An Inverness woman who is aiming to break the world record for cycling around the world has revealed some of the “bear necessities” that she did not take with her.
Jenny Graham recently reached the Yukon Territory after crossing over from Alaska in her attempt to cycle 18,000 miles through 15 countries unsupported.
She started exactly 80 days ago and has cycled through Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia before entering Russia.
Raving it and braving it ✌️ in the #yukon!! Operation bear avoidance is well under way after a brief encounter a couple of days ago 🐻🐻 #bearville I'm well equipped with 3bells, a whistle, flash lights back and front, bear spray, homemade phone amp, & I'm looking out for a Hardwear store as I'm sure I could add to my collection 📣📣 a guy laughed as I jangled to a hault at the shop last night "girl you look like a Christmas tree 🌲" YES I do, but you knew I was coming didn't ya😉😉!! So bears are my top chat out here, it only takes eye contact and I'm off on one 🗣️#soaboutthesebears But I've made a new rule – if they're wearing a checked shirt don't ask them because without fail they will have have the jaws of a grizzly around their head at some point 😳😱😬 in-between over reacting I look around in amazement at the beauty of this place. Everything is stunning on a grand scale 😍🐻🏔️ @evans_cycles @mount_magdalena ♥️🐻🌍
She headed south at Lake Baikal to make her way through Mongolia and China as far as Beijing.
From there she flew to Perth in Western Australia to cycle across the whole country to Brisbane then another flight to New Zealand Cycling north.
Then she flew to Alaska where she cycled through to Canada and into the Yukon Territory clocking up 12,000 miles where yesterday afternoon she still had a further 7miles of bear territory.
Boooooom shackala🤙🤙hit the 90mile straight last night as the sun was going down 🌅 had the highway to myself with a big fat moon & kanga silhouettes for company. That's 90miles in one straight line with no wiggles!! I timed how far away I could see lights from (sometimes I forgot I was playing this so timings would be ropey) 28minutes was the longest one 🚘🚘 watching a van coming towards you for 28minutes – the hours just flew by 😉🚴🌎 #ozzieozzieozzie #oioioi #nullabourrider #jennygrahamis #eastboundRTW #neighbends @shandcycles @adventuresynd @apidura @enduraofficial
But when she arrived there she was advised by a local that she was in bear country and that she should carry a gun – something she did not have – to ward of the hungry animals.
A shopkeeper told the 38-year-old endurance cyclist that a firearm would be advisable in case any hungry bears.
She said: “I went into the last shop I’d see for 100 miles and the woman was giving me all the chat: “Well, you have got a gun haven’t you?” I say: “No, I’ve not got a gun.” And she says: “What? Are you crazy, going out there without a gun? You do know it is bear season?”
As bears are few and far between in Inverness, Ms Graham was not aware that they have a season but discovered that “they come down to the river, which is in spate at the moment, and are not away up eating berries. They are so hungry just now, she said.”
The cyclist refused to carry a gun but she did take equipment that are popular among campers like bear spray and armed her bike with three bells, a whistle and flash lights on the front and back of her bike.
Ms Graham is aiming to arrive back in Berlin, from where she set out, in 110 days or less which would shatter the previous record of 144 days set by Paola Gianotti who was supported in her attempt.
She said: “I plan to take a month off that time, and complete the record-breaking round-the-world cycle completely unsupported.”