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Cyclist attempting to break world record goes through Barking and Dagenham

Gordon visited the leader of the local council and Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club on the final day of his challenge (Credit: Be First)

A Guinness World Record holder has passed through Barking and Dagenham while attempting to break another record. 

Gordon Miller cycled around 1,800 miles from southern Spain, via France and to London to highlight a documented human trafficking route from Africa to the United Kingdom. 

He finished the 18 day challenge earlier today and visited the Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club as well as the leader of the local council as he did so. 

Gordon said: “It’s great to visit Barking and Dagenham again – it’s a borough with a big heart and a passion for social justice and fairness.

“I’m free to cycle but millions of people aren’t. They’re victims of human trafficking and trapped in modern day slavery. It’s a heinous crime that affects thousands in the UK and there are more than 40 million modern slaves worldwide. It needs to be eradicated.”

The ride, named El Gordo which translated from Spanish means the “big/fat one”, is fundraising to support the development of Freewheel by Ride for Freedom. 

The programme empowers survivors of modern slavery to cycle to support their independence, mobility, mental and physical health. 

Councillor Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “Gordon’s Guinness World Record challenge and work to highlight the scourge of modern-day slavery is hugely important.

“It’s scandalous that slavery exists in what is meant to be a civilised society – it needs to be wiped out for good.”

Russell Coe, of Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club, explained the younger members of the club were delighted to briefly join Gordon on his journey.

“Hopefully in some small way Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club is contributing to rid us of this evil modern slavery trade,” said Russell. 

The tour is being backed by bike manufacturer Orbea, who Miller is a brand ambassador for, and several other companies such as Be First. Marshalls Plc is the headline sponsor. 

“I’m delighted to be associated with these purpose-driven companies,” said Gordon. “Their support has enabled the ride to go ahead by underwriting the administrative, logistical and marketing costs to raise awareness to end modern slavery.” 

Gordon set a previous Guinness World Record in October 2020 when he cycled 620.5 miles around England to spell the words ‘End Modern Slavery’. 

The verified challenge saw him become the title holder for the largest GPS drawing by bicycle. 

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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