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Cousins ride a tandem bicycle 1,000 miles for charity

A keen cyclist and his cousin, who is registered blind, are riding a tandem bike 1,000 miles to raise money for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service.

Former Cox Green School teacher, Andy Caldwell, from Twyford, and his cousin Tim, who lives in Northwich in Cheshire, set off on their Lands End to John O’Groats journey on Monday.

They expect the trip, from the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall to the far north of Scotland, will take them eleven days in total during which time they will cover about 90 miles a day.

Andy and Tim began cycling in tandem three years ago, contributing to Tim’s rehabilitation after he suffered a cardiac arrest in August 2013.

“He was just at home one night and had a sudden cardiac arrest and then he basically went 70 plus minutes without oxygen,” said Andy.

Tim’s son, Kyle, who was 15 at the time, and wife, Jen, had to give him CPR until the ambulance arrived.

Tim was on a life support machine for five days until the family were told to ‘say goodbye’.

“They didn’t think he was going to live, certainly wasn’t going to have any quality of life if he did live,” said Andy.

However, when the life support machine was turned off, Tim survived.

Following the cardiac arrest Tim is now 95 per cent blind and it has also affected his short-term memory and fine motor skills.

The first tandem challenge cycle Andy suggested the pair took on was the London to Reading charity ride for the British Heart Foundation.

Andy said Tim ‘just got the bug’ and after several other trips the pair thought ‘they might as well go large’ and take on the length of Great Britain.

“We just communicate a lot, I have to make sure he knows left, right, what to do, what’s coming up,” said Andy.

Andy and Tim are taking on the challenge alongside Andy’s friends, Simon Fisher and Ben Whitmarsh, and on Monday another friend, Ben Wilde, also rode with them.

So far they have raised almost £3,400 and from the final total, 90 percent will go to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service and 10 per cent to the British Heart Foundation.

Find out more and make a donation here.

Follow Andy and Tim’s journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for @tandemtastictim

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