Scottish couple in epic tandem challenge around the world

Bob and Deborah Gulliver embarked on their world tour from the Rachel House Hospice in Kinross in March 2022 after being inspired by long distance cyclist Mark Beaumont’s book The Man that Cycles Around the World.

The determined duo, who weren’t cyclists before their trip and hail from Biggar, have now traveled 27 countries and 22,000km and recently completed the New Zealand leg of their world tour.

Most recently they have explored Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland as well as the New Zealand Parliament.

According to Guinness World Records, an official cycle circumnavigation of the world requires starting and ending in the same place, cycling 28,000 km, and cycling through an “antipodal pair” pointing to directly opposite sides of the planet.


With this in mind, Bob and Deborah chose Alaejos, a small village in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León, Spain, and the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington as counterparts.

While not attempting to break actual circumnavigation records, the pair are well on their way to meeting Guinness standards. The goal is to cover 30,000 kilometers by the end of the year and end the journey at the same place they started: at Rachel House Hospice.

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The next country on the couple’s hit list is the USA, where they plan to cycle from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale before flying to Morocco and cycling back to Scotland via Spain, France, England, Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Bob, who co-owns Britsail sailing company in Inverkip with Deborah, said: “We are hoping that weather permitting, some of our sailing friends can pick us up on our yacht in Ballycastle and drop us off in Campbeltown for the final Scottish leg of our journey.”

Speaking of their incredible journey so far, he said: “We’ve explored many amazing cities, from Prague to Athens, from Istanbul to Tbilisi and from Ho Chi Minh City to Kuala Lumpur, but it’s the non-touristy things that stick with us the most, like staying with monks at a temple in Thailand, repelling camels from eating our tent in Kazakhstan and chilling with a koala on a patch of grassy roadside in Australia.”

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“If there’s something we’ll take away from this tour, it’s the kindness and generosity we’ve experienced from people around the globe, often from those who give least the most.

“We have received gifts of food, water and shelter from total strangers in every country we have visited, with tens of thousands of smiles and shouts of welcome, memories that will stay with us forever.”

“Our Hase Pino Tour tandem has suffered many breakdowns as it is now held together with multiple frame welds, zip ties and several pieces of tape.

“We will complete our circumnavigation even if we are forced to carry the bike across the finish line ourselves.”

CHAS community fundraiser Alison Rennie said, “We are grateful to Bob and Deborah for raising awareness and funds for CHAS through this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world.”

“Your contribution will help us continue to support children with life-limiting illnesses and their families across Scotland.”

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