Two Banbury adventurers break Guinness World Record with ‘Longest ever journey by scooter and sidecar'

Two adventurers from Banbury have scooted into the Official Guinness World Record books with ‘Longest ever journey by scooter and sidecar.'

Thursday, 7th January 2021, 9:29 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 3:50 pm
Matt Bishop, from Sibford Ferris, and Reece Gilkes, from Banbury, broke the Guinness World Record for the longest journey on scooter with a sidecar with a monumental 34,000-mile-long trip around the world. (photo taken at the Equator in Kenya)

Matt Bishop, from Sibford Ferris, and Reece Gilkes, from Banbury, broke the Guinness World Record for the longest journey on scooter with a sidecar with a monumental 34,000-mile-long trip around the world.

The pair are the only people to ever circumnavigate the globe on a scooter with a sidecar and their incredible ride took them 15 months to complete.

Listed under the ‘Epic Journeys’ section in the new 2021 Guinness World Records book, the trip saw the pair travel through 35 countries all raising money for various modern slavery and anti-human trafficking charities. The challenge took the Banbury boys to all corners of the globe and they faced a temperature range of 40°C in the scorching Sahara Desert and a chilly -40°C in the frozen wilds of a Siberian winter.

Their vehicle was a Honda SH300i scooter with a homemade sidecar. The normal city commuter scooter had a Banbury built sidecar attached to it.

Charlie Prescott, a volunteer chief engineer for the project and local Banbury resident, said, “Honestly, I said I’d help them, but I did worry if they would make it back. They were completely clueless at the start, but they stuck it out and did Banbury proud.”

The pair had absolutely no experience of riding a motorbike prior to planning the trip and they had never sat in a sidecar. They were completely new to mechanics too, and only learnt what a wheel bearing was when theirs fell out in the Sahara Desert on New Year's Eve, 2018.

Matt, one half of the duo, said: “We knew we would struggle and that was the point. The idea was to see how far we could get with only very little money and the help of complete strangers.”

Matt Bishop, from Sibford Ferris, and Reece Gilkes, from Banbury, broke the Guinness World Record for the longest journey on scooter with a sidecar with a 34,000-mile-long trip around the world. (Photo taken in Cape Town)

The lads say that their foolhardy trip proves that the world is a good place full of great people.

Reece added: “99 per cent of the people we met on the road were fantastic, and we were carried around the world on a conveyor belt of human kindness."

From being put up in people’s homes, to being rescued from life or death situations, Matt and Reece say that the people they met along the way are the only reason they ended up in the Guinness World Record books.

The trip raised £7,215, split amongst 10 different modern slavery charities.

When they travelled through Ethiopia

They’ve gone on to write a book about the journey called ‘Our Ridiculous World (Trip),’ which tells their incredible story of circumnavigating the globe on this ridiculous vehicle.

With stories of run-ins with hippos in Africa, bears in the Americas and extreme cold in Russia, the book will give a nice bit of escapism for anyone looking to go on an armchair adventure during the latest lockdown.

A signed copy of the paperback version of the book can be purchased on the expedition's website for £12.99 with £1 from every sale going towards Unseen UK and the Modern Slavery Helpline. To buy the book use the following web link: www.AsSeenFromTheSidecar.org

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic Matt and Reece have been running virtual adventure festivals to quench their wanderlust.

Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes on the scooter with a sidecar taken in London before the round-the-world trip.

If you’d like to go on and adventure from your armchair with them then visit www.ArmchairAdventureFestival.com for more details. The events raised over £10,000 for charity in 2020.

Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes on the scooter with a sidecar taken in London before the round-the-world trip.
Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes hold up their book: called ‘Our Ridiculous World (Trip),’ which tells their incredible story of circumnavigating the globe.