Friday, 2 September 2011

Interview: Stephen Phillips: Globe Cycle Racer

Today's Interview comes from Police Officer Stephen Phillips, he's off on the adventure of a life time to the other side of the world and back again. Here he is to tell you all about it. Thanks to Stephen for agreeing to do an Interview for Exceed Possibility.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do and where do you come from?

I'm 41 years of age, live in East Anglia with my partner Michelle and Hudson my faithful hound. I have a 17 year old daughter Israel.

I am a Detective Sergeant in Cambridgeshire investigating serious crime against vulnerable people and In my spare time its anything outdoors. I love to hike, climb, wild camp, mountain bike and cycle. I struggle to sit still. I find it therapeutic to restore older mountain bikes and bring them back to life.

Where did your love of cycling begin?

My earliest memory of achieving something on a bike was when I was aged 10. My mothers second husband decided to take me on a cycle ride from Kings Lynn to Preston near Manchester. That’s about 130 miles! Done over two days and wild camping over night, I cycled over Snake Pass, which to a 10 year old was a never ending mountain. At the time I remember hating every pedal turn with a passion but looking back at it now that would be the moment when I became a traveller and adventurer.

A few years later in 1995 I discovered mountain biking and trail riding which led on to exploring the UK and then the world by cycle.My first foreign travel with a cycle was to Pakistan, followed by China and then Kyrgystan which was where I discovered solitude and freedom which was an almost spiritual moment. I remember coming back from a place where electricity still doesn’t flow and luxury doesn’t exist. The valuable things that we often take for granted in the UK suddenly didn’t seem quite so valuable.


Your attempting the challenge of a life time next year, can you tell us all about it?

In February 2012 I will be setting of on an 18’000 mile around the world cycle race combined with an attempt at the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by cycle. It is a race designed by current world record holder Vin COX and will be part of the build up top the Olympic games with the first racer hopefully back around July 22nd 2012 just before the games start. Racers are coming from around the globe from Brazil, Spain, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and of course the UK,

My proposed route is to go west through France Spain, Portugal before flying to Canada, USA then into the Southern hemisphere of New Zealand, Australia, into Singapore and Asia before hitting India, flying to Georgia then home via Turkey, Greece, Italy and France.

The current political situation around the world has led to may route changes and as we speak I am watching keenly what is happening with Libya. If it settles down reasonably quickly the whole of North Africa with its warm climate and relatively flat coastal areas becomes open for a fast ride.

I'm expecting extremes of temperature and altitude, periods of loneliness ans despair along with elation. It will be a real roller coaster of an event. The ride for me will be totally self-sufficient. I will be able to post ahead of me equipment such as spares and clothing and pick these up at the offices of my sponsor CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio). There are also friends and friends of colleagues who will meet me providing much needed emotional support.


Why did you decide to take on such an adventure?

Simply to be able to stand up at the end of life and say “I did that”. I didn’t want to be wondering “What if…”

What causes will you be supporting?

I will be using the event to raise awareness of Red2Green a charity to support vulnerable disabled adults and MapAction, a charity which uses mapping technology to help disaster agencies pinpoint where aid is needed most.


How can we follow your journey? What can we expect to see from you during your ride?

My journey can be followed via my website www.globecycleracer.com and from there are links to my youtube account where I shall upload video blogs, Face Book account stephenphillips140569, Twitter @globecycleracer and photos through flickr.

In addition people will be able to follow my progress on my route live through my website. The cycle is fitted with a GPS transmitter linked to my website. I will be commenting on things that I see and experience as well as how I am feeling on the way around.

What do you expect to learn from such an eye-opening trip?

I expect a voyage of self discovery and to learn how far I can push myself when faced with the challenges.

What luxury (if any) will you be taking with you?

In this modern day of technology smart phones are the must have luxury. Mine is a Samsung Galaxy 2 supplied by my sponsor which will allow me to film, photo, twitter and face book, browse the internet, listen to music and read books. It will be powered by a dynamo hub in my front wheel.This will closely be followed by Sudocreme a product perfect for saddle sores.


Please check out Stephen Phillips' website at: http://www.globecycleracer.com/ to find out even more about this incredibly cycling race and a wonderful adventure that I'm sure many will be following next year. All the best to Stephen, have an incredible trip and make sure you win! A great cycling adventure is something I'd love to do - Dad bought a Surly touring bike a few days ago so maybe I'll have to steal it next year and take off for myself!

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