A market security analyst from London hopes to have entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest crossing of the Sahara Desert by bike.
Riding a Ridgeback Panorama, Reza Pakravan cycled a gruelling 1,200 mile journey experiencing extreme heat, sandstorms, accusations of terrorism from border officials and living on survival rations. On Thursday March 17th he completed the crossing after 14 days, starting in Algeira and finishing in Sudan.
Pakravan is now waiting for the challenge to be confirmed by Guinness officials.
He said: “It is an amazing feeling to have cycled across the biggest desert in the world.
“Unfortunately these days Sahara desert has become one of the most dangerous places in the world. On the west of Sahara, border areas between Mali, Niger and Algeria is becoming one of the most hostile areas in the world. Then there has been the current situation in Libya.
“I had my fair share of problems before I’d even started cycling. First I had problems in Algiers Airport because they thought my CO2 cartridge could be used to detonate a bomb! I spent two hours explaining and finally managed to save them from being taken away from me. Then just before the start I had problem with my GPS and the bike computer and then two flat tyres in one day.”
“In north of the Sahara it was very cold, even during the day. As I progress towards the south got warmer and warmer. In Sudan it was really hot and I had to cycle in desert tracks and sand which was really tough.
"It was an amazing experience. My Ridgeback Panorama was fantastic for this trip. It was reliable and comfortable and survived a pretty arduous trip, which is testament to the bike.”