On her 16th birthday, a girl and her dad decided to embark on an adventure of discovering their home country whilst getting a positive message out to the world.
From 16 to 31 August, Frédéric and Mathilde de Lanouvelle biked across their homeland of France for a distance of 2,162 km (1,343 mi), achieving the world’s largest GPS drawing by bicycle (team).
The father and daughter duo rode on a tandem bicycle, creating the image of a heart.
“I'd drawn this heart a long time ago and I wanted to do it by bike and for a good cause,” Frédéric told us.
“When I saw the [previous record of a] 1025-km dinosaur, […] I immediately suggested that my daughter try it with me.
It was an opportunity to share with her a magnificent challenge full of strong values and to help the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque association, whose logo is a heart and which saves children with heart malformations.
“We managed to raise over €26,000 (£22,546 / $27,335), which will help save two children.”
Frédéric has four daughters, but he’s not your typical ‘girl dad’.
“I take each of them on an adventure with me when they turn 16. I'm obviously very close to them, but these experiences continue to strengthen our bond.
“I took my eldest daughter to take part in the Marathon des Sables. A 250-km run in the Sahara in Morocco, completely self-sufficient. She loved it!
“For Mathilde, my second daughter, I was looking for another unique adventure.
The aim was to introduce them to the values of surpassing themselves, adventure and nature.
“We'd already done a 600-km trip on a tandem bike and really enjoyed it. The advantage of the tandem bike is that the strongest can help the weakest. It's really a team effort.”
Athleticism runs in the de Lanouvelle family; both Frédéric and Mathilde are into sports, from cycling and running to athletics.
The duo, however, had to train for three months before they were ready to face such a record-breaking challenge.
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In a proud dad moment, Frédéric told us how impressed he was with his daughter’s performance: “She was exceptional!”.
Even though they were beyond prepared for the challenge, the journey was not without its difficulties.
“On day six, we had a major technical problem,” the dad explained. “We broke the chain, the derailleur gear and part of the bike's frame cracked. We thought it was all over.
“But the people around us mobilized in an extraordinary way and we managed to repair everything within a day. We even had the frame welded back together!
This trip was also an opportunity to rediscover the kindness of people.
What Frédéric enjoyed the most about this adventure, of course, was the bond with his daughter: “We talked and laughed a lot. These are indelible memories for us.
“Sharing the values of personal challenge, adventure and the beauty of the landscapes we crossed with as many people as possible in the media and on social networks gave us a real boost.”
According to the record holders, the strength of this record is that it promotes a multitude of positive values, such as commitment, sport, solidarity and family.
They are both happy and proud to have broken a world record, even though they also think it’s “quite a strange feeling” to achieve something so “legendary”.
And given the opportunity, they wouldn’t say no to attempting another record: “If other great adventures come along that allow us to break new records, we'll seize them without hesitation!”
Congratulations on achieving your Guinness World Records title and, most importantly, on raising money for such a noble cause.
You are Officially Amazing!
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