Not too long after, I signed up to ride the British Heart Foundation’s London to Paris bike ride in 2014 which inspired me to take more multi-day trips, but on my own. One year later I took 2 weeks off work and rode from Lands End to John O’Groats solo and unsupported and that was the cycling bug caught.
In 2016 I met Mike on Tinder and on our second date we decided to cycle around the world together – we had both wanted to do it but finding someone else who wanted to do it too was the catalyst for a huge adventure. 15 months later, we left Glasgow to ride 18,500 miles through 30 countries and returned married, broke but completely happy. Now, in May 2020, I’ll leave Brussels to ride 18,000 miles east to break the around the world women’s cycling record. This means 15-16 hours a day on the bike, 5 hours sleeping and a few hours to eat and take breaks. For 110 days.
I'll be riding east from Brussels through The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia. I'll be smashing it through Russia until I hit Lake Baikal, then south through Mongolia and China until I reach the outskirts of Beijing. From there I'll fly to Perth, Australia and head across the continent via The Nullabor, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane. It's a short flight to the south island of New Zealand and I spend less than a week cycling up both islands. From Auckland I'll fly to Anchorage, Alaska (that will be a welcome sleep on the plane) and east I go again into the Yukon, dropping slightly south until I briefly cross into the USA again to skirt south of Minneapolis, and back north east into Canada. Then it's some roads I've ridden before all the way to Halifax on the east coast of Canada. My final section will be riding fast from Lisbon back to Brussels - which is also my training ride at the end of February. For this training ride I need to raise £3,000 to cover the last of my kit and some money for the day to day of that training ride. The remainder of my budget set out below.
I've got to where I am now having struggled with depression since my teens. My lowest ebb was near Christmas 2015 when I couldn’t get out of bed, let alone shower or cook a meal. But I was very lucky and the most important sentence that has ever been said to me came through via Facebook Messenger by my friend, Ashley whom I’d gone munro bagging with a few months earlier and who knew the state I was in. I had said, “The idea of getting out of bed feels like climbing a mountain.” And he said, “But you’ve already done that.” While that didn’t see me jump out of bed and get back into the normal swing of things immediately, it roused my determination to seek help, and I'm still here today happy and healthy.
I want to show people that ill mental health doesn't mean you can't achieve great things. I want to inspire 10,000 kids who are, perhaps, like I was - a little lost without confidence in their capabilities. I also want to push my limits and see really how fast and far I can go. But to do that, I need to get to the start line. I’ve been at my worst, now I need to be at my best.
Even if you could help me get a little way towards the start, I'll get to the end.
How can you help?
£5,000 are my costs that stand between me and getting to Brussels (that's my remaining kit, training costs, insurance and visas).
£9,000 is my 'on the road' budget (including flights, food and contingency).
If you're a business and you'd like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, please do get in touch via my website below.
As a thank you to individuals who donate, your name will appear on my website on my record attempt page.
To see more about me and this record attempt, please head over to my website: https://helenlangridge.com
- Martin Ashwell
- Abbie Gunn
- Margaret Burgoyne
- Philip Howard
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