Australian Andrew Hellinga recently set a new Guinness Record after riding his bicycle for 337km backwards in a 24 hour challenge to raise money for the poverty-stricken children of Zambia.
Hellinga started the marathon on October 7th at 6 a.m. and made just one brief stop to mark the 182 km milestone that made him the new Guinness world record holder for the longest distance traveled while cycling backwards. “I had to stop for a quick rest and to share the excitement with my support crew,” he said. After a quick celebration, he continued this difficult challenge hoping to make it to 300km within the 24-hour limit. Not only did he pull through and reached the 300km milestone, but he cycled for another few dozen kilometers, covering a staggering distance of 337km. After withstanding the ever-changing weather, he ended the lengthy ride with a smile on his face.
Curious how he managed this amazing feat of endurance and coordination? Andrew started riding backwards when he was a young boy. “I first started riding backwards when I was a teenager to impress the girls” he confesses, adding that “I could do about 100 m and after some intense training I have been able to go much further and longer.”
Member of Challenge for Change, a group of Gold Coasters, Hellinga’s plan is to raise $10,000 and donate it to the unfortunate children of Zambia. He says he got the idea of cycling backwards for charity from Reid Anderton. “I was inspired by my mate Reid Anderton, who broke the world record for cycling a bicycle in 37 days around our country, a massive effort and a massive heart for children who live in poverty. I too am an advocate for children living in poverty in the country of Zambia and that is the sole reason why I have chosen to ride backwards today,” he explained after breaking the record. “I figured if he could do it I could – but backwards for a twist,” he added. If you want to donate money to the cause, you can do so on their donation portal.