For one man, the journey of a lifetime begins in Blaine

Published on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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Paul Spencer has ridden his bicycle thousands of miles in several countries but this week, he will attempt a world record.

On Thursday, July 8, the 29-year-old Roswell, Georgia, resident will begin a twice-cross country trek beginning from Blaine to San Diego, California. He will then travel by van from San Diego to Los Angeles city hall where he will begin the second leg of his 4,750-mile journey to New York city hall.

Spencer said he hopes to complete the trip in less than 50 days, which would qualify him for the fastest bicycle trip across America, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The trip will also raise money for the Boys & Girls Club, the Lupus Foundation and Disability Snowsport in the U.K.

Spencer was born in Kent, England, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 16 with his parents. An athlete for most of his adult life, he recently worked at the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver.

In 2009, he completed an 880-mile bicycle tour of England from Land’’s End in Cornwall to Johno-Goats in four days.

And just last week, he completed the B.C. Bike Race, a week-long trek that logged 60 kilometers a day.

Q: What inspired you to take this ride?

A: Part of it is I wanted to do some kind of training ride for the Tour d’Afrique, a 7,500-mile bicycle tour of Africa which starts in January 2011 and goes from Cairo to Cape Town. I read about the Africa trip 10 years ago and I’ve wanted to do it ever since. It’s been great to be able to finally train hard enough to be able to arrange to do it.

But more than that, I just love riding my bike. I’ve ridden all over America a lot and you see great views that you wouldn’t see in a car. I really like that aspect of it. The fact it could be a world record at the end is a great bonus.

Q: Why did you decide to start in Blaine?

A: Originally, I was going to do some kind of ride from Seattle to Florida, but I changed it a bit to fit in with the Guinness Book of World Records guidelines, which require me to travel from a border town in the north to one in the south.

Q: What’s the current record for fastest cross-country bicycle trip?

A: I found the current world record is 440 days. I plan to do the trip in less than 50 days.

Q: Are you crazy?

A: A little.

Q: What do you eat when you’re on the road?

A: There will be good breakfasts with eggs, hash browns and bacon. Lunches will likely be a pasta meal with chicken or a spaghetti Bolognese, and for dinner, steak salads. It’s a lot of protein and a lot of carbohydrates, but I’ll be burning so many calories on the ride, I can eat anything I want, it doesn’t matter.

I’ll also be eating some nutrition bars, gels, and drinking water with electrolyte tablets in it. You just need to eat as much as possible, really; the more the better.

For more information about Spencer and his trip, visit www.yeshesmad.com.