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Go Go Dermo!

Travel 8

Dermot Higgins is aiming to become the fastest person over 50 to cycle around the globe and he

hopes to set a new Guinness World Record in the process.

Dermot?s Route

Start: Madrid

Route: Cycle across Europe, into

Asia via Russia, Kazakhstan and

China.

Progress along Australia?s

southern coast arriving in

Melbourne in time for Christmas.

Cycle the length of New Zealand.

Cross the United States.

Fly across the Atlantic to Portugal.

Finish: Madrid

it?s going to take him nine months.

He will spend an average of eight

hours a day in the saddle. He will

start his odyssey in Madrid, Spain, in

June 2017 and will hopefully end

there in one piece over 30,000km

later on Easter Sunday 2018. Most

of his sleeping will be under canvas,

he will have no back-up support and

he will need to cycle 160km six days

a week to meet his goal on time. Is

the man

completely mad?

?Well yes, I

suppose you do

have to have a

degree of

madness to take

on something like this,? he says. ?I

know there will be a lot of energy

and effort and probably pain

involved, but circumnavigating the

globe is something I?ve wanted to do

ever since I read Around the World

in 80 Days by the French author

Jules Vernes when I was a child.?

Dermot (55) leaves Ireland the day

after he retires as a teacher after 35

years. He is doing his trip on a

shoestring budget of ?20 a day with

a little bit of help from a small

number of sponsors including The

Freebird Club which will provide

him with a comfortable bed with a

Freebird host on his rest day each

week.

As a teacher and an active

environmentalist, Dermot is

passionate about educating people

about protecting the planet. He

plans to make stops along the way

to visit schools and environmental

projects to spread the message of

the UN?s Global Goals for

Sustainable Development, a series

of ambitious targets aimed at

ending extreme poverty, inequality

and tackling climate change.

Throughout his trip Dermot will be

working in partnership with the

Irish aid organisation, Trocaire, a

global charity which shares his

interests and ideals. He is hoping his

epic journey will raise ?20,000 for

the organisation through donations.

Dermot is no stranger to taking on

tough challenges as he has always

been involved in adventure sports.

He runs, cycles, hikes and kayaks

and says he has effectively been in

training for his world trip for most

of his life.

Asked what aspects of the trip

might test his

?Travelling around the globe , under my own

power will be my life?s ambition realised.?said

Dermot. ?Having the opportunity to promote the

Global Goals is the icing on the cake!?

resilience most

he says, ?being

wet, miserable

and

uncomfortable,

having an

accident, camping in the wild and

coping adverse weather conditions

such as headwinds.? But this

ironman is not dwelling on what

could go wrong. His focus is 100%

positive and he can?t wait to get

started. The Freebird Club proudly

salutes its adventurous ambassador

and adds its voice to his campaign?s

slogan: GoGoDermo!

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