A 23-year-old man from Berkhamsted has become the youngest person to circumnavigate the world on two wheels.
Jack Groves, 23, set out on his journey across the globe back in July 2019, after deciding that he wanted to do something radical with his young years before getting a conventional job.
So Jack, who is an army reserve, saved money during university with part-time jobs, bought himself a second-hand Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle and set off for the journey with the aim of returning in a year, which would have seen him smash the world record.
However, the pandemic struck while Jack was in Peru, meaning he got stuck there for nine-and-a-half months due to the country’s army-controlled lockdown.
Jack explained: “When I left, I knew boarders, crashes, diseases etc. could be issues – but I could never have prepared for COVID.”
A particularly low point for the young man was during those months, when he contracted Coronavirus.
He remembers opening his hotel window for air and have stones thrown through it because locals were hostile towards foreigners stuck there.
He added: “Once I got out, I was always going to finish my trip. I was determined to get that bike across the world after already getting halfway. It’s not in my nature to give up on a dream like that.”
The trip had as many highs as there were lows – one which stuck in Jack’s mind was seeing Machu Picchu, Peru, in 2020 while it was completely empty.
“I’ve embraced the fact that I had a unique ‘lockdown’ and I wouldn’t change anything. There were so many highlights, plenty of tough times and moments of self-doubt, but I had a special experience.”
While Jack couldn’t smash the world record as intended, he did beat it by one day, returning home last month after 693 days.