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Unicyclist completes round-the-world charity challenge

Ed Pratt’s three-and-a-half year challenge took him to countries including Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, China, Australia and New Zealand.

The first man to unicycle round the world said he will cycle another 10 miles home after his welcome party as he made his triumphant one-wheeled homecoming.

Twenty-two thousand miles was not enough for Ed Pratt, who said he was “ecstatic” to be back after three-and-a-half years globe-trotting for charity.

Mr Pratt wheeled into the headquarters of School in a Bag, in Chilthorne Domer, near Yeovil, on Friday morning and was met with cheers and glorious sunshine.

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(Andrew Matthews/PA)

The 22-year-old has raised more than £300,000 for the global education charity during his adventures.

His two requests – to be welcomed by Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell and a chilled bottle of cider – were both granted.

After catching up with friends and family, Mr Pratt said he was determined to cycle the final 10 miles home.

He said: “Can you imagine what it would look like if I got in the back of my mum’s car and she drove me home?

“No I’ve got to cycle, and I want to as well, I want to see what’s changed and see the lay of the land a bit as I’m sure stuff’s changed after such a long time.”

Mr Pratt made his one-wheeled return to Somerset on Friday morning – more than three years after he set off to conquer the globe as a teenager.

His dad Nick cycled the last leg with his son.

After remarking how it was a “little overwhelming” to be greeted by crowds and cameras, he told those gathered: “You can’t say you’re going to ride a unicycle around the world and not do it.

“I mean my friends would tease me about that for the rest of my life.

“I just needed to complete it for my own sake but also because I enjoyed it.

“There were some weeks it sucked… saddle sore was a big issue…. but it beats coming back here and getting a job doesn’t it?”, he added.

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The round-the-world challenge took him to Kyrgyzstan, among other places (Ed Pratt/PA)

His was a trip almost thwarted from the get-go, when egg sandwiches crammed into his custom-made pannier split the zip.

But Mr Pratt did not let this bread-based challenge faze him, and later in the trip even a road traffic accident would not stop him from completing his goal.

He cycled through Europe, Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan before a near-miss with a car on icy roads in Kazakhstan.

He then passed through Kyrgyzstan before travelling across China and through South East Asia to Singapore.

Australia and New Zealand followed before Mr Pratt moved on to the USA, finally flying from New York to Edinburgh to begin his final 500 miles home to Somerset.

Zoe Fox, events and marketing manager for School in a Bag, said she wanted to give Mr Pratt a “massive thank you”, adding that he was an “absolute star”.

She said: “He’s raised our profile more than we could ever wish to imagine – many corners of the globe that we couldn’t otherwise reach so it’s just fantastic what he’s done, how he’s done it, what he’s achieved both for himself, the charity.”

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