Meet Glen Burmeister

May 18, 2014

Glen_With_ElliptiGOIn the first week of May 2014 ElliptiGO customer Glen Burmeister will be attempting to set a new record for riding across Britain – from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

George Watkins holds the ElliptiGO record for riding the length of Britain in the opposite direction (from John O’Groats to Land’s End), which he set in 2011 in The Ride Across Britain, a 9-stage sportive cycling event.

Glen, who already holds 3 Guinness World Records in Cycling, has shared his story with us – and we hope you find his ElliptiGO challenge inspiring and entertaining.

“I was 23 years old when I’d finally saved enough money to go travelling. I’d never left the UK before. My mum raised me and my three siblings from when I was just one year old and we had the same holiday every year in a gas caravan in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire.

“At the time, ‘escaping’ the UK was something I’d dreamt of for the last six years. I’d recently finished studying to become a personal trainer at college and it felt like the right time to travel, before settling into a career.

“My first stop was Thailand. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I didn’t find what I was looking for there. I met an Australian girl who warned me that I couldn’t ‘escape myself’ and that if I was unhappy there, I may be unhappy somewhere else. I booked a flight to Australia the next day!

“I spent the first few weeks staying in hostels in and around Perth; having fun with the other backpackers – but basically doing exactly what I could have been doing back home. And you know what they say: ‘What’s the point in that?’

“Browsing through my Lonely Planet travel guide, I read an article about the Bibbulmun Track; a 600 mile trek along South West Australia’s coastline and through hundreds of miles of forests. ‘Why not?’ I thought. That same day I walked to the offices in Perth where volunteers organise the running of the track.

“After gaining a little knowledge on what to carry and what to expect, I found myself stood at the southern terminus of the trail in Albany – with my great aunty Dorothy waving me off. After just one month of walking an average of 20 miles a day, I was back in the offices in Perth to claim my ‘End to End’ certificate.

“Upon returning back to the UK, I quickly became restless. I started browsing through the travel books in my local library and found a book on cycling the length of the UK, or more familiarly known  as ‘Land’s End to John O’Groats’ (or ‘LEJOG’). I had only just started back at work but asked if I could book two weeks off for the trip – and set about planning it. After eleven days, most of that suffering from excruciating knee pain, I finished my first ‘End to End’ bike ride.

“The travel bug had bitten me ‘big-time’ at this stage. It wasn’t long before I’d found my next adventure. An article about a couple who circumnavigated the world by motorcycle in just 19 days got my attention. I wondered whether it had been done on a bicycle and so sent off my very first application to Guinness World Records.

“I could go on here forever: but I didn’t go for it when I had the chance. It was a combination of struggling with planning and not having the nerve to just go for it. Every few years I’d discover someone else had set a new record and that would ignite my passion to go for it – but it was a whole seven years before I set a new Guinness World Record for the ‘Fastest cycle across Europe (North Cape to Tarifa) by bicycle’.

“The following year I set off for America to attempt to break the record for the ‘Fastest cycle across the United States, from North to South and West to East’. I eventually reached New York City, having broken the previous record by four days. Last year saw me gain my third record in less than two years – this time for the ‘Most countries visited by bicycle in 7 days’. My journey finished in Shkodër, Albania, making it eleven countries.

“Still not fulfilled, I set about planning more record attempts, but couldn’t seem to get too excited about attempting another by bicycle – just not for now, anyway. I had searched the internet for other types of human powered vehicles and the ‘elliptical cycle’ (ElliptiGO) immediately caught my eye.

“The elliptical trainer had been one of my favourite pieces of kit in the gym. I searched for any world records using an elliptical cycle and discovered one had been set for the ‘Fastest journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats by elliptical cycle’. That was less than three months ago – and I had bought myself an ElliptiGO 8C immediately.

I’ve now owned my ElliptiGO for about two months – and have ridden it every day to work and back (7 miles each way). However, until last Saturday (26th April), my longest ride had been just 7 miles. So I went out for my first long ride last weekend and completed 78 miles on what must have been one of the windiest days of the year – and one of the hilliest routes I could have picked!

“I’m now just days away from attempting to break the record and I am in good spirits. My personal target for the ride across Britain is 6 days – which means having to average 141 miles a day. I don’t expect it to be easy – but then I’m not sure I’d want it to be.

[Editor’s Note: In May 2014 Glen succeeded in setting a new Guinness World Record (6 days & 10 hours) for the fastest journey from Land’s End to John o’Groats by elliptical cycle].

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