After being delayed by torrential rain over the Carpathian Mountains, a frustrating six day wait for his bike at Mumbai customs, a harrowing ride across India, and finally a quick dash from Bangkok to Singapore, Nick Sanders has now finished three of the seven stages that comprise his epic journey around the world.
As he sets off on stage four of his challenge from Perth, Australia the race is on for Nick to recapture his record for the Fastest Circumnavigation of Earth by Land on his Yamaha R1 motorcycle.
After completing the first three stages of his round the world record attempt, Nick Sanders has ridden 5,533 miles in 162 hours and is now 800 miles behind his 1,000 mile a day record breaking schedule. With the toughest part of the challenge - India, now behind him, he is confident of making up lost time and reclaiming his record.
The first stage of Nick's adventure began on 22nd May 05 with a ceremonial send off at the BMF (British Motorcyclists Federation) Show in Peterborough, from there he headed down to Dover and took the ferry over to Calais. The clock started in Calais, from where he travelled to Paris, down to Lyon, Monaco, towards Geneva and then up to Regensburg and on to Prague. From Prague his route took him to Bratislava, Budapest and then across Romania and Bulgaria before reaching Istanbul. In three days and five hours, Nick had travelled almost 3,000 miles across the breadth of Europe!
This first stage of the adventure went relatively well, despite the sleepless nights, torrential rain storms in Romania and a very close near-miss, when a bus overtook him and he missed an oncoming truck by inches. But the second stage through India from Mumbai to Calcutta was even more challenging.
After a frustrating six and a half day hold up in Mumbai as he waited for his bike to get through customs, Nick knew stage two was going to be tough. "Any journey across India is amongst the hardest in the world and is undoubtedly dangerous. In my experience riding a bike here is the most dangerous motoring activity in the world."
With the temperature in India at around 45°C during the day and one night only dropping to 31.5°C, Nick suffered severe dehydration and sun stroke before heading north up to Calcutta on, as he describes it, "the worst road in India". With an average riding speed of around 17-23 mph he pressed ahead, riding through the night trying to make up precious time.
After reaching Calcutta Nick quickly got his bike into customs and took a flight to Bangkok before setting off on stage three of his journey to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur. Nick was looking forward to this stage because of Malaysia's good roads and he finished this 1,200 mile ride in exactly 24 hours.
Having already made up 200 miles, to reduce the burden of time already lost on stage two, Nick said "I knew India was going to be bad, and I had factored it in. I am confident I can make up for lost time in the next few stages and get the record."
At the time of dispatch Nick is due to take his flight to Perth for the fourth stage of his journey, which will take him from Perth to Darwin, down to Adelaide via Alice Springs and further east to Sydney. By the end of stage four, Nick will have totalled almost 11,000 miles.
To follow Nick's progress and read his diary entries from the trip, visit his website, www.motochallenge.com.