An endurance athlete who cycled 4,008 miles across Europe in 22 days was this week back in Partridge Green celebrating with his parents.
Paul Spencer beat the previous Guinness World Record holder of The Tour D’Europe by an incredible 17 days in a trip which saw the 32-year-old cycle from the continent’s most northerly point in Norway to the most southerly tip in Spain.
“I had a world record across America which took 44 days and it was broken last year,” said paul who lives inthe USA.
“I wanted to do another one so I found out the guy who broke my record across America owned the record across Europe so it was a bit of competition really.”
Paul set off on the challenge from Partridge Green, where his parents live, to start the ride on May 12 . He travelled at an average speed of 15 to 17mph for around 12 to 14 hours a day to the finish line in Tarifa, Spain, on June 10.
“Towards the end I was doing more and more miles. I even did 441 miles in one go which took 37 hours non-stop .
“We lost a day because of weather and I wanted to see what I could do and make sure we were getting to the finish in daylight so Guinness could witness it.”
The determined cyclist, who was sponsored during the trip by health care company Kimberly-Clark, had support from three friends who followed him in a campervan and cooked for him.
He also received donations to raise money for LUPUS UK and USA, a charity supporting those with an incurable immune system illness, which Paul’s sister Marie Spencer suffers from.
He said: “I raised £2,000 for the English one and $2,000 for American but there’s still more donations coming in we hope to raise more because I ended up doing the ride so quickly.”
Paul was born in Kent but has lived in Denver, Colorado, for the past 16 years. He works on a ski mountain which was his route into the endurance sport.
He said:“I got into cycling through skiing. My friends would injure themselves during ski season and the rehab would be riding a bike so I used to ride with them and now I ride more than I ski.”
He often competes in gruelling challenges, including one across Africa from Cairo to Capetown, and despite battling weather, sore feet and damage to his bike in Europe, Paul has set his sights on bigger things.
“Next I’m looking for sponsorship to ride all the way round the world including the oceans.
“I want to ride a paddle boat across the ocean and a bike on the land so I truly want to go all the way round the world which hasn’t been done,” he said.
Next year he plans to take on another Guinness World Record attempt, the Pan-American highway, from Alaska to Chile.
He said:“I’m proud of what I’ve done. I wouldn’t say it was incredible, it’s just stupidity. I’ve also been described as stubborn which is why I never once thought of giving up.”
To donate or find out more about Paul, visit his website www.yeshesmad.com