Whoever said “youth is wasted on the young” never met Englishman Jack Groves. After finishing his university studies in 2019, Groves quickly became disillusioned with a 9-to-5 lifestyle. Inspired by fellow Brit Kane Avellano’s journey around the world, the then-21-year-old purchased a second-hand Royal Enfield Himalayan and embarked on a trip that would change his life and the record books.

Groves set out on July 11, 2019, with plans of traveling through Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, Central Asia, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and South America. As the adventure rider notes in the Royal Enfield’s "The First Step - An Ode to Adventure" video, “there’s a real beauty in that proximity between comfort and danger, and riding that line is intoxicating.”

While Groves’ trip around the world allowed him to visit the Caspian Sea, Machu Picchu, and the Pamir Highway, the trip was anything but smooth sailing. After crashing near Dover, England, Groves suffered road rash, but luckily, avoided any broken bones. When the Brit reach Australia, he was greeted by the country’s devastating wildfires. Fighting through the heat, Groves eventually made it to Sydney, where he shipped his bike to Argentina.

By the time the rider landed in South America, COVID-19 cases started springing up in the region. Fortunately, Groves escaped from Bolivia in the nick of time, but was forced to stay in Peru for 255 days after contracting the virus.

“I contracted COVID-19 in early April, which at 3,400 meters (11154.86 ft) altitude, was pretty punchy,” Groves told Dure Magazine. “(I) spent a month exploring the remote jungle of Manu National Park and the High Sierra of the Asungate Massif, and the rest of my time was split between Cusco City and the nearby Sacred Valley of the Incas.”

Despite all the setbacks, Groves persevered, riding up to Mexico once restrictions eased. He then shipped the Himalayan to Spain before his father joined him to complete the ride back to England. Groves feat may still require confirmation from the Guinness World Records, but the 23-year-olds achievement is impressive regardless. Hopefully, his story will get other riders on two wheels, whether they’re conquering the local trail or circumnavigating the globe.

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