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The Difficulties Associated With Having the Longest Ever E-bike Journey Officially Recognised

The Difficulties Associated With Having the Longest Ever E-bike Journey Officially Recognised
Who would have thought gaining official recognition for completing the longest ever e-bike journey would be so difficult?

As was detailed in a previous blog,  while we would love to have our achievement recognised by Guinness World Records, given the length of time the e-Bike Cycle Tourists are e-biking – up to 18 months – and the huge distances covered – an expected 25,000-plus kilometres – it is quite simply impossible to comply with the extremely rigid Guinness guidelines.

“So what will we do, is it worth taking the matter further?” we asked ourselves.

Clearly the many people who emailed us about the issue and others we have spoken to directly believed we were selling ourselves short if we did not get some sort of official recognition, so after some more research we decided to apply to the US-based World Records Academy (WRA).

After all, on the surface it seemed like a great idea, and if Guinness doesn’t want to know us why shouldn’t we take our achievement elsewhere.

A thorough reading of the WRAs rules and regulations later and after filling out of a lengthy application form, our official application was finally sent with the click of a button.

According to the WRA website it would only be a matter of days before we heard back with a reply to tell us if our application was successful or not.

How could they refuse us, we thought?

About a week later the email we had been waiting for arrived in our email inbox from WRA, it read:

Hello,
Yes, you can have this record attempt recognized by us and the new record verified & certified by WRA; our registration & certification fee for this category (sports/new category/publicity stunts) is $18,000.00 but you can pay only $14,995.00 if you send the payment by March 15, 2016.

Let me know if you want to have this record recognized by us and I will send you the payment details.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Regards,
Tom Howard
World Record Academy


On the first reading of the email we thought the fee of US$18,000 generously discounted to US$14,995 was a misprint. But on further investigation we discovered that no, this was not the case, the fee to have our new e-bike world long distance record officially recognised by WRA was indeed a generously discounted US$14,995.

To say we were speechless was the understatement of the century.

Surely no-one would be so audacious as to ask for such a huge amount of money to validate a record.
And surely no-one in their right mind would be so crazy as to pay such an outrageous amount for what amounts to no more than a piece of paper (which we later found out would cost yet another fee) to validate a record.

But, sadly, that is what WRA expects us to do if we are to have our record officially inserted into the WRA record books.

Return emails to the WRA office asking them to justify the fee have remained unanswered, so one can only surmise that they take a ‘work the percentages’ attitude to their fee structure – if one in 20 or so applicants pay then they are in front!

As far as the e-Bike Cycle Tourists are concerned, we will continue to lay claim to the “unofficial” world record for the longest e-bike journey ever undertaken.

If I had the time and inclination to dig even deeper the long-time journalist in me suspects there is an even bigger story to be told about Mr Tom Howard and his World Records Academy organisation.

Suffice to say the money asked is a rip-off, is outrageous and will not be paid!

Who would have thought it would be so difficult to have the longest ever e-bike journey – that is currently up to 18,450kms and counting – officially recognised?


Gary Corbett is an award-winning Australian journalist who has written for a wide range of newspapers, periodicals and travel magazines for the past 30-plus years.

After years of writing about other people’s travel adventures, in the mid-2000s he  booked a personal holiday with a difference – a one week guided cycling tour in the Loire Valley in France – and was instantly hooked on those “how good is this” moments that only cycle touring can provide.

In ensuing years he has gone on to cycle well in excess of 30,000 kilometres completing guided, self-guided, bike and barge and solo long distance tours in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.

Gary now writes exclusively about cycle touring and travelling in general and as such the attempt to set a new electric bike world long distance record along with his wife, Rachel, is his latest “fact finding” cycling adventure – however this time it will be on an e-bike.

His future goal is to see more of the world from the seat of his trusty Trek 520 touring bicycle, and now that he has discovered the world of e-biking, his new Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bike. There is, after all, always another country to be explored, new cultures to be experienced and more cycle tours to be completed.


Before this epic journey Gary (a.k.a. The Cycle Tourist) contributed many excellent cycle touring articles to the Cycle Tours Global blog - you can read them at cycletoursglobal.com/Gary-Corbett.To find out even more about the expedition please visit http://ebikecycletourists.com.
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By: Gary Corbett
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