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Diary of the World Record: Day5

  • By Vin Cox

Four years on, I’m presenting my diaries originally written during my Guinness World Record circumnavigation of the world by bicycle. It took 163 days to set the record, so I’ll be posting well into the summer…

11th Feb 137.1 miles

Snow all around.

Bike fixed by Gilles Berthoud @ 40mi. Lunch @ 73mi (16mph!). -5C at lunch!

Garmin reset itself & backlight broke [good job I had a regular cycle computer too!].

137.1 mi @ 14.5mph


The bike needed fixing because of the strange incident with the cat in the night which had bent my brake disc. Gilles Berthoud’s amazing touring focused bike shop was beautiful, and he was none-to-pleased to recognise my saddle as a Brooks (he makes his own leather touring saddles). He was a great chap and offered that if I did anything like this again I should talk to him before Brooks…

The Garmin GPS had been a great expensive gift from my wife, only for me to find it not so suitable for a trip like this and just to be a bit of a not-all-it’s-cracked-up-to-be pain-in-the-arse. Now it was randomly shutting itself down I was very glad I’d fitted a cheap backup cycle computer which just worked by monitoring my wheel rather than a satellite. I still feel guilty about asking for the Garmin as a present, because my wife felt some misplaced responsibility for the nightmare of malfunctions and bad customer service which would unfold during the adventure.

A great tradition in France is for workers to strike. So I was please to encounter some closed roads and marching proletariat, complete with banners and chants, not being put-off at all it seemed by the seriously sub-zero temperature. They slowed me down slightly, but were in good humour and thankfully didn’t burn me to death for warmth/revenge/tradition/fun.

French workers striking during Vin Cox's world tour.