Man Aiming To Be The First Person To Unicycle Around The World Sets Off On Charity Trip

Ed Pratt is aiming to be the first person to unicycle around the world, but his charity fundraiser got off to a rocky start.

The 19-year-old was only able to clock up seven miles on his first day thanks to a couple of pesky egg sandwiches.

He headed to the start line of his 18,000 mile tour in Chilthorne Domer, Somerset, on Saturday, but realised he had forgotten his packed lunch on the way.

His parents took the two egg sandwiches out of the fridge at their home in Curry Rivel and handed them over to Pratt to put in his specially made pannier bag.

He managed to cram the sandwiches into the full pannier but the zip split, meaning Pratt could only cycle seven miles before returning home.

A friend offered to replace all four zips on his panniers and so Pratt was able to set off again at 12pm yesterday, when he clocked up 40 miles to Weymouth.

The unicycle enthusiast, who aims to complete the charity trip for School In A Bag in two years, boarded a ferry to St Malo at 9am today.

"I cycled by myself to the official start line and there were about 50 people there to cheer me off," he said.

"My mum brought the egg sandwiches I'd forgotten to find in the fridge in the morning. My pannier bags were very full already but there were a couple of small egg sandwich spaces in the rear pannier.

"The problem occurred when I tried to close the bag and the zip split. It was a disaster because I couldn't just go out and get another one, these are custom made bags.

"My friend Melanie, who had come down to cheer me off, offered to replace all four zips on my panniers and I dropped them off at her home.

"She spent all night fixing them, I think she finished at about midnight and I was able to set off again at 12pm the following day.

"The official start had been quite hectic so it was nice to start again and say goodbye to my parents, it just felt like a normal unicycle ride."

Pratt first learned how to unicycle two years ago and set up a unicycle club at his former school, Wellington School, and completed the 140-mile C2C route.

He will pedal his 36-inch Nimbus Oracle unicycle up the north coast of France to the Netherlands, then across Europe, through China, down south east Asia and across Australia and America.

The route then ventures through Portugal and Spain before heading up the southern coast of France towards England.

"I first learnt to unicycle two years ago and it has just gone from there," he said.

"I started to consider what I wanted to do after finishing my A-levels and university really didn't appeal. Travelling the world was what I wanted to do and then the idea came to do it on a unicycle.

"It isn't going to be about getting around as quickly as possible, I want to stop off in places and explore them rather than just going non-stop on the road all the time.

"I'll be camping as much as I can to cut costs and give me flexibility - the tent, sleeping bag, camping stove and everything else are packed in my panniers."

The School In A Bag charity provides stationary equipment and resources to enable a poor, orphaned, vulnerable or disaster-affected child to write, draw, colour and learn.

Pratt's journey can be followed on

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