Occold electrician set for round the world cycle

A self-employed Suffolk electrician is gearing for a gruelling new year by planning a 18,000 mile cycle around the world in record time.

Richard Dunnett, of Occold, near Eye, hopes to down tools on February 18 and set off on a global adventure that will see him pedal 120 miles a day during his 160-day journey.

'The toughest part will be keeping the mileage up day-in, day-out,' said the 23-year-old of his ambitious trip, that will see him cycle across the US, Australia, India, South-East Asia and Europe.

'The current world record is 163 days and I'm hoping to break that. Apart from days when I will be flying between continents, I plan to be cycling.

'You see so much when you are in the saddle, so I'm sure it will be an adventure. I'm especially looking forward to cycling through India because it will be so culturally different.'

Mr Dunnett, a member of Diss Cycling Club, will be one of around 12 riders setting off from Greenwich in London, each participant having planned their own route as part of an event called the Global Bicycle Race.

If he makes it back to the capital in 160 days, his return will coincide with the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

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This is not the first time Mr Dunnett has used pedal power to travel long distances and he already has tours of Britain and New Zealand under his belt. But this new challenge promises to be the ultimate test on two wheels, considering he will be travelling alone with all his provisions packed into a pair of paniers.

He added: ' I'll have camping equipment, a few cloths and some bike tools.

'I'll also take plenty of puncture repair kits and one spare wheel. The rest I'll have to sort out with local bike workshops along the way.'

Richard, whose journey will be tracked using a GPS device, has received some financial help from Madgetts Cycles shop in Diss while Angus Taylor of Taylor-Made-Bikes in Banham, is currently building him a new steel bike frame for the trip.

He is still searching for sponsors and plans to raise money for children's charity Make-A-Wish. To sponsor him, visit http://www.onebigpedal.co.uk

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