Hunstanton’s John presses on with round-the-world tandem record attempt

John Whybrow (24) and George Agate (23) are presently 6,000 miles into their 18,000 mile journey around the world by TANDEM bicycle ANL-160928-123557001

John Whybrow (24) and George Agate (23) are presently 6,000 miles into their 18,000 mile journey around the world by TANDEM bicycle ANL-160928-123557001

Well, if you are going to circumnavigate the globe on a tandem, perhaps Hunstanton’s John Whybrow has done it the right way – out front.

He and fellow University of Kent student George Agate are now 6,000 miles into their charity record attempt with just another 12,000 miles to go.

John, 24, said: “I ride the front saddle (captain or pilot) and George is the rear saddle. And no we do not swap positions. It was a custom bike, so saddles and frame size were fitted for us to be this way round and we’ve stuck with it!”

Since leaving Canterbury on June 8 they have cycled through 15 countries, and are currently in Thailand, about to cross into Malaysia.

The next leg of their journey will take them from Perth in Western Australia, across the Nullarbor desert, through Melbourne and Sydney, and all the way up to Brisbane – a mammoth 2,000 miles.

After Australia and New Zealand, they will then fly to San Francisco and follow the Pan-American highway all the way down to Colombia in South America, before flying back to Europe for a final sprint through Spain and France.

They hope to complete their challenge in under 300 days, thereby setting a brand new official Guinness world record.

The journey so far however hasn’t come without its hitches and challenges.

The men were hit by a bus in Austria, chased by packs of dogs in Romania, were caught up in the military coup in Turkey and cycled through over a fortnight of monsoon in India, causing five punctures in a single week.

George, 23, from West Sussex, said: “It’s been a lot of fun, but it does have it has certainly had its tough times. Some people think it’s a holiday, but sitting on a piece of leather the size of your hand for 8-10 hours a day isn’t like any holiday I’ve ever been on!”

The pair met whilst studying, which is where they came up with the idea to cycle round the world.

John, 24, said “it’s just one of those mad ideas you come up with. The difference being, we actually went through with it! It was 18 months of planning to get the logistics, kit, visas and route together but it’s all been worth it. It’s an amazing experience, truly once in a lifetime stuff.”

The great British explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes has leant his name to the boys’ trip and agreed to be patron of the expedition, saying “I wish the chaps all the best on their tandem journey, and here’s to the world record!”

The pair are also aiming to raise £100,000 along the way for their three chosen charities, Porchlight (Canterbury), Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (UK) and Water Aid (International).

For daily updates and pictures: www.facebook.com/thetandemmen To follow their blog and live gps tracker, go to www.thetandemmen.com To donate: www.virginmoneygiving.com/thetandemmen