Cyclist sets record pedalling Muscat-Salalah in 47 hours

SALALAH, Feb 14 – Numbers of this cyclist are amazing. He is 31-years-old, started participating in cycling events 20 years ago when he was just 11 and on an average he travels some 20,000 km a year. Thus covering a total of 400,000 km in 20 years, Jonathan Shubert has now set a world record by covering 1,300 km Muscat-Salalah distance on a bicycle in just in 47.21 hours. A British cycling champion Shubert is a science teacher in British School Muscat. In an interview with the Observer after his arrival in Salalah, Shubert expressed happiness over successful completion of Muscat-Salalah journey in a record time.“When started at 6.10 am on February 11, my intention was to cover the distance in 48 hours, but I could manage it in 47.21 hours by reaching Salalah at 5.31 am on February 13,” he said.
He also mentioned about the challenges he faced during the journey, as the beginning was not good.
He had food poisoning just on the day and the temperatures on the way went as high as 37 degrees Celsius.
“People usually do not take chance but I had made up my mind and started as per schedule.
I am grateful to the accompanying expert team that was following me in three cars.
Initially I was stopping every half an hour and I got sun stroke in the blistering heat. The team members took care of my food intake and at one point they covered my body with ice cubes to keep me cool.
Watermelon with sugar kept me hydrated and once I maintained my tempo, I became confident of meeting the deadline,” said Shubert.
Two race officials and two film crew members were following Shubert to monitor the cycling rules and to record his journey.
“The quickest anyone has done in the past is in six days.
So my record, which is purely a cross country record, is established,” said Shubert while commenting on his own world record said.
Cycling is in Shubert’s blood.
He grew up in this environment as his grandfather was champion and a renowned cyclist of Britain.
Shubert has covered some 50 countries on a bicycle and many more are on his radar.“At the moment I want to sleep… no plans at the moment,” he said when asked ‘what’s next?’
“For me cycling in Gobi desert in China was the hardest.
I was cycling and cycling as it was getting colder and for three days I did not get anyone to talk to.
I was all alone then… here there were people around me to talk and take care so this journey was comparatively better,” he said.
He, however, does not recommend people to take a chance randomly to start this kind of journey.“But yes one should practice cycling.
In my case it taught me many transferable skills, huge amount of mental resilience and toughness.”
The exciting endeavour was supported by ub-cool.com, the fastest growing online adventure-booking platform offering 70 plus destinations via partnerships with more than 650 companies; Oman Bicycle Shop, which provides bicycle needs in Muscat; Prismic Media, professional film and documentary producers; and Husaak, the largest adventure tour operator in the Middle East.

Kaushalendra Singh