Tom Davies, age 19, has completed his gap year challenge of being the youngest person to cycle around the world. Tom arrived back home in London today to a rapturous welcome from a group of family and friends.
Tom set off from Battersea on 17th January 2015 and has cycled over 18,000 miles in 174 riding days (an average of just over 100 miles a day) across 21 countries in Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America. He Although this is not an official Guinness World Record, since “youngest” records are not recognised, Tom believes he is the youngest person to have done it. He has also made sure he has fulfilled all the key criteria for a round the world trip, such as using the same bike frame throughout, starting and finishing at the same point, riding in one direction, covering at least 18,000 miles and passing through two antipodal points – in his case, Wellington in New Zealand and just north of Madrid in Spain.
Tom has been raising money for three charities including Carney’s Community. To date, Tom has raised over £50,000, which will be shared between the three.
The trip has been an enormous personal challenge and, although he has received much kindness and hospitality from many different people, he has needed to be almost entirely self-reliant. He has had many adventures along the way, including being held up by snow in Greece, being chased by dogs in Albania, and crossing the Nullarbor Desert in Australia, but has not let anything deter him. During the trip Tom had 10 punctures, 1 broken wheel, 1 sick day and he fell off his bike once. Tom said:
The trip has been amazing, but I didn’t really know what to expect heading into it. It has been incredible to see the countries and experience the different cultures in this way, whilst also pushing myself harder than I ever thought possible. I have been overwhelmed by the hospitality of people all around the world which is something I didn’t necessarily expect, but which has made it much more rewarding. I am delighted that the three charities will benefit from my trip, and cannot express how grateful I am for all the support from my family, friends and almost everyone who has heard about it. The last seven months have been very intense and I am looking forward to a few weeks off before heading to university.”
For more information about Tom, his cycle ride around the world and how to donate, see his website: www.tomdaviesrtw.com.