Scots cyclist recognised as fastest woman to cycle around the world

Jenny Graham smashed the world record by 20 days.  Picture: Greg Macvean/PA Wire
Jenny Graham smashed the world record by 20 days. Picture: Greg Macvean/PA Wire
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She embarked on an epic four month-long journey through some of the world’s most inhospitable regions, overcoming punctures and fatigue.

Now, a Scots cyclist has officially entered the history books after smashing the record for traversing the world on two wheels.

Jenny Graham, from Inverness, has been named a Guinness World Record holder after cycling around the world in just 124 days and 11 hours, beating the previous women’s record by 20 days.

The 39-year-old’s gruelling 18,000-mile unsupported trip across 16 countries saw her average 156 miles a day, smashing the 2014 record of Italy’s Paola Gianotti along the way.

Ms Graham’s journey began on 16 June last year at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and took her through 16 countries including Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, China, Australia, the US, Portugal, Spain and Holland.

Until setting off on the adventure, the furthest she had cycled before was from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Undaunted, she threw herself into he challenge On average she cycled more than 13 hours each day, while also taking four flights and a boat in order to criss-cross continents.

Having completed the circumnavigation last October when she arrived back in the German capital to cheering crowds, Ms Graham’s exploits have now received official recognition.

She said: “I was curious to see how far I could go and now I’m officially a world record holder.

“When I set off this time last year, I wasn’t sure what lay ahead, but the journey was awe-inspiring, exhausting and ultimately life-changing.

“I’d encourage anyone to get out on their bike and discover they are capable of far more than they think they are.”

As well as holding a full-time job with Highland Council, Ms Graham is also the co-director of the Adventure Syndicate, a not-for-profit organisation that uses women’s stories of their adventures on bikes to inspire and encourage others to get in the saddle.

Yet she still find time to prepare for her trip, spending a year of intensive training during which she cycled for up to 20 hours a week.

The confirmation of the Scot’s place in the Guinness World Records 2020 edition was announced to mark the launch of Guinness World Records Day in 2019, 
which is being held on November 14.

She was joined by the male record-holder Mark Beaumont, who completed his journey in 78 days in September 2017, and Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor-in-chief.

Mr Glenday said: “Jenny’s achievement is fantastic, and she truly embodies determination and passion.

“It is an honour to be announcing her Guinness World Records title today in celebration of the launch of this year’s Guinness World Records Day.

“I’m sure her achievement will inspire others to embark on their own adventures and get involved this year.”