Last summer Juliana Buhring attempted to set the first women’s world record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle.
What’s remarkable is that the 32-year-old English teacher hadn’t ever cycled before.
Juliana is among a host of top adventure sports names to speak at the second Buxton Adventure Festival over the weekend of November 2 and 3 in Buxton.
Q: How long did it take you?
A: I spent 144 days in the saddle doing on average 125 miles a day to cover the 18,000 miles, crossing 19 countries and four continents.
Q: Why did you do it?
A: I needed to give myself a purpose. I was in a slump and a friend suggested we cycle across Canada but when I started reading up I realised there had never been a woman’s round-the-world record set. So I said to myself, ‘If I do it, awesome, and if not, it’ll be an adventure and I’ll find out why no woman’s done it’.
Q: And you only started cycling when you decided to go round the world on a bike?
A: Eight months before I set off I started to get on a bike and pedal with gym shoes on an ordinary bike. I built up gradually to doing 120km a day. A professional trainer gave me a programme to build muscle because I had no athletic form at all. Two weeks before I left I decided to go light and get a road bike but it’s entirely different and I had no idea what I was doing so I fell off quite a few times!
Q: You had no sponsorship. How did you manage?
Friends followed me along the way, cycling parts of the route with me – but after the first few thousand kilometres I didn’t have enough money left and I wanted to be fully immersed in the experience so from mid-America I went it alone. The entire trip was sponsored by people following me online, sending little donations to keep me going.
• Juliana will present her talk followed by a film at the Buxton Adventure Festival on Saturday November 2 at the Pavilion Arts Centre.
Tickets are £10 (£5 for students and under-16s) or you can buy three sessions for £25 (£12.50). Family tickets (admitting two adults and two children) are £20.
They are available on 0845 127 2190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk and www.buxtonadventurefestival.co.uk.