Tomorrow, Tuesday, 4 April, sees Mark embark on a 3500-mile, 17-day around Britain training cycle. Riding at the pace required for him to achieve his sub-80-day goal in the round-the-world cycle, which he starts in July, Mark will begin his training ride in London, cycle around the coast of Britain and finish back in London.
To support his position as an ambassador of healthy living and charitable and educational causes, RSK is sponsoring Mark on this around Britain ride. Appropriately, it commences this week, as RSK begins its latest health and wellbeing initiative, Stress Awareness Month, with Stress and Exercise Week. Mark comments, “You could argue that taking sports to the extremes that I do is probably not good for you in terms of stress! But all things in moderation. The medical science can’t be disputed in terms of what exercise does for you by releasing endorphins and what it does to your white blood cells, your ability to fight infection, your immune system. I, like anyone who’s ambitious in their work, have a fair amount of stress to deal with and the best release for me is to get out training. When I’m snowed under, time on the bike is definitely when I make my best decisions.”
Although Mark is keen to emphasise that performance and endurance are his focus, he is also balancing several other secondary agendas. “The world record is my main goal for this challenge. It’s about finding out what’s possible, about getting around the world in 80 days,” he says. “However, I’m also excited about the opportunities this can offer for supporting educational and charitable causes. I want to use it as a vehicle for promoting two causes that are very important to me: Orkidstudio, a charity that works to benefit communities through innovative architecture, construction and social enterprise, and Twinkl, an educational initiative that aims to change lives by providing instant access to a complete range of teaching, planning and assessment materials. Because this is a global expedition, it’s an opportunity to put them both on the map. We’ve the potential to have quite a considerable reach and legacy.”
RSK’s sponsorship will see Mark’s support vehicles sporting the RSK logo and Mark handing out RSK-branded water bottles along his route. From tomorrow, you will be able to follow Mark’s journey online (website: artemisworldcycle.com, Twitter: @mrmarkbeaumont. Facebook: @MarkBeaumontAdventures). Or, if you can get to the coast, you can join him on the road. “People can come join me on the road on their bikes if they wish,” he affirms. “I’m never going to go ridiculously fast, I will just be riding for long periods, 16 hours a day. So, as long as people are comfortable road riders they can pop up along the route. It will be a stunning circuit of the British coastline.”
Interested in picking cycling up or getting back on a bike after a break? “I think the fear of the unknown is what puts a lot of people off, so buddy up and go out with friends or family who are cyclists. This will really get your confidence up,” advises Mark. “Don’t make it something you’re doing on your own because it’s probably hard to keep that habit going. British Cycling has an initiative called Ride Social that I’d encourage people to look into. It enables you to join social bike rides in your local area or to organise your own. There’s also an all-female initiative called Breeze, which works in a similar way.”
We wish Mark the best of luck on both the training around Britain cycle, and the World Cycle Challenge, which begins on 2 July. You can find out more by visiting artemisworldcycle.com. Also, look out for the world challenge documentary, which is likely to air in late 2017/early 2018.