FORMER Beaudesert Times journalist Gary Corbett and his wife Rachel Kuiper are inching closer to a world record for the longest ride on an electrical bicycle.
Mr Corbett and Ms Kuiper, a former Rathdowney State School teacher, who call themselves The e-Bike Cycle Tourists, have cycled 13,000km since setting out from London in April.
The current e-bike long distance record, held by German Maximilian Semsch who cycled Australia in 2012, is 16,047km.
Mr Corbett, 60, and Rachel, 56, plan to cycle more than 20,000km across Europe and the UK by August 2016, when they expect to finish in London.
Their ultimate goal is to prove their theory that electric bicycles are the future of personal transportation.
“No matter what way you approach the subject, electric power is the way of the future for all forms of personal transportation,” Mr Corbett said.
“So far we have cycled nearly 13,000km for a cost of less than $100 in electricity charges – to travel the same distance by car would have cost much, much more and would have contributed untold pollution to the world environment.
“In Europe electric bikes are outselling conventional bikes – people really do see that they are the way of the future.”
Mr Corbett said he and Ms Kuiper had learned about their own capabilities.
“(We’ve learned) that if you put your mind, all of your energies and have an open mind it is possible to achieve anything,” he said.
“Prior to making the decision to have a crack at the e-bike long distance world record the most Rachel had ever ridden was about 200km in a week and she thought that was amazing.
“She now rides 500kms week in, week out and doesn’t think anything about it. Never ever in her wildest dreams did she think would be ever be able to cycle so far.
“We now also know that we have a very strong relationship after living 24/7 together and sharing so many amazing and at times not so amazing experiences.”
He said the hospitality of strangers had restored their faith in humanity.
“The fact of the matter is that the world is full of beautiful people with hearts of gold,” he said.
“Since we set out on the trip we have received offers of assistance, accommodation and help in so many ways from not only the people we have met along the way, but many, many others from every corner of the world.”
The couple is in talks with an e-bike manufacturer about possibly continuing their ride in the US.