Monday, November 2, 2009
Fastest to cycle the Pan-American Highway-Scott
Napier sets world record
USHUAIA, Argentina -- Scott Napier,
24, a Scottish bicyclist, reached Ushuaia, Argentina after
cycling about 14,050 miles in just 125 days, passing through
14 countries on the way and setting the new world record for
to cycle the Pan-American Highway.
Photo: Scott Napier, 24, from
Leslie in Fife, started in Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, at the very
top of the North American continent, on 22 June and finished
in Ushuaia, Argentina - generally regarded as being the most
southerly city in the world - on 25 October. (enlarge
His route took him through 14 countries in North,
Central, and South America. The route in known as the Pan
Scott Napier said: "Highlights of
the trip included seeing bears at the side of the road in
Alaska - although I was glad they didn't take too much interest
in me. "Also sleeping under the stars in the Atacama Desert
in Chile was an amazing experience.
"One of the hardest things was being on your
own for so long. Speaking no Spanish, in Central and South
America it was difficult but lots of the local people were
"My aim was to push myself to go as far
as I could every day to beat the previous record of 140 days,"
said Mr Napier. "I was carrying a lightweight tent and slept
wherever I could at night – by the side of the road, in bus
shelters and if I was very lucky, the occasional motel.
Mr Napier, who has a degree in outdoor
education from Edinburgh University and worked as a stage
door attendant at the Edinburgh Playhouse, spent seven months
training for the charity cycle.
"I'd been warned by people I met in America
and Canada that I'd probably get killed in Mexico or Latin
America, but I had no problems at all," he said.
"I think folk in the more remote areas
were a bit taken aback. I was a novelty to them – this ginger-faced
man riding by with a Saltire on the back of his bike. They
were shouting 'gringo, gringo, gringo', which doesn't mean
'ginger' but is used for strangers, usually Americans.
"They also fed me and helped me with
repairs and directions, despite me not speaking Spanish."
After reaching his destination of
Ushuaia on the island of Terra del Fuego on 25 October, Mr
Napier had his finish recorded by a witness statement at the
local police station. His position was tracked daily by GPS
The money raised by Scott through
sponsorship will go to both MS Society Scotland and Casa Alianza,
a South American charity helping street children in some of
the countries he rode through.
On the Net: Scott's
Cycle South on Facebook
Napier's Fundraising Page
The previous Guinness world record of 140
days was set by a cyclist accompanied by a sag wagon to carry
his gear. Napier made the journey alone and carried everything
he needed on his bike the entire way.
The Pan-American Highway passes through many diverse
climates and ecological types, from dense jungles to cold
mountain passes. Since the highway passes through many countries,
it is far from uniform. Some stretches of the highway are
passable only during the dry season, and in many regions driving
is occasionally hazardous.
According to Guinness World Records, the
Pan-American Highway is the world's longest "motorable road".
Related world records:
journey on mini-bikes-world record set by
Ryan Galbraith and Chris Stinson
tea run-world record set by Rebecca Wass
cyclist to circle the globe-world record set by James Bowthorpe
solar-powered flight by paramotor-the Cardozo family sets
rickshaw ride-world record set by Simon Etkind and Lianna
unsupported Arctic journey-Emirates NBD Greenland Quest sets
across Canada-world record set by Cornel Dobrin
to sail solo around world-Zac Sunderland sets world record
Distance Skated on the Road-Abhishek
Navale sets world record
Distance on Motorcycle in 24 Hours-world record set by Omar
November 2, 2009