Andrew Nicholson (front) with some of the team from Te Aho Matatu: Centre for Translational Cancer Research. Photo: Sharron Bennett.
Dunedin's Andrew Nicolson is praying for three months of westerly winds, as he prepares to attempt a new world record for circumnavigating the world by bicycle.
The former winter Olympic speed skater is riding in support of the University of Otago's Te Aho Matatu: Centre for Translational Cancer Research, a cause he believes in deeply, particularly since losing a friend to cancer.
“Long-term the only way we are going to prevent more people getting cancer is by supporting research into it,” he says. “I hope my ride raises the profile of the work the Centre does and encourages people to donate.”
"It's very humbling for the research carried out at the University's Centre for Translational Cancer Research (Te Aho Matatu) to be associated with Andrew and this ride. We'll be with him all the way."
He will begin his world record attempt in Auckland tomorrow, visiting 23 countries in this epic journey. His route will take him across Canada and the United States, through Europe to India, through Southeast Asia, across Australia and then up the length of New Zealand back to Auckland.
He will ride through the University of Otago as he makes his way through Dunedin.
The current world record was set by England's Alan Bate in 2010 and is 125 days, 21 hours and 45 minutes. To break the record, Mr Nicholson must average 240km each day – but he is confident.
“I think I can churn out the miles, it's just really important that I look after myself. My time not on the bike will be spent eating, drinking, stretching and sleeping.”
Te Aho Matatu Director Professor Parry Guilford says he is staggered that anyone would consider riding a bike 29,000km around the world in about 120 days.
“It's very humbling for the research carried out at the University's Centre for Translational Cancer Research (Te Aho Matatu) to be associated with Andrew and this ride. We'll be with him all the way.”
Professor Guilford has some shrewd advice for Mr Nicholson: “Don't buy too many carpets in Turkey and the Middle East.”
Last year Mr Nicholson broke the New Zealand outdoor 24-hour cycling record at the Mosgiel velodrome, also raising money for Te Aho Matatu.
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