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   Fastest person to cycle around the world-world record set by Mark Beaumont

[Feb 15]PARIS, France--Paris (AP): After cycling around the world in 195 days, Mark Beaumont, the 25-year-old Scottish cyclist arrived in Paris on Friday at the end of a journey which set a new world record for the fastest cycling trip around the globe.
  Photo: Mark Beaumont (Picture STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  (enlarge photo)

  "There is no easy 100 miles," Beaumont said. "And I've just done 195 days on the road, so I mean, I am very much looking forward to not getting on the bike tomorrow."

   Beaumont cycled 18,400 miles (29,611 kilometres) on a path that took him across Europe, Asia and the United States, raising thousands of pounds for charity and has received messages of congratulations from Prince William and Edinburgh's Olympic cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy.

 Photo: Reunited with his sisters Hannah, left, and Heather, right, and their mother Una at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
  (enlarge photo)

  Mike Beaumont braved extreme conditions cycling through Pakistan
   click photos to enlarge

Mark catches his breath in Istanbul, Turkey

   Cycling through Texas

uring the mammoth solo journey, he passed through 20 countries, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, and endured floods, road rage and being knocked off his bike in Louisiana by an elderly motorist who drove through a red light. He also had his wallet and camera stolen from a hostel after a fight broke out.

  The 25-year-old claimed that he would have done it even quicker if he hadnt been forced to eat junk food in America and Australia. There were no healthy options. I had to eat the stuff at truck stops and it had a massive effect on my mental focus and body strength, The Sun quoted him, as saying.

  Mark Beaumont averaged around 100 miles a day for more than six months, despite suffering dysentery and mechanical problems that threatened the whole expedition. His lowest point came in Australia, as he crossed vast desert areas in the Outback, riding against headwinds on endless roads.

   He went through the pain barrier in Turkey and Spain, where the 80lb packs on his bike's panniers weighed him down on mountain climbs. But he passed through many countries, including Iran, with no problems. In neighbouring Pakistan, he was given a police escort across the lawless Baluchistan province and was forced to sleep in grim police stations.

  Mr Beaumont, who also had his wallet and camera stolen from a hostel, said: "I can't describe what's happened to me in the first hours since I got back to Paris. I've spent six months on my own, often cycling through nothingness, and then I arrived in Paris and suddenly it was full of people and I was unable to get into the city centre because of the cars and people blocking my way. 

   "The last week has been incredibly hard as I was running out of gas in the tank. "I had to push myself to meet my targets, as I lost a lot of time in Portugal and up through the Pyrenees. "It's a bit of a whirlwind right now, so I've not had a chance to properly reflect on it all. I've now got a lot of media interviews and exhibitions lined up, and there's a four-part series on the BBC starting in March covering the trip."  

  Mark, from Fife, Scotland, has been flooded with messages of congratulations - including a letter from Prince William, who is patron of Tusk, a charity Mark raised cash for. And Scottish Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy said: "I think it's an amazing feat."

  Mark's first long-distance ride was from John O'Groats to Land's End, aged 12.

  Explaining what prompted the journey, Mr Beaumont said: "I did it because I enjoy the challenge. I've been riding longer and longer distances ever since I was twelve, when I cycled the length of Scotland. Circumnavigating the globe was just something I dreamt up at university and I just can't believe the media interest."

  Mr Beaumont was met at the finish line by his mother Una, father Kevin and sisters, Heather and Hannah.

  Hannah Beaumont, who travelled back from a gap year in Shanghai to surprise her brother, said: "I've never experienced anything like it. There were camera crews all around and Mark had tears running down his face. He had such a look on his face when he realised I was in the country. It was very emotional and wonderful." She added: "Mark's in really good health. He is a little bit sore but he's on good form. He's been really well looked after."

  His mother has been co-ordinating his trip - paving the way with embassies, arranging flights, dealing with the media, 0rganising transport and making sure his bike was serviced. Una Beaumont said: "I am very proud of him. With Mark, the passion is being the first and the fastest, and that has definitely helped him through all the challenges and it will mean a huge amount. It's about pushing himself to the limit.

  Mrs Beaumont said: "I am very proud of him. With Mark, the passion is being the first and the fastest. "It's about pushing himself to the limit."   

   " I believe that (the record] will be his for a very long time it'll take another very special person to do what Mark's done."

   The previous record holder is Steven Strange of Britain, who circled the globe in a little over 276 days in 2004 and 2005.

   Mark hopes to net 18,000 - 1 for every mile travelled - for charities including Country Holidays for Inner City Kids, Edinburgh Cyrenians Trust, Tusk Trust and Community Action Nepal.

  18,300 - The number of miles Mark cycled.
  13 - His average speed in mph.
  20 - The number of countries cycled through on the epic trip.
  3 - The number of crashes he had.
  12 - The number of tyres used.
   7 - The number of punctures.
   6 - The number of pairs of shorts worn out.
  115-120 - Mark's average heart rate measured in beats per minute.
   2000-6000 - How many calories he burned off every day.
   10-20 - The number of pints of liquid he drank every day.
   8 - The number of police cells Mark slept in.
   45,000 - The total cost of the record attempt, that was raised through sponsorship.

  Leg 1: Paris to Istanbul = 2,054m Countries: France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey.   LEG 2: Istanbul to Calcutta = 5,234m Countries: Turkey, Pakistan, India.
  LEG3: Bangkok to Singapore = 1,253m Countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore
  LEG 4: Perth to Brisbane = 4,085m Country: Australia
  LEG 5: Dunedin to Auckland = 907m Country: New Zealand
  LEG 6: San Francisco to St Augustine, Florida = 2,833m Country: USA
  LEG 7: Lisbon to Paris = 1,180m Countries: Portugal, Spain, France Total Distance: 18,492 miles in 195 days.

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