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A Guinness World Record breaker to cycle length of Wales to raise awareness of modern slavery

14 May 2024 3 minute read
Brij Soni of Gordon Miller, 60, who is a Guinness World Record-breaking cyclist, Brij Soni/PA Wire

A Guinness World Record breaking cyclist is to don his Lycra again to ride the length of Wales to raise awareness of climate change’s link to modern slavery.

Gordon Miller, 60, is to follow the national Lon Las Cymru cycling route, where he will cycle from Cardiff to Holyhead via Brecon, Rhayader, Corris and Porthmadog between May 13 and 17.

He said he is “very excited” for the 254-mile cycle, especially because he will be joined by Ffion James, a former professional road cyclist who is now a development officer for Welsh Cycling, on day one.

“It’ll be my first time (cycling with Ms James),” Mr Miller, who lives in London, told the PA news agency.

“It’s a real privilege to ride with one the Welsh nation’s best-known cyclists.

“The fact that she knows the route well will take the pressure off me having to read my onboard navigation system too!”

He added Welsh Cycling has supported the ride from the start and helped forge “many connections who are engaging with us on and off the bike”.

He is to also spend time at Radnor Primary School in Cardiff on day one, where he will speak about the link between climate change and modern slavery, as well as Ride For Freedom, the non-profit organisation he founded and leads which supports victims of modern slavery through cycling.

“We’ll then have a cycling session for the children to get a sense of the freedom survivor service users experience when they ride bicycles during our Freewheel programme and afterwards when they get to keep the donated bikes,” he added.

He will also meet and cycle with women who are part of Welsh Cycling’s Breeze initiative, which offers free bike rides for women of all abilities across the UK.

Speaking about how climate change’s link to human trafficking, he said: “There are several ways it occurs, for example, individuals are forced to migrate due to climate change rendering their homes and neighbourhoods unsustainable.

“This exposes them to elevated risks of exploitation in the forms of human trafficking and forced labour, which are forms of modern slavery.”

Mr Miller has achieved many cycling feats over the years, including achieving the Guinness World Record for “the greatest distance covered by an electric bicycle in one week” in 2021 and taking on his own version of the Tour de France in June 2023.

He said the idea behind cycling the length of Wales was “sowed” during the June cycle.

“I met several Welsh people who expressed how beautiful the landscape is and that there is a really enthusiastic and inclusive cycling culture who recognise the power of the bicycle to bring about positive social impact,” he said.

The aim is to set up a legacy programme in schools across Wales following the latest challenge to help educate young people about modern slavery through talks.

The sessions will also give them a cycling experience so that they get a sense of the freedom cycling provides to the survivor service users of Ride For Freedom’s Freewheel programme.

More information about the ride and how to make a donation can be found on Mr Miller’s fundraising page:

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