Leader: Beaumont's mettle for the pedal

Feeling the heat just peddling the bike from Morningside to Edinburgh City Centre?

Then consider the challenge of Scots sportsman Mark Beaumont. He is setting out to cycle round the world in 80 days. Cyclists in Scotland’s capital must reckon they spend 80 days each year just waiting for the traffic lights to change on Princes Street.

Mark’s aim is to knock 43 days off the 123 day record set for cycling the 18,000 miles around the world by New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson, following a gruelling three year training plan.

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His attempt, if successful, would also knock 114 days off his existing personal - and one-time world - record of 194 days, set in 2008. The daily commitment will be gruelling: he will cycle for 15 hours a day, starting at 4am. But if anyone can do it, he can.

Such a project requires enormous stamina, the highest level of fitness, total psychological commitment – and a capacity for endurance that would defeat all but the strongest.

The route will begin in Paris on 2 July with the first leg ending in Beijing. The following three legs will run from Perth and Brisbane in Australia, and between Invercargill and Auckland in New Zealand. The fourth leg of his challenge is between Anchorage in the United States and Halifax in Canada, and he will complete his journey by cycling from Lisbon to Paris. After what’s gone before, that last leg should be a dawdle.

Nor can smooth, incident-free cycling be counted on. His last round-the-world attempt involved a collision with a car in Lafayette, Louisiana. He was robbed the same day, while elsewhere he suffered bouts of dysentery.

Volunteers to pedal alongside, anyone?