MARK Beaumont is doing laps of the track at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, legs pumping like pistons as he glides around the Siberian pine boards.

There is a determined set to his jaw, the exertion etched on his face as he pushes lungs and limbs to the limits.

Clambering off the bike, eyes bloodshot and skin slick with sweat, he radiates the satisfied glow that comes from hard graft. Riding in a circle is something Beaumont is no stranger to. In 2008 - seven years ago this month - the Perthshire adventurer broke the record for fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bike. He went on to traverse the Americas and was part of a six-man team that conquered treacherous conditions to row across the Arctic.

Three years have passed since his last major expedition, which almost cost his life. In 2012, Beaumont and five crewmates had to be rescued from the Atlantic Ocean when their boat capsized. They spent 14 hours fighting for survival and afterwards Beaumont vowed his days of derring-do were over. Now he's back in the saddle and preparing for a record-breaking attempt to complete an almost 7,000 mile journey the length of Africa from Cairo to Cape Town.

The current Guinness World Record, held by Robert Knol of the Netherlands, stands at 70 days. Beaumont believes he can shave at least 20 days off that. The 32-year-old, who is training at the velodrome in Glasgow, will depart from the Egyptian capital on April 9. "To try to bring home the pan-Africa record from Cairo to Cape Town completes what has always been my ultimate hat-trick," he says. "If you look at the world map you have the circumnavigation, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and then Cairo to Cape Town: those are the three big endurance routes.

"Back in 2007/08, I broke the round-the-world record by what was 81 days at the time and then followed that up with a nine-month journey down the Rockies and Andes. It's been five years since I've done anything big on the bike."

For many the enduring image is of Beaumont travelling dusty roads, his skin weathered and hair bleached from the sun. When we meet, the contrast couldn't be starker. Beaumont looks polished in a smart suit jacket and jeans, his track bike balanced nearby.

Beaumont isn't undertaking his latest challenge lightly. Tackling Africa on two wheels has involved months of meticulous planning. "The route is 6,900 miles through nine or 10 countries depending which way you go," he says. "It will include Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. I might or might not go through Malawi or Namibia - you can go straight to Zambia or South Africa. We're looking at route options but you have to do the specified distance to complete the record.

"It's a massive ambition. With the round-the-world, I was averaging 100 miles a day for half a year. This is a much tighter expedition and I'm planning to push upwards of 140 miles each day. You have to consider some of the roads I will be going across. It's a very different challenge."

Beaumont has spent many hours contemplating the events which led him to this point. He completed a formidable 18,000 miles on his 194-mile global circumnavigation but afterwards something niggled. "The equator is 24,900 miles and what always got me was the feeling that I hadn't really been around the world," he says. "If you ever talk to a primary school kid about cycling around the world, the first question is always: how did you get across the water?

"My ultimate dream was to do a full circumnavigation by man power, to cross the three great oceans - Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian - and all the continents. I was building up to that; each of these journeys were stepping stones."

On his Atlantic expedition, that all changed. "I didn't particularly enjoy it and that was long before the capsize," says Beaumont. "I realised this wasn't why I did adventure. I do it because of the culture, people and places. I found the Atlantic a very boring, lonely place. Then there was the capsize where I nearly died.

"We spent 14 hours fighting for our lives. I came back and everything had changed. My knee-jerk reaction was 'No more' and that is understandable. I got married eight weeks after capsizing and nearly dying. I said: 'That's enough of the adventures.'"

On his return to Scotland, Beaumont settled down to family life and forging a more sedate career as a television presenter. He and his wife Nicci, 32, had their first child, Harriet, in 2013. That same year Beaumont landed the gig of a lifetime, accompanying the Queen's Baton Relay on its 288-day and 118,000-mile journey through 70 Commonwealth nations and territories to the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony on behalf of the BBC.

"It was incredible," he says. "I got to meet hundreds of athletes who came and competed in Glasgow. I loved the travel and it was a dream job for many reasons, but I missed the training, logistics and planning of the last eight years on the big expeditions. It didn't put the fire in my belly quite as much as being an athlete did.

"It did help put my own situation into context. Capsizing in the Atlantic, I was humbled and scared. But then I saw all these athletes doing so much with so little. I came back from that journey and realised I wasn't ready to give up my own career as an athlete."

His African record bid will be backed by Lloyds Development Capital, for whom he has been an ambassador since his world cycle in 2008, and West Lothian firm Endura, which provides the kit for top cycling team Movistar and has tasked Beaumont with testing its hot weather gear in the Sahara desert. The Drum Property Group and The Wood Foundation have also come on board as sponsors.

He will be raising money for Orkidstudio, a Glasgow architecture charity which benefits communities through design and construction with projects in Africa, Asia and South and Central America.

Beaumont makes no bones about the dangers. "My biggest concern is northern Kenya, where there have been worrying attacks in recent months," he says. "Those have been on Westerners and local people. "The first 400 miles is a bit of a no-man's land through northern Kenya as far down as a place called Archers Post which is north of Nairobi. It's the area I'm most likely to have a security escort. If I was to split Africa into concerns, Cairo is pretty busy so the first priority is to get out safely.

