An Edinburgh grandad is “ecstatic” after breaking the Guinness World Record for cycling the longest journey ever by rickshaw – but he isn’t stopping there.
Len Collingwood has achieved his dream by smashing the current record of 1600 miles by cycling from Scotland to the outskirts of Berlin.
But the determined 66-year-old is now only half way through his epic journey to reach Istanbul – a total of 3200 miles from Edinburgh.
After setting off from the Capital on June 1, Len has made his way through Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
He has spent three days recovering with his wife Sally, who flew over to join in with the celebrations.
The couple were sipping champagne and have visited a number of tourist destinations in the German capital including the Reichstag building and the Holocaust Museum.
He said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. It is a wonderful feeling. It’s great to know I have done it and set a new world record.
“It was an unplanned stop but I wanted to celebrate and I’ve missed my wife as we hadn’t seen each other in around six weeks so it just seemed the perfect time to meet up.”
Len is accustomed to long distance cycling after completing an 8000-mile ride from Mongolia to Scotland back in 2012. He’s been consuming around 4000 calories a day to fuel his effort of cycling between 40 to 60 miles per day.
Cycling a rickshaw poses different challenges to the father-of-two, but he has already put 1900 miles between himself and Edinburgh – currently residing in Dresden.
He said: “I can’t stop now, I need to keep putting in the miles in order to keep the record. I set out to cycle to Istanbul and that’s what I’m going to do.
“I’ve been looking after myself, eating a lot of carbs and protein. I usually start the day with a coffee, granola, eggs on toast and then have some cheese sandwiches for my lunch. On the evening I’ll have a meal with rice, eggs and vegetables before having supper, which is usually a hot chocolate and more cheese sandwiches.”
Len has been self-sufficient, camping in his tent throughout the opening seven weeks of his quest. He is hoping to raise £15,000 for Cancer Research UK in the process of having his name written into the record books.
The journey up to now has been good for Len, but he knows the roads will be more demanding in the near future when he reaches the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
He added: “The most difficult part for me so far has to be the cobbled streets in southern Belgium. You feel like your teeth are going to fall out.
“I can do hills and would prefer riding up one of them instead. I’m feeling strong and thankfully I’ve had no niggles yet. East Germany was very pretty and I really enjoyed riding through that area.
“I’m in a very confident mood now I’ve set the record. The rickshaw was all new to me before the trip but I’ve got the hang of it now and I know my capabilities. I am certain I will make it to Istanbul.”
To donate go to https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/lens-giving-page