April 22nd, 2019

Henry's World Record

Brit breaks the world record as the youngest ever to travel around the world on a motorbike
Mental Health | Real Stories
4 MIN READ
Henry Crew took part in the year long challenge to raise awareness of mental health issues, and funds for Movember.
  • Henry Crew (23) Was gone for 363 days, and clocked up 55,000 miles – 20,000 more than he originally planned
  • Henry, who has suffered from depression since the age of 14 and has lost several friends to suicide, says discovering motorcycling at the age of 19 saved him
  • Says the experience has completely changed his outlook on life and taught him the importance of being prepared to ask for help
A 23-year-old man has officially become the youngest person to travel around the world by motorcycle, in a 55,000-mile mission to raise funds and awareness for men’s mental health.

Henry Crew, from Petersfield, Surrey, arrived back in central London on Friday [19th April] exactly 363 days after he set off on his Ducati Scrambler in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe in aid of Movember.

Henry, whose epic trip took him through 35 countries and six continents, smashed the record previously held by British adventurer Kane Avellano since 2017.

By the end of his adventure, he clocked up 55,000 miles – 20,000 more than he originally planned. “I had to take a couple of detours,” he admits.

Henry, a video content creator, says the route saw him battle 52C-intense heat in India and the Australian desert, sub-zero temperatures in the Himalayas and jungles of south east Asia and central America. The most challenging part of the journey was crossing the Leh-Manali Highway in India - one of the highest roads in the world.

“It was incredibly strenuous riding,” he says. “Because of the high altitude (some of the mountain passes are up to 5,325m), I was burning calories very quickly but there was no fresh food available so I was surviving on one meal a day. By the end of that part of the journey, I had lost a third of my body weight, dropping from 11st 6lb to 7st 2lbs.”

“The heat in India and Pakistan was really hard and I struggled a lot with off-road riding across the 1,000km-Nullabor Plain in Australia but that was because I was purposely trying to push myself. Border crossings in Central America and Mexico were difficult because I felt a bit over my head and vulnerable on my own.”

Henry, who has suffered from depression since the age of 14 and has lost several friends to suicide, says discovering motorcycling at the age of 19 saved him.

“You have to be totally focused when you’re riding – there is no space to think about anything else. It was a release from anything else that was worrying me and for the first time I could really relax,” he says.

He says the experience, which took 10 months to plan, has completely changed his outlook on life.

“I met thousands of people during my crazy journey and the kindness and help I received from strangers restored my faith in humanity,” he says.

“When I crossed the border from Iran into Pakistan I had no money, had run out of petrol and my cash card didn’t work. A stranger bought me water, lent me enough money to make it to the next city and then arranged for me to stay with his relatives all the way through India.”

He said the trip had taught him the importance of being prepared to ask for help.

“It can be very uncomfortable opening up and asking for help the first time. I wasn’t able to tell my parents how I’d struggled. They only found out when I made a short film for BBC3 about depression and they saw that. My mum was very shocked.”

He adds: “If my bike got a puncture I had to ask for help to get it fixed, otherwise I would have been sitting on the road forever waiting for it to miraculously fix itself. It’s the same with your mental health. If you don’t ask for help, the problem won’t go away of fix itself.”

Movember supported Henry throughout his year long mission, and Owen Sharp, CEO of Movember, said “We are always astounded at the lengths that our supporters will go to raise awareness and funds for our cause. Henry has been on an incredible journey and we’re proud to have supported him around the world. We are so grateful to him for sharing his story, and hope this encourages other more men to reach out when times are tough.”

For more information on Henry’s journey go to 35000miles.com or for information on mental health support, go to www.movember.com/iwanttoask