AN adventurous cyclist is hoping to set a new Guinness World Record in honour of his father to raise essential funds for a charity close to his heart – Cancer Research UK.

James Windross, from Redcar, is gearing up for a 6,500 mile cycling challenge which starts in Ushuaia in Argentina, ending up in Cartagena in Colombia.

The 31-year-old hopes to raise £21,000 for Cancer Research UK – that’s £2 per km – and break the Guinness World Record for time taken to travel that route. The current record is 40 days.


James pictured in Lisbon, Portugal on another cycling adventure

He flew out of Gatwick yesterday for his South America Challenge, which he’s taking on in honour of his dad, Stephen, who died at the age of 55, just three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer of the food pipe.

Before setting off, he said: “It’s something I’ve had my mind to do for a while. I took up cycling when I was 20 and love to cycle along the coast to Whitby and over the North Yorkshire Moors.

“I’ve also cycled around New Zealand and Australia and from Singapore to Uzbekistan – which leads on to ‘why’ I’ve chosen CRUK.

“When I was in Uzbekistan, my dog got sick and so I flew home. A few weeks later, in October 2011, my dad was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. He died just three weeks after being diagnosed following complications after surgery to remove the cancer. He was just 55. When I’m visiting my childhood home, I often cycle to his grave in Thirsk.”


Testing his stamina in the Pyrenees

The cyclist trained as a paramedic and previously worked for East Midlands Ambulance Service but is currently on a career break and gearing up for his epic ride.

Setting off on 7 January 2019, he’ll be cycling as fast as he can to break the record attempt. He said: “The route crosses five countries and is fairly hilly, with a total of 94,500m or ascent.

“The challenges I’ll be facing are the wind in Patagonia – plus the large distances between supplies. At one point there are 120 miles between stops with nothing in between – no shops, petrol stations or towns. Part of the route goes through the Atacama desert, north of Chile. There’s the language barrier too, as I don’t speak Spanish.

“And in Ecuador I’ll face climbs of 4,000m, so there’s the potential of altitude sickness. So there’s plenty of things that could go wrong! I’ve done other travelling before, so the most daunting thing is trying to do the distances. I haven’t done them for days on end before, for this length of trip, so that will be the hardest part. Plus the mental side of it to keep my head straight."

To sponsor James visit here or to find out more about the challenge click here.