As the cycling teams were selected for the Olympics and teams were announced for the upcoming Tour De France, there is another cyclist quietly tapping away in a country lane in England. 

What sets this cyclist apart from most others is that he just rode 447km in 24 hours. 

I know people might think I could do that, that’s not that impressive, but this guy has averaged 438km for 4 days STRAIGHT in his pursuit for the 7-day world record. 

Think about how you feel riding a 100km day, how the body feels the next day and ask yourself could you really do this?

I sit following this challenge and my body tells me there is no way I could even dream of this. 

I don’t think I even hit 438km in a week let alone each day. And something else which sets this record attempt apart from other endurance cycling records is the athlete who is attempting it was given less than a 5% chance to live in 2008. 

James Golding, who I first met in 2014 when he appeared at the side of my hospital bed when I lay recovering from my second surgery, is - in Red Bull's words - the man who refused to die. 

After his cancer surgery in 2009 he was kept in a coma for two weeks which would leave him unable to walk for eight more. 

At 28 years old, he was left lying in a hospital bed unable to even lift his head off the pillow - weighing a mere 6 stone. 

I know this feeling and to go from here onto a bike is no easy task.

The mental journey is one very few can fully understand, the suffering from going from a hospital bed to riding these distances takes a very special psychological framework. 

I think James would agree with me that cycling is his therapy. Without cycling I know I would struggle, and I think James is similar in that respect. We both need our bikes. 

In the summer of 2009 Golding got back onto a bike and in his words felt alive. It is the feeling that Paulo Coelho speaks about in The Alchemist. Knowing you’re alive. 

A level of consciousness that is sometimes referred to as meta cognition. Thinking about thinking, this level can drive you into the now and you become fully aware. You feel alive. This is why the bike is more to James than just a sport. 

By the end of the year James had announced he was going to cycle across America to raise money for Macmillan.

This is some feat so soon after his cancer, but I understand the psychology behind it. As Viktor Frankl speaks about in his book man’s search for meaning, it is James possibly finding purpose and meaning from his situation. 

Cycling always comes with a certain level of risk, as cyclists I guess we all know this but what happened next on James journey is unthinkable. 

A truck traveling a 70mph hits in from behind, drags him along the tarmac leaving both him and his bike in pieces. A similar accident that left James Cracknell with life changing injuries. At this point most people might decided to quit, the pain is to much. But not James. 

Golding returned to America months after to finish that ride. There is an inner drive in James, you can see this when you meet him. An energy and focus to push the limits of his body. I guess all ultra-endurance athletes share this inner make up that us mere mortals don’t have. 

Much like me James' cancer is lurking in the background as he pursues his cycling dreams and in 2011 it returned. 

How do you begin to process this? Well, in true Golding style he cycled through his treatment - taking on incredible cycling challenges that fully fit people would fear. 

It shows how cycling is more than just a sport to him, it is a place of solace. 

James is now 10 years clear, and I am sure is pulling on the same inner strength that seen him go from a coma to bike as he attempts to capture back his 7-day world record. 

Golding first took the record in 2017 - clocking an impressive 2,842 kilometres which was then broken by Bruce Berkeley in 2020 who rode a mind blowing 3,333 kilometres in 7 days.

So as you sit down to read this James will be in the final stages of his 7-day attempt that has left me feeling like it is time to get back on my bike and do a few kilometres.