By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]
Aviation legend Gerry Breen, the first person attributed to flying a microlight, will be setting off on a unique around-the-world tour starting from Lagos on Monday.
Gerry, who founded the Algarve Airsports Centre in Lagos in 1985, plans to travel the world in a Pedalcar which will see him cycling, unsupported, firstly across the United States from Orlando to San Diego before then journeying through South America to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of the continent.
After South America, Gerry plans to fly to Canada then cycle onto Alaska before crossing the Pacific to Japan, China and the Far East to then head back via New Zealand and Australia to complete the final leg through Europe.
Although Gerry is known for his skills in the air after flying more than 200 different types of aircraft, the entire journey will be made in a Pedalcar, affectionately known as the Breen Machine.
The Breen Machine was designed and built by Gerry over the past two years after an uncomfortable and dangerous cycle ride from Lagos to Hadrian’s Wall in 2008 left Gerry looking for a better pedal solution to human powered transportation.
“The aim of the ride is to create more awareness of human power and the cost of every litre of fuel that is saved during the journey will be donated to Cadela Carlota e Companhia animal protection charity in Lagos,” said Gerry.
It is hoped that Gerry will be able to cover around 100 kilometres a day, carrying everything he needs for the journey with him while the trip is expected to take between three and five years to complete.
“Pedal cars were extremely popular in the 1930s but were banned from competitive events due to the fact that they were faster and more durable than the standard bicycle and therefore they suffered a major setback until now,” said Gerry.
While Gerry is travelling around the world he is also hoping to experiment with electrical power systems and is looking for partners in the venture who will be able to help in the production of systems.
His wife Karen will be joining Gerry in San Diego before returning to the Algarve for Christmas for Gerry to then continue his trip in the New Year.
For further information about the journey or to offer assistance in electrical power system production, please call Phill Gilbert, the general manger and chief flying instructor at the Algarve Airsports Centre, on 914 903 384.