Jenny Graham’s Around the World Record Breaking Kit
A closer look at Jenny Graham’s around the world record-breaking kit.
On Thursday the 18th of October 2018, Jenny Graham made history by becoming the fastest woman to circumnavigate the world by bike. She started in Berlin on the 16th of June 2018 and returned 124 days and 29,656km later, beating the previous record by 20 days.
Following her incredible achievement, one of the questions Jenny has most frequently been asked is “what kit did you carry to ride around the world?”. Here, Jenny exclusively gives us a closer look at what was in her packs.
Given the distance and time involved, Jenny’s kit is not as minimalist as you might find at an ultra-distance race, prioritising reliability, repairs on-the-go and keeping warm in a wide range of temperatures. Her lightweight set up included Apidura’s Expedition Saddle Pack (17L), Expedition Frame Pack (4.5L) and Backcountry Top Tube Pack (1L) on her Shand Stooshie. Her full kit list is detailed below, along with a spotlight on a few of the key pieces she chose that made the challenge easier.
Terranova Moonlite bivvy
Cumulus X-Lite 200 sleeping bag – no zip, no hood
Endura thermal top for sleeping
Klymit Inertia X-lite short mat
Selection of Exped drybags
Endura drop seat bibs x 2
Endura BaaBaa socks
Endura BaaBaa merino base layer
Endura cycling jersey
Mid layer merino top
Endura Pro Jetstream windproof jersey
Endura Pro Adrenaline Race gilet
Lightweight down jacket
Endura MT500 waterproof jacket
Endura Freezing Point overshoes
Endura Pro SL Primaloft gilet
Endura Pro Slick toe covers
Endura leg warmers
Endura MT500 waterproof trousers
Tire boots x 4
Puncture patches and glue (many)
Tire levers x 2
Inner tubes x 2
Valve extenders x 2
Disc brake pads x 4
Cassette Lockring Tool
Sugru x 2
Allen keys (4 & 5 mm)
Spare mech hanger
Gorilla tape (1.5m)
Cable ties (many)
Battery packs x 3 (1x 1000 mAh 2x 6000 mAh)
USB cables (many)
Plug sockets x 3
Endura arm warmers
Endura Pro Thermo gloves
Inner tubes x 2
Snacks (bananas, apples, candy, flapjack)
Skratch Labs Sport Hydration Drink Mix
Spares and Repairs
Jenny needed to carry enough tools and spares to keep her bike working for the duration of her 29,656km journey. Whereas a handful of puncture patches will see the average rider safely through even the longest events, Jenny had to carry a much larger supply, alongside tire boots, spare spokes and ‘endless’ zip ties. By carrying more spares, Jenny was able to avoid having to divert to bike shops or lose too much time dealing with mechanical issues. A set of multi-tool pliers, a bike multi-tool and two Allen keys might be overkill for most bike rides, but meant Jenny could overcome pretty much any mechanical challenge she encountered en route.
Layers, Layers, Layers
Cycling around the world, Jenny encountered weather conditions at both ends of the scale and needed to be able to keep warm and dry enough to keep riding no matter what. By packing a range of lighter layers, Jenny could keep adding more clothes to get warmer, without having to carry winter riding kit or excess weight. By carrying separate sleeping clothes, Jenny could ensure she stayed warm at night whilst also having the opportunity to clean and dry out her riding kit.
Pharmacy on Wheels
Most long-distance cyclists, particularly those straying off-road or to remote places, carry a small emergency medical kit – but Jenny’s puts them to shame. Jenny rode with a big enough supply of bandages, painkillers and antibiotics to deal with any aches, pains and saddle sores without losing time finding doctors or pharmacies. While we don’t recommend riding through pain or injury, record-breaking rides require a great deal of grit and determination and keeping comfortable means covering more ground.
Cutting the cord
Although Jenny’s kit list includes a number of battery packs and plugs, she was able to reduce time spent charging and reliance on stops by using a SON hub dynamo paired with a Sinewave Beacon front light and USB charger. Using the dynamo system during the day, she was able to keep her Garmin Edge 1,000 running, top up her cache battery and ensure that her extensive electronics collection (Exposure Red Eye, Exposure Blaze MK3, Exposure Link Plus, Mobile phone and Cateye computers) stayed charge. Given this was a Guinness World Record attempt, Jenny couldn’t risk losing any evidence of her ride and also carried an AA-powered Garmin Dakota to ensure no records of the ride were lost.
Less Than Expected
Jenny’s kit grid might be one of the biggest we’ve ever seen, but remember that this was all she had for 124 days of cycling. By thinking carefully about what items could serve multiple purposes and carrying only essential items, Jenny was able to carry much less kit than you might expect for four months on the road. Her kit list is a masterclass in minimalist packing, whilst still ensuring she had enough tools and spares to overcome most emergencies so she could keep pedalling no matter what.