In 2012 Juliana Buhring became the first woman to have successfully circumnavigated the world by bike. Her journey covered 18,060 miles over 19 countries and four continents, lasting a total of 152 days, of which she was actually pedalling on 144.
Juliana was born in Greece on a compound belonging to the infamous Family of Love cult, previously known as the Children of God. The cult were revealed to have been involved with serious sexual, physical and emotional abuse, particularly with children. Juliana and her sisters were amongst those who suffered terrible experiences at the hands of the cult, including being forcibly separated from their mother. The three Buhrings discussed their experiences in their 2007 book ‘Not Without My Sister’.
Juliana is the first woman to have cycled around the world in a manner that fulfils the Guinness Book of Records’ requirements for the feat. This means she travelled the full circumference of the globe, 24,900 miles, and at least 18,000 of that was on her bike. She also had to ensure that at least two points on her journey were exactly opposite each other on the globe and to collect photos and signatures from key places and people as she went. Other women have completed the journey around the world by bike, without meeting all this criteria. In fact Annie Londonderry, a Latvian-American from Boston, managed it all the way back in 1895, although she never left the northern hemisphere. In 2013 Juliana took part in the Transcontinental Race from London to Istanbul.