, and pretty much everything Mark needs so that all he has to do is cycle a great bike carrying no kit. I say all, but wow, this will be such an amazing achievement and I'm so looking forward to following him on it. 

Then, far away at the very distant other end of the scale, is me. I have estimated that if I don’t spend weeks in one place and all goes well, it will take me between 2 and 3 years to complete, and maybe even longer.

I’m in no rush at all, and want to enjoy everything and every place I cycle through. When working out the mileage and how many miles per day I can do, I took the required 18000 miles of cycling, and divided it by 3 years, allowing for 2 days off each week to chill and enjoy the place I'm in. The mileage I would need to achieve each day of a 5 day week, would be just 24 miles, or 120 miles per week. Actually it's a bit less than that too.

24 Miles a day is not a lot at all. In fact it is just 2 hours or so of cycling per day, 5 days per week, for 3 years. Of course, there will be days when the miles might be just a few due to hills or weather, but there will be days when miles might be twice that or much more. Or days when I am flying or travelling between countries, but I could simply class those days as my days off that week.

My answer therefore to be able to really enjoy your cycle around the world, having a couple of days off each and every week to enjoy the sights and regroup, and doing just a couple of hours of cycling each day, is 3 years.

Now, if I were to average 48 miles per day 5 days per week, it would only take me just under a year and a half to complete. But averaging 48 miles per day 5 days out of seven would be a bit of a slog for me I think, maybe. For some people it would be a breeze. Still, 48 miles a day is like setting off at 5am each day, cycling until lunch, then having 19 hours off until 5am the next day, and 2 days off completely on weekends, and would save thousands of £'s in the process :)

It will be very interesting to see how my actual cycle compares with what I have said here, but the bottom line, it’s up to you how long it takes.


Categories: What Does Around the World Actually Mean

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