You did this because someone else in the world was the current Guinness Book World Record Holder and if you could just beat them, even by a millisecond, your name would be forever upheld among the ranks of global record holders.
Now think back to your 10-year-old self. What if you really had a shot at Guinness stardom? What if your parents were crazy enough to take a three year sabbatical, and cycle with you from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina? Would you hop on your bike and ride off into the sunset? You bet you would!
During their 2 and a ½ year journey, my family transitioned from a middle class American family, to a fulltime rv living family. We drove thousands of miles, while the Vogel’s biked. We toured 14 states, while the Vogel’s biked. Many of those driving miles were spent discussing the Vogel’s odyssey and comparing it to our adventure… While we thought we were really roughing it in our 35ft fifth wheel, when we checked our facebook, we saw how the Vogel’s were roughing it… Getting dental work done in South America, chasing down would be bike thieves’ only weeks from their finish date.
All of Facebook was abuzz as they closed in on the “end of the world” and I remember posting to Nancy how melancholy I was feeling as they neared their final mile. Her family’s journey had been such an inspiration to our family – even though I have yet to meet them in person – I felt I knew them – and was secretly hoping they would just keep going!
Now there is a new chapter in this epic saga. Before their launch, Nancy contacted the Guinness Book of World Records and was told if the boys completed the trek they would be international record holders.
Remember, these were 10 year old boys (when they started – they are now 13). Guinness is a BIG DEAL to a 10 year old boy! Think of the clout the title holds in middle school! You know if you have been an international record holder, no one would have noticed your braces or that bad perm!
But somewhere during the journey, Guinness changed the rules and is denying Davy and Daryl their record. The reason is way beyond a half wit like me – maybe this mumbo jumbo makes sense to you:
“Unfortunately, we at Guinness World Records, have decided to rest this record, meaning we have decided to no longer recognise the category as a record, due to the fact that the record would reach an age where a person would no longer be able to break it or attempt (i.e. a two-year old attempting to do it) and as it would become limited under these terms, we choose to to no longer recognise it as a category.”
Aren’t all their records “limited” in some way or another?
Although it goes without saying that the achievement of these brave boys is no less amazing just because GWR refuses to recognize it – the fact remains, that with every mile they peddled, they pictured themselves in that book. I have no doubt, uphill, downhill, in sunny weather and against pelting rain, they found the strength to peddle a little further and a little faster because there would we a Guinness certificate in their future.
Shame on your Guinness for letting these boys (your target market) down. While they endured years of cycling – you sat in your cushy offices, resting and resurrecting records at will. I dare you to stand by your word and honor these young men as you had promised to do in 2008. And I double dog dare you to hold your breath for 18 min 33 seconds – and see how you feel when we send you a denial letter.
Kimberly Travaglino is the editor of Fulltime Families Magazine, the official monthly publication of Fulltime Families Camping Company (http://www.fulltimefamilies.com). A company that supports families fulltime rv adventures or aspirations.