These Kent grads are cycling around the world on a tandem bike

Why do a grad scheme when you can break a world record?

Fresh out of uni and just slightly late to the grad scheme application game, UKC Physics and Politics grads George Agate and John Whybrow decided to pursue adventure and travel the world, Blue Peter style.

Attempting to become the first people to circumnavigate the Earth by tandem bicycle, the boys are set to cover 30 countries and six continents (a total of 18000 miles) over the course of 300 days, all in time for a cup of tea and catch up with Bake Off.

Cycling in aid of charities Great Ormond Street Hospital, Porch Light and Water Aid, the boys have not only set themselves a Guinness World Record target, but are also aiming to raise £100,000 for their challenge.

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Starting and finishing in Canterbury, the expedition will take them on a route that heads eastwards, across the flats of Europe, through the Orient, the Australian outback, and the Pan American Highway. It’s safe to assume they’ll have some beaut pictures and a few stories for the grand-kids.

Speaking to George and John at the half-way point of their expedition in Adelaide, we asked the self-titled ‘Tandem Men’ a few questions about their mad year out.

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Why the tandem bike?

John: The tandem only really came about because of the world record idea. Once we had decided we wanted to cycle around the world, we started looking into world records and as soon as George found that no one had ever cycled round the world to the Guinness rules it was a done deal. We had to have a crack at it.

George: I’ve never been able to let go of the handles while riding, now my dream is true on the back of the tandem.

What’s been the most challenging part of the expedition so far?

John: Probably putting up with George’s singing from the back of the bike! But seriously, there have been some real challenges; the heat and terrain of northern Turkey were tough. Also the logistics and implications of how sparsely some parts of Australia are populated has proved to be very challenging at times, just in the sheer amount of food and water we’ve had to carry.

George: The night we slept out a thunderstorm under the trolleys of a supermarket was pretty low but you’ll have to wait for our book to hear that story! Now our fitness is peaking the hardest bit is the mental challenge, the same food and counting miles in the sparse outback can really play its toll

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How do you think you’ll get back into a normal routine once you’re home?

John: That’s a tough one. I don’t think it’ll be easy. We have such a strict routine of eat, cycle, eat, cycle, eat, sleep right now that adjusting back into normal life and having normal contact with people will definitely take some time

George: We’ve been warned to prepare for a tough few weeks integrating back into normal life. Our routine is so strict now we might find ourselves struggling to comprehend the lack of structure. That being said, I now can’t wait for a cuppa and GBBO, though apparently we’ve missed some big Bake Off news?

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Apparently ‘making saddle sore sexy since 2015’, George and John welcome any donations via their Just Giving page, and encourage people to throw them a message of good luck for the final push of their expedition.

Good luck boys, we’ll see you in Canterbury!

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University of Kent