Fastest Crossing of the Sahara Desert by Bicycle: Reza Pakravan sets world record (Video)
DONGOLA, Sudan -- Riding a Ridgeback Panorama, Reza Pakravan, 36, a market security analyst from London, cycled a gruelling 1,200 mile journey experiencing extreme heat and sandstorms, completed the crossing of the Sahara Desert after 14 days - setting the new world record for the Fastest Crossing of the Sahara Desert by Bicycle.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the fastest crossing of the Great Sand Sea (Sahara) by a vehicle: 5 hr 33 min, achieved by Hesham Nessim (Egypt) between the Gilf Kebir Plateau, and the Siwa Oasis in Egypt.
The Guinness world record for the most desert races ran in one year is held by Sandy McCallum (Canada) who ran 6 desert races in a year.
The trip took six months to plan, including validating the route with Guinness World Records officials, and at times Pakravan didn't think he'd ever get the journey under way.
He said: "It is an amazing feeling to have cycled across the biggest desert in the world.
"Unfortunately these days Sahara desert has become one of the most dangerous places in the world. On the west of Sahara, border areas between Mali, Niger and Algeria is becoming one of the most hostile areas in the world. Then there has been the current situation in Libya.
"I had my fair share of problems before I'd even started cycling. First I had problems in Algiers Airport because they thought my CO2 cartridge could be used to detonate a bomb! I spent two hours explaining and finally managed to save them from being taken away from me. Then just before the start I had problem with my GPS and the bike computer and then two flat tyres in one day."
The trip took six months to plan, including validating the route with Guinness World Record officials, and at times Pakravan didn't think he'd ever get the journey under way.
On top of the 6,000 calories a day that he had to take on board, Pakravan also had to drink 7 litres of water to keep hydrated. (enlarge photo)
"I had a local guide with a support car carrying water and equipment as it is prohibited for tourists to travel without a local guide in Algeria, and also it was impossible to carry enough water for the trip with me," he revealed.
"In north of the Sahara it was very cold, even during the day. As I progress towards the south got warmer and warmer. In Sudan it was really hot and I had to cycle in desert tracks and sand which was really tough.
"I was mainly desert camping but would sometimes be invited to stay at Touareg tribesí homes or Nomadís tents in Algeria. In Sudan, I mainly relied on local hospitality as all the doors were open to me. At the end I stayed with a Korean family who are living in the Sahara. It was an amazing experience.
"It was an amazing experience. My Ridgeback Panorama was fantastic for this trip. It was reliable and comfortable and survived a pretty arduous trip, which is testament to the bike."