Exploring the world on a bike
South African cyclist Cristin Flynn hopes to make it into the Guinness World Records as being the fastest woman to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle.
She intends to accomplish this feat in just 120 days (the current record holder completed hers in 124 days).
Flynn hopes to embark on the almost 29 000 kilometre journey in April next year. She will start and end in Paris.
The route includes China, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and parts of Europe.
The ride is in honour of African Angels, an organisation that allows orphaned and vulnerable children the opportunity to get an education, and to inspire people to reach for their own dreams.
“Driven by a sense of adventure since a very young age, I would get on my bike and ride wherever it led me,” she said.
“I have always loved to travel. Once I completed school, I took every chance to explore. I added little spots on the map of the places I wanted to travel. These places, while absurd, offered character.
“There's no better way to enjoy your travels than on your bike or during a jog,” she said.
The mother of three currently cycles 200 to 300 kilometres every day to prepare for her Guinness record attempt.
She covered every part of South Africa, from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng to small towns like Viljoenskroon in Free State and Alice in Eastern Cape.
Currently in Cape Town, the 37-year-old will travel into Africa where she will spend time with locals.
“I do not book hotels. I prefer to stay with the locals and to learn about their life and culture. The homestay style trips offer me a chance to interact with the country’s people rather than stay confined to a hotel room,” she said.
According to Flynn, she interacts with the locals via the Facebook community. Some offer to let her stay with them.
“I enjoy meeting different people. I stayed in the townships, and I have stayed in mansions. These homestay style cycling trips have opened my eyes to many lifestyles and for that I am grateful.”
Flynn is busy writing her a book titled 'Chasing Yellow Lines'. She will divulge her life story, her cycle journey and share tidbits about those who she met along the way.
“The book is inspired by the people of South Africa and their generosity as well as my personal journey that led me to embark on the Guinness World Record attempt. I want people who read the book to be encouraged to take a step towards their goals and dreams.
“I am always reminded of the Benjamin Franklin quote that states: “Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75.” We should always embrace the moment and make our dreams a reality.”