Briton cycles human-trafficking route to empower modern slavery survivors

A cyclist has completed a Guinness World Record attempt while raising money to empower survivors of modern slavery.

Gordon Miller, from London, was aiming to break the record for the greatest distance covered by an electric bicycle in seven days, cycling a documented human-trafficking route through Spain.

The world record attempt began on October 1 in Cadiz, south-western Spain, and ended on October 8 in Mallabia – a total of 1,673km (1,040 miles).

All money raised will go directly to Mr Miller’s community interest company, Freewheel by Ride For Freedom, which empowers survivors of modern slavery to cycle to support their physical and mental health, independence and mobility.

Mr Miller resting and fueling his body for the cycle.
Gordon Miller refuels during his cycling record bid (James Aubry/PA)

Mr Miller said he felt “(satisfied), proud and a little relieved” afterwards, adding “there were a couple of times along the way” when he thought he might not complete the challenge.

He told the PA news agency: “(On day one) three punctures in 20 minutes on an off-road trail – 2km away from my support so I had to walk down the trail.

“It set me back almost two hours (40km) that I had to make up on other days. At the time it happened I felt the challenge was over before it had even begun.

“(On day six) my back-up battery was not charged and the sky was overcast so recharging wasn’t possible. I also lost my rear light.

“Overall it was such an amazing and challenging experience.

“The highlight was the stunning scenery, especially the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, and an incredible approximately 30km downhill stretch on the final day that ended in Eibar.”

Mr Miller at the Cabo de Gata Natural Park.
Gordon Miller in Spain’s Cabo de Gata Natural Park (James Aubry/PA)

Mr Miller will have to wait up to 12 weeks for verification that he has cycled the greatest distance covered by an electric bicycle in seven days.

He thanked bike manufacturer Orbea, for which he is a brand ambassador, for its support.

“I was welcomed by them at their HQ in Mallabia and the UK team were messaging me all afternoon on the last day,” he said.

“My social channels have gone crazy since I announced the news. It’s given the campaign to raise awareness of modern slavery a real boost, which I hoped it would when I began planning the ride several months ago.”

Mr Miller is now set to enter the next phase of his 18-day tour, which will see him cycle around 160km (100 miles) a day in France for a week and then take a ferry to Portsmouth on October 16, before cycling to London on October 17.

Mr Miller cycling on a road as part of the route.
Gordon Miller on the road in Spain (James Aubry/PA)

On October 18, Anti-Slavery Day, Mr Miller said he and other cyclists will do a circuit around central London.

They will take in the Houses of Parliament before heading to a reception at Victoria Tower Gardens, the site of the Buxton Memorial, which celebrates the abolition of slavery.

Mr Miller’s fundraising page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/freewheelbyrideforfreedom