From humble commuter to world traveler in just 34,000 miles.
It’s officially official: British riders Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes, aka the Sidecar Guys, set a new Guinness World Record on a scooter and a sidecar. The precise wording of said record is “Longest journey by scooter and sidecar,” with a length of 54,962 kilometers, or approximately 34,151.8 miles.
The two set their record on a 15-month journey that lasted from July 21, 2017, through to January 20, 2019. It’s now been published in the print edition of the Guinness Book of World Records 2021. For those unfamiliar, the Sidecar Guys have also been bringing adventurers together around the globe during COVID times via their Armchair Adventure Festival.
The entire journey took place on a scrappy little Honda SH300i scooter outfitted with a bespoke sidecar made in Gilkes’ hometown of Banbury. The pair visited a total of 35 countries, recording their adventures along the way and raising money for a number of anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking charities around the globe.
Were these some grizzled, seasoned riders who suddenly decided to undertake such a monumentally huge task? Not hardly. They hadn’t ridden a bike, scooter, or sidecar prior to the start of trip-planning for this journey. Thoroughly undaunted, they got their learner’s permits, learned how to ride, and set their plans into motion.
It’s also worth noting that neither of these guys was what you’d call a seasoned mechanic. In fact, when asked about it, Bishop told the Banbury Guardian, “We knew we would struggle and that was the point. The idea was to see how far we could get with only very little money and the help of complete strangers.”
Overall, the pair said, around 99 percent of the people they met around the world were completely fantastic. Of the entire journey, Gilke said, “We were carried around the world on a conveyor belt of human kindness.”
Given the current state of the world, we expect more Armchair Adventure Festivals are probably in order for 2021. Where will the two ride next? Will it be on this (or another) scooter, or an even more ridiculous setup? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Photo: The Sidecar Guys on Facebook