A West Australian man has broken the world record for riding the state’s longest and most gruelling bike trail.

Perth man Jack Thompson, 34, completed the 1,060-kilometre long ride in a zippy two days, 12 hours and 15 minutes, beating Albany Olympic cyclist Craig Wiggin’s 2020 record of two days, 17 hours and 22 minutes.

“Craig’s a local legend and a hell of a cyclist,” Thompson said.

“[He’s] a bit more of a sprinter and I’m more of a tractor, so different breeds.”

The challenging Munda Biddi Trail winds its way from Mundaring in Perth through the South West to the Albany coast in the Great Southern region.

“And I think the beautiful thing about the Munda Biddi is it’s always changing, as the trail sort of adapts with nature,” Thompson said.

“I was blown away by it, to be honest. It’s a world class facility.”

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Munda Biddi Trail Foundation chairman Ken Travers was at the Albany Terminus to watch Thompson cross the finish line.

“He clearly has determination. Anyone that can stay awake for 60 hours has a fair bit of determination,” he said.

“His effort was outstanding.

“Every one that completes a ride like this faces some level of adversity. For Jack, it was temperatures in the north and winds in the south”.

Riding in ‘extreme heat’

Temperatures rose to 39 degrees Celsius across the two days of Thompson’s ride through the South West.

Jack Thompson takes a break in 39 degree heat

Jack Thompson endured strong heat and winds during his record-breaking ride.(Supplied: Zac Williams)

“Generally, when I come and do an event, I get rain,” he said.

“So I had good luck in that I didn’t have rain, but I copped the opposite, which was extreme heat.”

To cope, Thompson spent more time riding at night than during the day, but as he approached Albany he faced another challenge.

Mr Travers said the cyclist “probably got some of the very toughest conditions you could find”.

“The wind was howling up to 60 kilometre [per hour] headwinds and when you’ve been cycling for some 60 odd hours, hitting a headwind like that would not be easy, but he kept pushing through to his dream”.

Jack Thompson on the long road to Albany

Jack Thompson wants people to know that exercise is good for mental health.(Supplied: Zac Williams)

Thompson said he put his head down and found a bit of a rhythm.

“It honestly felt like I was in a hurricane, it was so strong,” he said.

“It’s a cyclist’s worst nightmare.

“If it’s blowing in the wrong direction, if I’d had that at my back, it would have been great, but when I realised that I was heading east and it was coming from the east, I quickly worked out that it was going to be a hard couple of hours home.”

Cycling to help others

With a new world record under his belt, Thompson now has his sights set on helping others.

“I’ve always suffered since I can remember from depression and my own sort of mental health battles,” he said.

“And when I was growing up, it was the sport that kept me in a good headspace because it gave me a goal. It gave me a focus and I felt like I was achieving something.

“And when I was lucky enough to turn my passion into a career, which is riding a bike for a living, I thought I don’t just want to ride a bike, I actually want to use my abilities as cyclists to try and help others”.

Thompson is back on the road, visiting schools in Albany, the South West and Perth, talking about how cycling and exercise help him deal with his own challenges.

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