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15

Feb

Diary of the World Record: Day9

  • By Vin Cox

15th Feb 117.5 miles:

Monastir was great, as was coffee stop on outskirts – locals gave me funny looks.  Headwind was terrible after that and the road was rough too.

Bum starting to be a problem.

Put back arrival in Libya by 24 hours.

117.5 miles @ 13.3 mph.

This was the day I celebrated 1,000 miles completed!  I took strength from remembering that as Guinness World Records paused the clock between ports it was less than 8 days riding time, so I was on schedule to beat the existing record by 50 days!  Headwinds like todays could be coped with in that context.

Road-side cafes and restaurants in Tunisia want you to know that their ingredients are local and fresh.  Unlike what I’m use to in the UK though, they don’t just tell you; they show you.  So all I had to look out for when I got peckish was live farm animals and freshly butchered carcases dangling in the door-way. Appetising, mmmm!

Fresh local produce outside a cafe in Tunisia,

Fresh local produce outside a cafe in Tunisia.

Libya was less than 200 miles away and according to my visa I was due there in the next afternoon.  I thought about carrying on thought the night to make the border on-time, but I was exhausted already.  Also, I knew that every day in Libya would be expensive, so easing off now and riding hard in Libya could save money. With my bike propped up against a wrecked example of the old French pickup trucks which dominate the roads here, I called the specialist travel agent who’d arranged the visa and the “guide” (government escort – they were the expensive bit), and they fixed it.

Vin Cox's Criox de Fer bike resting against a rusty truck in Tunisia.

Vin Cox’s Criox de Fer bike resting against a rusty truck in Tunisia.

My main memory of this day was riding into the most brilliant dawn on quiet streets navigating my way to Monastir.  This is the town where Monty Python filmed The Life of Brian:  I was a lucky lucky bastard.

The walls of Monastir prop up Vin Cox's bike on day 9 of the world tour.

The walls of Monastir prop up Vin Cox’s bike on day 9 of the world tour.