Irishman well on course to become the oldest person to circumnavigate the globe on a bicycle
“I just want to do something different, something out of the ordinary, something extraordinary.”
A father of four from Dublin is well on course to become the oldest man to circumnavigate the world on a bicycle, a journey that will cover over 40,000 kilometres in total and raise vital funds for Trócaire in the process.
Dermot Higgins, a 55-year old from Rush, has already covered a mammoth 31,000km in nine months, having set off on the incredible adventure in June of last year.
A retired teacher inspired by childhood tales of Phileas Fogg and his travels around the globe, should Dermot have reached his target of returning to Ireland by Easter Sunday (1 April), he will have trekked through 21 countries in Europe, Central and South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand and across the USA before he begins his journey home.
To satisfy the Guinness Book of Records requirements, Dermot had to embark on a continuous journey East-West or West-East (which is what Dermot is doing) of at least 18,000 miles (29,000 km), covering a total distance at least an Equator's length (24,900 miles or 40,100 km) and to pass through two approximate antipodal points (Madrid and Wellington in Dermot’s case).
Now sporting a rainbow-coloured beard, Dermot is cycling solo, camping daily, transporting all his own gear and equipment and spending as little as €15 a day.
As well as seeking to break the record, Dermot is also raising awareness for UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and to raise funds for Trócaire’s work in developing communities around the world.
He’s currently in the USA and plans to arrive in Washington DC just before St. Patrick’s Day, where he will meet a host of dignitaries including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
While there, he also hopes to be able to present to Donald Trump in person a petition inspired by an 11-year-old past pupil, Nevan Corcoran, to rethink Trump’s decision to exit the Paris agreement on climate change.
Dermot has also posted the petition online in an effort to secure 100,000 signatures.
After Washington, Dermot will travel to New York City where he will be taking part in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
He will then undertake the last leg of his journey from Lisbon to Madrid, where he’ll be joined by a group of 12 friends to rally around and cycle the last leg of his trip, culminating in his arrival into Dublin on Easter Sunday, 1 April.
Commenting on his adventure, Dermot said: “Completing the Round the World Cycle will be my life's ambition realised. Having the opportunity to promote Global Goals and to support Trócaire is the icing on the cake.”
Images via Facebook/Dermot Higgins