The challenge

At noon, on midsummer's day 2019, I will set off from North Cape in Norway and cycle nonstop, overland to Tarifa in Spain.

This 6300 km journey (around 4000 miles) will take me from Europe's windswept northernmost extremity, deep in the Arctic, to its scorching southernmost tip at the Strait of Gibraltar.

The geographical logic of the ride is perfect - it's Europe's End-to-End: a route crying out to be ridden.

The journey will take me through Norway, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, France and Spain.

I will be trying to break the current world record of 21 days, 14 hours and 23 minutes 19 days, 11 hours and 5 minutes (Rob Gardiner broke the record literally four days before my start date!).

I am taking the chance to raise money for the amazing charity Roadpeace, and you can make a donation here

About me

 

 

By day, I am a psychologist at the University of Bath, specialising in people's transport and environmental behaviours. Outside work, I used to be an ultradistance runner until I switched to ultradistance cycling in 2016. My cycling Palmar├Ęs include:

  • First place in the North Cape 4000 race in 2018
  • First place in TransWales 2018
  • Successful completion of the Transcontinental Race 2017
  • Super Randonneur 2500
  • Rode in the Lap of my Mind charity challenge: 10 riders doing the 4500-mile GB coastline in 20 days in the depths of winter
The organisers of the North Cape 4000 race made this video of my winning finish last year:
I also write reviews of cycling equipment for road.cc.

Live tracking

Here is a map which shows my progress in real time. Click here to expand this view.

Supporters

People and organisations who help make this possible

Veloskin

Chamois cream and skincare

A 6300 km journey takes a lot out of your body. That's why I'm pleased Veloskin are supporting the ride with their excellent chamois cream and other skincare products. I used their chamois cream on North Cape 4000 and it got me through the whole event without any chafing - pretty amazing given I was averaging 360 km a day.

Apidura

Expedition luggage

If you're a bikepacker, you probably don't need an introduction to Apidura. They make excellent bikepacking luggage and equipment that has been tested in some of the toughest races and expedtions out there. I'm delighted that Apidura have shown confidence in this record attempt by providing me with a set of expedition bags for all my kit.
 
 

Stayer Cycles

Wheelbuilders

Stayer is a small, independent bike company based in London, where they produce hand-made frames and wheels. Judith Stayer built the wheels I used to ride to first place in the North Cape 4000, and I'll be riding a set of her carbon wheels again for this record attempt. Highly recommended if you want a set of great custom wheels at a sensible price.

Spring Cycle Coaching

Performance coaching

Holly Seear, from Spring Cycle Coaching, has been central in arranging my training and fitness for this attempt. I'd trust Holly anyway, given her excellent qualifications and coaching experience. But perhaps more important is that she's been there and done it, taking part in all sorts of multi-day events herself.

My ethos

 

Guinness don't distinguish between world record attempts that are supported and attempts that are unsupported. So I could attempt this ride with a mobile home full of masseurs, mechanics and nutritionists following me the whole way. But that's not my style! I'm going to be doing this 100% unsupported, because that's what I know.

To say a bit more about the unsupported nature of my ride, I've set myself a set of rules based around the ethos of the self-supported ultradistance races that I started from:

  • I will travel the whole distance under my own human power. I can walk if necessary, but no forward motion using any sort of motor vehicle, including ferries
  • The clock starts when I set off and keeps running until I get to Tarifa. Any time spent sleeping, resting or buying food affects the finish time
  • No support from other people. Anything I need will either be carried with me or bought along the way from commercial establishments
  • I will stick to roads permitted to bicycles
And I'm not the only one riding the length of Europe in 2019: Let's hear it for Ryan

A few weeks after my attempt, UK rider Ryan Anderton is also riding from North Cape to Tarifa, taking the same route used by Lee Fancourt when he set the current world record. Ryan is raising money and awareness for the mental health charity Mind, and you can find more details on his website, Facebook page, and Instagram feed.

The ride begins at 1200 CET on 21 June 2019

Keep in touch with developments on social media: