Jenny Graham is a 37-year-old endurance cyclist from the Scottish Highlands. As a young mum she came late to long-distance cycling. But a lifetime teaching others in outdoor environments prepared her well for the resilience, self-reliance and physical hardship that these challenges entail. In 2015 she raced The Highland Trail 550 for the first time, and realised that life would never be the same again. She spent the next three years developing her considerable aptitude in long-distance self-supported bike racing, completing challenges such as the Cairngorm Loop, the Arizona Trail Race and a four-day winter LEJOG.
Last year she found herself asking the question:
"Yeah, but I wonder how far I could actually go…"
This summer she found out when she broke the current women’s record by more than two weeks. Jenny rode more than 18,000 miles fully self supported in just under 124 days.
The clock started at 6am on 16th June 2018 when Jenny rode out from Berlin, not stopping until she had cycled 18,000 miles across four continents. She traveled east through 16 countries - Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Mongolia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium and Holland - took four flights, one boat and consumed over 660,000 calories!
By riding for 13.5 hours and averaging 156 miles a day, Jenny beat the current record by 20 days.
This was a self-supported ride, so Jenny's rules were:
- I'll do it all myself, under my own power - no drafting
- I'll carry all my own gear
- I won't accept any outside support (deliveries only to public addresses or open homes, no vehicles of any kind meeting me along the way to provide supplies or assistance).
Before Jenny set out on this adventure we spent a a little time with her learning what makes her tick and what it means to go on an adventure like this. You can listen to the short podcast below. Watch this space for more podcasts from the road and the film of her epic journey.