Amputee breaks world record

2015-03-21 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG biker Bushy McKelvy (52) holds up his Guinness Book of Records certificate at the motorcycle club in Oribi on Thursday. Double-amputee McKelvy raced into the Guinness World Records in October last year by covering an incredible 3 257,5 km on a motorcycle in 24 hours and is now the holder of the world record for the greatest distance on a motorcycle in 24 hours by an individual. He set the record at the Phakisa Oval in Welkom on Wednesday, unseating an American who set the previous record in 2011, completing 3 249,9 km.

McKelvey is a bike enthusiast and all-round adventurer who also has rides around sub-Saharan Africa under his belt and holds another distance world record, having ridden a scooter over 1 400 km in 24 hours.

The latest achievement has turned him into a regional and national hero, with politicians and TV shows seeking him out.

The successful attempt began at midnight on Tuesday and finished the following night. Averaging a blistering 200 km/h over the 2,5 km track, McKelvey blitzed the record by 7,5 km.

Making just seconds-long racing-style pit stops, he used 17 tyres and burnt through R5 700 worth of fuel in those 24 hours.

McKelvey, who lost his legs in separate bike accidents, said the hardest part of setting the record was maintaining his concentration. “You have to have some level of fitness, but the biggest part is concentration … Concentration is key,” he said.

It was a highly emotional moment when he realised he had achieved his objective, he added.

The only after-effects the motorcycle riding instructor suffered were minor blisters on his hands and a sore bottom.

Mckelvey, who said he is passionate about helping the disabled, founded the Out on a Limb organisation, which is dedicated to helping people with physical challenges. He said the new world record was dedicated to helping people with multiple sclerosis.

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