Cousins cross UK on tandem bike breaking new record

By Guinness World Records
fastest accumulative time crossing United Kingdom by tandem bicycle split screen

The record for the fastest accumulative time crossing the United Kingdom by tandem bicycle (male) - IS1 has been broken by cousins Andy, 44, and Tim Caldwell, 46 (both UK).

The duo's trip culminated on Saturday 5th June when they arrived in Ness Point in Lowestoft, Suffolk, after setting off from St. David’s in Wales.

This cross-country cycle took 24 hours, 43 minutes, 47 seconds which, including breaks, was tackled over a four day period.

Andy and Tim's record includes a brand-new record classification, IS1, which is one of 23 new categories that has been introduced by Guinness World Records for those with physical, intellectual or visual impairments. 

In August 2013, Tim suffered a very serious cardiac arrest and subsequent brain injury that led to him being hospitalised for two months, and unable to talk or walk. 

Sadly, the brain injury has had lasting effects on Tim, who struggles with fine and gross motor skills on the left side of his body as well as a visual impairment (IS1).  

cousins Andy and Tim at end of tandem bike record attempt

After his brain injury, Tim, who is married and a father of five, was unable to work. He had previously owned his own business offering alloy wheel refurbishments.

Tim began struggling with depression, and Andy, who wanted to help give his cousin a focus, suggesting they try a tandem bike ride together. 

This led to the cousins completing a series of challenging tandem bike journeys together, including Land’s End to John O’Groats, to fundraise for various charities. 

"I wanted to show other people who have faced adversity and difficulties that if they have a goal to work towards it can really help your mental wellbeing." - Tim Caldwell

Tim was never that interested in sport or fitness, but since discovering his love for cycling, Tim trains regularly by going to the gym several times a week, using an indoor trainer at home and attending a local cycling club.  

Despite this massive achievement, Tim doesn't intend to stop at just one record.

Andy and Tim hugging after end of attempt

He plans on attempting more records to raise awareness for others with disabilities and to show what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. 

"Tim's story is exceptional in the way he has come back from the dead. Yet he somehow stayed strong enough to stay alive. To see the transformation to where he is, is incredible," said Andy. 

"Everyone who has been out cycling with us or met us along the way cannot help but be inspired by his resilience, positivity and sense of humour and humility in the way he has taken on these challenges," he continued.

Tim and Andy's record was attempted in conjunction with the launch of the Guinness World Records Impairment Records Initiative. 

Tim and andy with certificate

The Guinness World Records Impairment Records Initiative

This initiative is made up of an initial 23 classification categories for those with physical, intellectual and visual impairments. 

The classifications, created with the support of external experts, will be applicable across all sports, strength and "journey" records.  

"It’s a privilege to launch our Impairment Records Initiative today, a project which will make GWR instantly more relevant and accessible to millions of people around the world. We really hope that in launching this project and crowning new record holders, we will encourage many more people with physical, intellectual or visual impairments to get in touch and attempt a Guinness World Records title in the future." - Adam Brown, Director of Records at Guinness World Records

This initiative with enable the creation of potentially hundreds of new record titles which can be attempted by people with impairments around the world, allowing amateur athletes, fitness fanatics and keen-sports people to achieve GWR titles such as the most pull ups in one minute – AA1, the fastest time to pull a fire engine 100 metres – MP3 and many more.  

Learn more about the classifications, the corresponding record categories and how you can apply here