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TL;DR It’s time for an absurd challenge. On June 7th around 11:00, I'm going to (try to) break the world record for cycling without hands! 🚴🏻‍♂️ For more than 100km, I am raising money for the The Against Malaria Foundation (100% donated, costs covered by my company and myself) with the help of The Life You Can Save. Pledge your donation per kilometer or fixed amount here (tax deductibility possible in most countries, email me on vin@boas.co).

The full story

I'm Vin from Amsterdam, and I'm doing a world record attempt for cycling without hands for charity on the 7th of June. I am donating 100% to The Against Malaria Foundation, with the goal of saving at least one life (5.000 USD). You can participate and push me to go further by joining here.

It's going too far to say that my bike saved my life, but at least it made me want to live. I had a pretty bad anxiety disorder about 7 years ago and also became depressed as a result. My father then gave me his old road bike, and that was a golden combination for me. Exercising burned the adrenaline from my anxiety disorder, made me healthier, made me sleep better, and because I slept better and was healthier I started cycling harder and farther, and I regained goals in my life. Often I cycled with my father and best friend, which allowed me to vent my thoughts, and the bike took me to beautiful places all over the world. Soon I was no longer depressed and my anxiety disorder also almost completely disappeared after a few years.

I'm good at cycling without hands because as a kid I used to bike to soccer without hands, where it was always a challenge to get through the turns without touching my handlebars. Eventually I found out I was better at cycling than playing soccer, and cycling became my hobby. So that started with cycling to get mentally healthy, and has gotten way out of hand over the past 7 years. In my first year of cycling my longest ride was 60KM, the year after that I rode 100, the year after that 200, the year after that 300, and last year I rode the 535 kilometers from Amsterdam to Paris with 3 other idiots in one day (on my birthday no less). 

I have less time now because of the startup BOAS I run (which donates 90% of profit to save lives, by donating to the most effective global health charities like AMF), and 600 kilometers is really too far for me, but I always like to have a cycling goal. And then I saw a list of cycling records that included one that I think I could break: the world record for cycling without hands. And not entirely impractical, I can train at my desk at home without hands, or do my calls on my bike and combine work and training that way.

As a child, I spent hours in the library browsing through the Guinness Book of World Records, so it is a dream for me to be in it someday, so I had a new goal! Since my anxiety disorder and depression, I have found that a simple life is a good life, and that I'm happier when I help others. A simple life does not have to be expensive, and so why should I keep more money than I need to be healthy and happy? Especially if that money also allows me to help others, something that makes me even happier. So the company I started donates 90% of its profits to save lives, and if I can also raise money to save lives with my record attempt, why wouldn't I? 

It's important to me that if I have money to donate, that I try to do as much good with it as possible. I found out that 600,000 young people die every year from Malaria, even though it is preventable and curable. It bothers me that we haven't solved that in a world where a fraction of the wealth we have can save almost all those lives. Children didn't choose a world where we don't share wealth well, so you won't see me driving a Ferrari if that money can also save a hundred children from malaria. That's why I donate to The Against Malaria Foundation, which can save young lives for shockingly small amounts of money.

I'm asking everyone to join me in breaking the record, to save at least one life. You can join from als little as 10 dollars and I will donate 100% to The Against Malaria Foundation. Will you join me? You can do so here! Sharing and voting and commenting on this post really helps push the message to more potential donors. 

I'm going to try to break the record on June 7 in Amsterdam. I will start a little after 6 am and hope to break the record of 130 kilometers between 11 and 12 am. After that I will continue until the pain in my butt overcomes the will to raise more money for AMF.

How I train

So my attempt is in Amsterdam. I go cycling there 2-3x a week without hands, and that's mainly to get used to the posture and train the balance. With my current endurance I should be able to break the record. I get pain in my ass and back much faster than normal cycling, so that is still something to get used to and exciting to see how it plays out over the hours. I can also lose my balance due to wind or a moment of inattention, or get a flat tire, so whether it will all work out remains exciting. Friday, June 7, in the afternoon, we will know if it worked out!

Thank you all for joining, and let's save one life, without hands!

Vin 



 

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Excited to see the tradition of absurd Guinness World Records for AMF continuing!

Amazing! I'll reach out to huff to see if they can cover it for more donations!

Vin, you incorporate helping save lives and better the world into so much of what you do. It is truly a privilege to work with someone so determined to do good.

I'd also like to thank you for your courage in sharing your struggles with anxiety and depression. You've been there for me when I've struggled with depression and frustration. When I've had very bad days, talking to you in DMs on Slack was immensely helpful.

You exemplify heroism perhaps more than anyone else I know. Looking forward to seeing you kick ass next month on your bike!

This really means a lot to me Brad, and I'm glad that I can be of help to you sometimes (and appreciate all the help you give me!). 

I'm fascinated by the logistics here. I'm imagining you'll need a very flat route? And also that you won't be able to stop at all (including at lights)?? Will you be doing a big loop, or point to point?

Anyway, rooting for you!

Hi finm,

Good question! It's a closed loop where they normally hold bike races. It's 2.5KM per loop and I will be doing as many loops as I can. It's got one bridge that slows down my speed and that's the most tricky part due to balance. When I'm cruising at 25kmh the bike is very stable, but I go down to about 15 when I ascend the small bridge so that's where I need to stay focused! 

It's in The Netherlands so it's otherwise completely flat, and because it's closed there's no other traffic or traffic lights. It's just me, my butt and I. 

Don't forget to wear a helmet! ;)

I will indeed be wearing a helmet! :)

So wholesome!! I'm rooting for you!!

you're already a record-breaker in my heart

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