"Of all the risks, the one I'm always worried about most is road traffic accidents. After war, malaria, wild animals and all that stuff, the thing that is most likely to go wrong is that you get hit by a car. I've been hit by cars quite a lot."

Then there is the unforgiving terrain and extremes of climate. As he outlines his plans it is impossible not to think Levison Wood who last September became the first man to walk the length of the Nile. The former British army officer braved a tumultuous nine months, the low point of which saw US journalist Matthew Power, who was accompanying him for several days, die of heat exhaustion in Uganda.

"Once you are into Sudan, you've got the Sahara desert," continues Beaumont. "I'm expecting it to be mid 40C. Getting through safely will be vital. I'm hoping I can do that in five days.

"My set-up will be light compared to previous expeditions. I have so little kit - it's an out-and-out race bike. Being able to carry enough water is a concern. Once you are out of the Sahara you are into the Ethiopian mountains at altitude and on pretty rough roads. After that you drop down into northern Kenya which is meant to be staggeringly beautiful but does have its human conflicts.

"South of Nairobi I'm less concerned about. When you look at the countries such as Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, the towns are far closer so supplies become less of an issue. There aren't the same extremes in climate and the roads are better."

While reaching that point will be a significant accomplishment, Beaumont is keen not to become preoccupied with the milestone. "It's important not to see it as being easier from that point," he says. "I remember with my circumnavigation, I thought: 'If I get to Perth in Australia that will be all the difficult and dangerous parts behind me.' Psychologically I found it tough to carry on because I reached Perth and it felt like the finish line. I realised:

'I've still got 9000 miles to go.' This time I have to compute it in a way where getting to Nairobi is just another day.

"In terms of planning, though, the three big chapters are the Sahara, Ethiopian mountains and north Kenya. I'll be relieved to get through those in good time."

Beaumont has adopted a far more scientific approach to his preparation than on previous expeditions, spending the past five months training alongside Scottish Cycling's national squad, an experience he describes as a "baptism of fire", as well as undergoing intensive fitness testing at sportscotland institute of sport in Stirling.

"If you look back at photos of me cycling around the world, yeah, I knew what I was doing, I had a decade of amateur riding but there was no coach," he says. "I was a guy who left Glasgow University, wanted to cycle around the world and did it."

The first order of business was building himself back to peak physical condition. "Straight after the Games I got back on my bike and started training," he says. "I was in the worst shape I had been for a decade because I had literally sat on a plane for a year [while documenting the Queen's Baton Relay]. I did 140 flights. My wee sister flies air crew for Emirates and I flew a lot more than she did."

The plan is that Beaumont will depart in eight weeks and be in Cape Town by the end of May. He is in talks with broadcasters about making a documentary, yet has reservations about the impact this may have on his record attempt. "We've already started filming but that side isn't signed and sealed yet," he says. "It's a tricky one because this is a race first and foremost. There could be the risk that the filming would detract from that. You want to film it to the best of your ability but not so it impedes what I'm trying to achieve. It's a fine balance."

The public will also be able to follow him online. "The whole thing will be GPS tracked so people can see every half hour where I am," he says. "For 50 days you can be distracted at work by following that breadcrumb down the map."

Away from his African dream, life revolves around his family. He and Nicci met at Joseph Pearce's bar in Edinburgh in 2008 when Beaumont was working on his first book, The Man who Cycled the World. "I used to write it in the pub during the day and she was one of the bar staff," he says.

Beaumont grew up on the family farm near Blairgowrie, Perthshire, and is the middle of three children. He was home schooled until 11, his mother Una conducting lessons round the kitchen table. When not helping out on the farm, Beaumont could be found riding ponies or mountain biking. "Until the age of 10 or 11 I was dressed in overalls and wellies most of the time," he says. "It was a complete Swallows and Amazons existence.

"It was a rare upbringing but undoubtedly gave me a great freedom, knowledge and confidence because my parents, especially my mum, allowed us to do things like overnight camp trips, hikes and horse rides from well under the age of 10. I guess that's not so common now."

It could be argued these formative years ignited the spark for future endeavours, not least the achievement of riding solo from Land's End to John O' Groats at 15. Yet it was never something he planned as a career. "I left university with the dream to do a big adventure," he says. "I planned to come back and become an accountant because I was good at economics and finance. With the success of the BBC series there was immediately a book deal. Then the BBC said: 'Where do you want to go next?' It just snowballed."

Before going ahead with his Cairo to Cape Town expedition, Beaumont pondered the challenge at length. "The conversation with my family has been about trying not to take such great risks, like the oceans and high mountains, and not being away from home for so long," he says. "This expedition is not without risks, but it is less than two months, which with a young family is doable. Having said that, it will be brutal. The intensity is greater than anything I've ever done before."

Is Beaumont more risk-averse these days? "I think so," he muses. "I look back to my early expeditions and think I was wonderfully naive. I headed into Pakistan and had an armed police escort which as a 24-year-old was a brave thing to do.

"There are parts of this route where I will probably have to take security escorts but I will do that without question. I'm not an adrenalin junkie. I'm an ultra-endurance athlete. I love that space I go to mentally when I'm really pushing myself."

Visit or follow him on Twitter @MrMarkBeaumont