Father who lost sight after cardiac arrest earns Guinness World Record on tandem

Cousins Tim and Andy Caldwell on their tandem bike
Cousins Tim and Andy Caldwell on their tandem bike

A father-of-five who lost most of his sight after having a cardiac arrest has become one of the first people to achieve one of Guinness World Records’ new records for people with impairments.

Tim Caldwell, 46, and his cousin Andy Caldwell, 44, achieved the record for “fastest accumulative time crossing the United Kingdom by tandem bicycle (male) – IS1”, a classification for people with visual impairments.

Tim said: “To become a Guinness World Records title holder is beyond even my wildest dreams but I hope by doing so, I can demonstrate to other people with disabilities that no matter the problems you have in your life, you can still achieve great things.”

Cousins Tim and Andy Caldwell on their tandem bike

Tim, from Northwich in Cheshire lost his sight after a cardiac arrest in 2013, which also affected his motor skills.

He had to relearn how to walk and talk, and was unable to return to work – he used to own a business refurbishing alloy wheels.

His cousin Andy, from Reading, encouraged him to start riding a tandem to help him when Tim was experiencing depression and they have subsequently completed a number of challenges, including cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

They earned the Guinness World Record by cycling from from St David’s in Pembrokeshire to Ness Point in Lowestoft Suffolk, in a total of 24 hours, 43 minutes and 47 seconds over a four-day period, arriving at their destination on Saturday.

Tim said: “I needed something to focus on after my cardiac arrest and cycling became that focus. I’ve grown to love it thanks to Andy, and setting myself a goals has helped enormously with my recovery.”

Cousins Andy and Tim Caldwell

The record marks the launch of the Impairment Records Initiative, which introduces 23 classifications for people with physical, intellectual and visual impairments.

Adam Brown, director of records at Guinness World Records, said he hoped it would make the organisation “instantly more relevant and accessible to millions of people around the world”.

He added: “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.”

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