AN AMATEUR cyclist with partial vision is aiming to break a record set in 1984 while raising funds for charity.

Millom's very own Gavin Towers is aiming to break the record for the fastest circumnavigation of Britain by bike.

On August 8 the 44-year-old from Millom will attempt to cycle 4,802 miles around the British coastline in less than 22 days.

Adding to the challenge, Gavin suffers from a degenerative eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa. This means Gavin will be riding for 18 hours a day in all conditions with tunnel vision.

His eye condition also means his eyes are highly light sensitive and causes night blindness, giving him even poorer vision at night or in dimly lit environments. This makes riding a bicycle significantly harder and more dangerous than an able-bodied rider.

Gavin is partnering with two national charities that are close to his heart for the challenge: the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Save the Children.

A former member of the Team GB visually impaired Judo squad and a Red Bull-sponsored triathlete, Gavin is no stranger to physical endeavour and challenge.

The route will start and end in his home town of Millom.

Gavin said: “I really can’t wait to get out on the road to be honest with you. For obvious reasons it’s been a challenging time for everyone over the last 12 months and I feel privileged and excited to share this journey with as many people as possible.

"From a personal perspective, this challenge is about me coming to terms with my eye condition, something that affects more than 1.5 million people around the world. A bike ride of this magnitude is magnificent and overwhelming and huge and in many ways incomprehensible. And that’s my eye condition to me. I can’t really get my head around it. Even when I think I’ve got a handle on it something else happens and that’s what this ride is all about. Some days I’ll think this is insurmountable and others I’ll be flying with a 20 mph tailwind behind me. For me, that is the reality of life.

"The main purpose of the ride is not to break the record. The main purpose is to get on the road, to engage people and to raise awareness of visual impairment. I’m aiming to complete the 4,802 miles in 21 days to break the record but I have no idea how my body will respond to 230 miles a day. I love the uncertainty of that and that’s what excites me.”