HE survived a 70mph crash and has battled through an around the world cycle challenge that has been beset by one problem after the other.

Now ever-optimistic West Lothian cyclist Josh Quigley is about to put himself to a fresh test, with a bid to set a new world record for cycling the North Coast 500 route.

Josh will set off on his record-breaking attempt tomorrow in the hope of conquering the 516 miles route in a single run, without pausing to sleep or eat on the way.

Assuming he doesn’t find himself trapped behind the countless campervans and caravans which have descended on the tourist route in recent years, Josh, 27, from Livingston, believes that he can smash the current record of 31 hours and 23 minutes.

His attempt follows a long rehabilitation from life-threatening injuries sustained in December last year when his bike was hit by a car

as he rode through Texas on the

final stage of his round-the-world challenge.

In keeping with a theme running through his global cycle bid – which has seen one mishap after the other – his hopes to return to the scene of the accident to pick up where he left off were scuppered by the coronavirus outbreak.

Instead, he’ll tackle the popular tourist route around the Highlands in an effort to raise money for the Texas hospital which provided his life-saving intensive care treatment and rehabilitation.

He said: “Ever since my accident, I’ve wanted to do something to thank the hospital and staff at the Baylor Scott & White Medical Centre, in Temple, Texas, who saved my life.

“During the weeks I spent there, I underwent a series of surgical procedures to fix the long list of injuries I sustained.

“These included a traumatic brain injury, fractured skull, seven broken ribs, punctured lung and multiple fractures to my back and legs.

“I then embarked on a rigorous physiotherapy and rehabilitation plan and, just11 weeks later, was back on my bike; determined to get back to my peak fitness levels and complete my challenge.”

The North Coast 500 is regarded as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges, with 34,423ft (10,492) of ascent – more than Mount Everest, which stands at 29,029ft (8848m).

The first NC500 world record was set in 2015 by another round the world cyclist, Mark Beaumont, who completed the gruelling challenge in 37 hours and 58 minutes.

Within a year, Commonwealth Games Medallist and ex-professional cyclist James McCallum took over six hours off the record and set the new time of 31 hours and 23 minutes.

However, in the last week alone, two UK cyclists have made unsuccessful attempts at breaking the world record – highlighting the scale of the challenge.

Josh’s attempt will begin from Inverness Castle at 5am tomorrow.

He has no plans to stop for any breaks on the way to sleep or eat, instead he will consume all his food and drink while on his bike.

He’s expected to burn more than 20,000 calories during the attempt and will cycle through the night.

Josh’s bid to ride around the world began in 2015 when a bout of depression and a battle with drink and self-medicated drugs led him to deliberately drive his car at speed into a concrete barrier on the M8.

Afterwads, he found therapy in cycling and resolved to try to conquer the world by bike – however, his

first bid was thwarted by homesickness.

There followed a string of unfortunate incidents including the theft of his bike, a dental emergency, his arrival on bike in Finland in winter with just a flimsy tent and a fine for cycling through an English town centre where bikes are banned.

By the time he reached Australia his passport had been destroyed by sweat after he left it in his pocket while he cycled.

Then in Texas, just 2,000 miles short of his 18,000-mile target, he was struck by a car doing 70mph.

He was treated for a fractured skull, a traumatic brain injury, damaged arteries in his neck, seven broken ribs, a fractured bone in his back and foot injuries.

He recently revealed that he has his sights set on another, bigger prize – taking part in the Tour de France.

He said of that bid: “I love cycling, and the Tour de France is the ultimate dream.

“Besides what’s the worst that can happen?

“I might not be good enough but at least I get to spend a few years trying. It’s win-win.”