Dozens gathered along the streets of Banchory to cheer an “inspirational” cyclist who made it into history with a new world record.
Josh Quigley from Livingston crossed the finish line at the town’s Ride Coffee Shop at 4am on Monday, setting a new Guinness world record for the greatest distance cycled in a week.
As the 29-year-old broke Australian pro-cyclist Jack Thompson’s record by clocking up 2,179.66 miles, locals made sure he receives a welcome “for a hero”.
Josh arrives at Ride Coffee House to a hero's welcome
7 DAY CYCLING DISTANCE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT 🚴🏻♂️🥇
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: “GREATEST DISTANCE CYCLED IN ONE WEEK – UNPACED” 🏆🌍
— Josh Quigley (@JoshQuigley2026) September 20, 2021
Overcoming seven days of “cold and exhaustion”, Mr Quigley battled through 80-mile laps from Aberdeen and the Cairngorms in the “most intense experience” of his life.
Riding on a route through Peterculter, Banchory, Aboyne, Ballater, and Balmoral Castle, he cycled a daily average of 320 miles and making it through 637 miles in the last stretch without sleep.
Achievement of a life-time
The new record was officially confirmed by a Guinness World Records adjudicator at Braemar Highland Games Park, which Mr Quigley picked as a “symbolic” point to have the celebratory ceremony.
Speaking to us about his achievement, Mr Quigley said: “I feel very happy and relieved. I’ve had this challenge hanging over me for more than six months, as I attempted it back in April and failed, and I knew I was going for a second attempt.
“Going into the second attempt I always had worries and concerns that the same thing might happen again and that I would be a few days in there and have to stop.
“There was a lot of pressure and concerns but to just get through it, to finish and get it done has been a feel of relief more than anything else – and that’s a great feeling.
“It’s an official Guinness record. I’ll be in the book and nobody can ever take that away from me. It’s not something a lot of people can go and do so I feel very fortunate to be in this position.”
‘Now I know I’m capable of achieving any goal I set my mind to’
Mr Quigley was forced to pull out of his first record attempt in April after suffering a knee injury on the fourth day.
The lofty challenge of riding hundreds of miles a day was his “way of bouncing back and getting back in the game” after suffering horrific injuries in a car crash in Dubai in January.
However, after a miraculous recovery from a fractured spine and pelvis, as well as broken elbow, shoulder and four ribs, he was determined to get on the bike again and fulfil his dream.
For Mr Quigley, the new world record is a strong validation that with commitment, he is capable of achieving anything he sets his mind to.
He said: “The biggest challenge was the sleep deprivation. I’ve got to a stage in my cycling where it’s not too difficult for me to go and ride these distances, but when you’re trying to do it back to back consecutively, day after day after day, the sleep deprivation really starts to add up.
“When I woke up on Saturday until the finish on Monday morning, I only had a 20 minute power nap for 48 hours of cycling.”
‘Incredible’ support in Aberdeenshire
As well as leaving his mark in the world of cycling for generations to come, Mr Quigley has also raised £11,000 for the charity Feeding Communities, which provides healthy and nutritious meals to vulnerable people.
He added that the fuel that kept him going through the last seven days has been the “incredible” support from people, who have backed his challenge and his cause.
He said: “The first thing that kept me going was commitment – commitment to the challenge and the record, I was never going to just quit.
“But I was also thinking about all the people who supported me and what it meant to them. If I couldn’t do it for myself, I had to do it for them.
“That was the thing that always helped me – that there were those people who had given up their time to follow me and support me.
“The support has been absolutely incredible. We had people right along the route in Deeside coming out, cheering and waving, making signs – it was absolutely amazing.”
After completing one of the biggest challenges he had faced so far, Mr Quigley is looking forward to making another big dream of his come true and compete in the famed race Tour de France.