Josh Quigley at the Injury Rehab Network
Josh Quigley’s World Record Journey
The latest event of the Injury Rehab Network with BASRaT featured the emotional and inspirational story of endurance cyclist Josh Quigley. Josh is the epitome of rehabilitation and has overcome mental and physical challenges in becoming an endurance athlete.
The event was joined by over 60 sports rehabilitators and sports injury professionals from across the UK and included some of BASRaT’s global members from countries including India and Canada.
Josh’s Journey into Cycling
As a young professional Josh had it all, a successful marketing business, long term relationship and fantastic social life (enjoyed in true Scottish fashion).
In 2014 Josh and his partner split and this led to a deep and dark depression. Josh was incredibly low and sadly tried to take his own life by crashing his car at high speed. Remarkably, Josh survived the crash and whilst in hospital decided it was time to turn his life around.
The months drifted by and Josh attended a business event where he joined a talk from cycling legend, Sir Chris Hoy. Josh did not have an interest in cycling but after hearing Sir Chris’ talk, Josh was inspired to not just get a bike, but to cycle around the world!
The next six months were spent preparing for Josh’s ‘journey to happiness’ with one minor pitfall being that he failed to do any cycling before heading out on his around the world ride! One year later and Josh had cycled over 10,000 miles, cycling around 50 miles a day. Josh realised that cycling and adventures were key to his happiness so at that point, simply decided to end his journey and head home to Scotland.
On returning to Scotland, Josh soon slipped into unhealthy habits of a poor diet and heavy drinking. Josh knew a return to cycling was essential for his wellbeing and so he set off again on his global cycling adventures.
Committing to the Dream
By 2018 Josh had enjoyed cycling but had not completed his journey with 6 attempts to make it around the world. Josh’s dad sadly died in 2018 and this was the moment when Josh deeply committed to achieving his goal.
In April 2019 Josh was ready and set off, determined to cycle around the world. There was a slight hiccup at the start with Josh’s bike getting stolen in London, but he stayed focused and was soon in Paris. Whilst in Paris Josh stood in the footsteps of many cycling champions, under the Champs Elysees, and in a spiritual moment decided that he would aim to win the greatest prize of all in cycling, the Tour De France.
With renewed focus and a grand aim, Josh was motivated and soon increased his mileage, cycling over 100 miles every day. Whilst in the Alps Josh embarked on some of the iconic climbs and imagined what it would be like to compete in a grand tour.
Josh was eating up the miles and cycled across Europe and Asia, soon arriving in China. China was hard, it was hot, windy and a cultural shock. After cycling across China Josh cycled through Japan to the end of Asia in Tokyo.
Half the World Away
The first flight of Josh’s trip took him from Tokyo to Perth where he would embark on a journey across Australia to Brisbane. Josh loved Australia, the friendly people and even found time to rekindle a relationship in Adelaide.
After Australia, Josh flew to California for the penultimate leg of the journey. This was the home stretch, just 3,000 miles across USA to New York City, then 1,000 miles across Europe and home.
By December 2019 Josh was now racking up a massive 200 miles per day and taking on America with huge confidence. There is a saying, ‘don’t mess with Texas’ and unfortunately this would be true when Texas put an end to Josh’s story. Josh had already cycled 180 miles in a day but wanted to push on and decided to get to the next town and after a break for food, headed out into the darkness for the final 20 miles.
Whilst on the highway Josh was focused on achieving his 200-mile goal for the day and the next thing he remembers is lying face down at the side of the road with the sound of a helicopter overhead. Josh had been struck by a car travelling at 70mph, thrown in the air, and suffered multiple injuries to his skull, artery, brain, ribs, lung, back, foot and ankle.
Josh was taken to hospital and after 3 major operations actually enjoyed being in the hospital. He had time to reflect and knew that after cycling 14,000 miles he had fallen in love with cycling. After just two weeks in the hospital, Josh was transferred to a rehabilitation centre where he spent up to 4 hours a day cycling on the exercise bike even though he was unable to bear weight.
Back to Scotland to Recover
Just 5 – 6 weeks after the accident he was back in Scotland and soon progressed from indoor cycling to getting back on the road bike. After 12 weeks Josh was fully recovered and wanted to return to America to complete the journey around the world. However, it was now March 2020 and like the rest of the world, COVID-19 had other ideas and meant global adventures were now out of the question.
World Record Ride
Josh trained hard during the lockdown and found himself to be fitter than ever. It was time for a new challenge and Josh decided to go for a world record and one closer to home, The North Coast 500! The 516-mile route has become famous for the dramatic scenery around some of the most beautiful parts of North Scotland. The route includes over 32,000 feet of climbing and Josh intended to complete the world record attempt in one mammoth ride.
Josh’s world record attempt was sponsored Sterosport Activ, another arm of Steroplast Healthcare. On 19th September (also the final day of the 2020 Tour De France), Josh set off from Inverness Castle determined to break the world record. Over 36,000 people tracked Josh’s progress online. The margins were tight, and Josh did not even stop for toilet breaks to increase his average speed. After 30 hours Josh was closing back in on Inverness and knew the final hour needed the greatest effort of his life. Josh pushed on and returned to the castle victorious with a new world record of 31 hours and 19 minutes, just a few minutes ahead of the previous record.
Focus on Yellow
World record in the bag, Josh is now 100% focused on his long-term goal of the yellow jersey and becoming the first Scottish winner of the Tour De France in 2026. Josh wants to share his journey and to inspire as many people as possible.
In working towards his 2026 goal, Josh has identified the steps required to get there and is now training full time. Josh’s training plans will lead to competitive racing which Josh hopes will give him the experience and opportunity to join a professional cycling team. This would then enable Josh to be a contender for the yellow jersey.
Mental Toughness Versus Physical Ability
Josh’s story evoked many questions from those who joined the Injury Rehab Network event. Many of these questions were in relation to Josh’s mental and physical attributes. Josh believes that achieving anything in life is 90% mental and that self-belief is critical and has great intrinsic motivation, is a dreamer and gives everything he does 100%. He does not believe that he has unique physical ability but does believe that his mental strength, determination, and commitment to a goal enables him to perform at the highest level.
Josh’s attitude changed with the support of his mentor in 2015 when he was helped to focus on personal accountability with ‘no excuses’. The mental challenges that Josh has faced will always be there but cycling and adventure have helped Josh to find happiness.
Josh is motivated by his often-spiritual self-beliefs. For example, he has often posted on social media about being ‘Super Human’ and this belief was put to the test and arguably proven when Josh didn’t just survive the traumatic injuries sustained in Texas but bounced back and is now stronger than ever.
Next Steps and Current Training
Josh is pleased with how training is going and with his performance. He has a team of loyal supporters including sponsors, a mentor, coach, cycling shop, nutritionist and even PR and photography specialists. This team have all approached Josh, believe in him, and can help on his journey to yellow.
Josh can currently be found putting in the miles around his local area as part of his latest challenge, The Tour De France: West Lothian. This 3-week challenge sees Josh taking on 21 stages and covering 2,100 miles, all within the boundaries of West Lothian. Josh is fundraising for local children’s charity River Kids.
Josh has 100% self-belief, and we believe he can do it too. Just search JoshQuigley2026 to follow Josh’s adventures on social media and Strava.
If you did not get a chance to join Injury Rehab Network event you can watch the recording here.
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