my world record race from Cairo to Cape Town
by Mark Beaumont (Bantam Press) ISBN: 9780593076330
What makes a man decide to ride
a bicycle down the length of Africa as fast as he can? For Mark Beaumont, it’s
a follow up to several extreme adventures: cycling across America, smashing the
time record for cycling around the world, and nearly drowning in a team attempt
to row across the Atlantic in less than thirty days.
To be this driven,
you’ve got to be passionate. And a little bit crazy. Maybe the pain and
adrenaline are addictive. I never did get to understand this man. I didn’t
really even get to like him very much, but I did find the account of
his attempt to set a new record in the Guinness Book of Records by cycling,
unsupported, from Cairo to Cape Town in under 50 days, completely fascinating.
day brings new challenges: The daily challenge of achieving the kilometres
required, finding food and lodging in some of remotest places on earth, and
negotiating bureaucracy. There are many warm encounters with the local people,
quite a few temper tantrums, mainly with slow kitchen staff (long-distance
cycling makes you “hangry”- that anger brought on by extreme hunger) and some
The book also includes some of
the photographs taken en route, which highlight some of the sights and
experiences he describes – a great addition to an epic story.