Three hours’ sleep a night and the odd McDonald’s – it’s amazing what you can get away with during a record-breaking endurance feat on the bike. It worked for new seven-day mileage Guinness World Record holder Josh Quigley though. He was indeed sleep-deprived and, yes, his crew even popped to the Golden Arches for him as he rode to an impressive 2,179 miles in a week last month.
Riding a 65-mile out-and-back course between Peterculter and Ballater in Aberdeenshire, Quigley averaged 311 miles a day on the bike, riding from around 4am till midnight and sometimes later, averaging around 16mph. He beat the previous record, held by Australian Jack Thomson, by 2.66 miles, also becoming the youngest rider to have held the record, at 29 years old.
After seven days and hundreds of hours of riding, it was a small margin to finish with, but after attempting the record back in April and having to pull out near the end due to a knee injury, Quigley simply wanted the record beaten – by how much was immaterial, he says.
“Going into this thing, if you’d said, ‘The record’s 2,177, I’ll offer you 2,178 right now,’ I’d have absolutely took that off you. I didn’t care if I beat it by 10 miles, 100 miles, 50 miles, I just wanted to beat it. All I wanted to do was beat it because of what happened the first time.”
As someone who was not only a non-cyclist seven years ago but had just attempted suicide after struggling with depression, Josh Quigley has come a hell of a long way (see box).
Despite his status as a relative newbie to the sport, this was just the latest in a long list of endurance endeavours – his first being cycling 1,100 miles around Scotland on a hybrid with a suspension fork. It was also the second endurance record that Quigley has set in less than a year. Last November he took six minutes off James McCallum’s record for the Scottish North Coast 500 route.
Both his record-breaking rides – not to mention Quigley’s single-minded perseverance – are all the more impressive in light of the fact that he was left with 10 broken bones after being hit by a car in Texas while attempting to ride around the world in 2019.
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