Riding Through The Dark
Peter Kehoe, Shaun Waldie
Oliver Attinger, Gavin Towers
Country / Nationality
Our Judges say:
Wonderful film that brought a tear to my eye. What adversity. What mental strength. Very attractive cinematography without being overly stylised - it simply helped experience the journey.
Gavin Towers, a visually impaired amateur cyclist from Millom, Cumbria, attempted to cycle 4,802 miles around the British coastline in less than 22 days. Gavin set off on his record attempt at 3:30am on Sunday 8 August 2021. Gavin is no stranger to physical challenges, he's a former member of the Team GB visually impaired Judo squad and was a Red Bull-sponsored triathlete. He’s also well-versed in ultra-endurance cycling: In 2020 he rode from Lands End to John o’Groats with his 10 year-old daughter. However, for Gavin this is much more than just a physical challenge, before he set off Gavin said: "This is about me coming to terms with my eye condition to help raise awareness and get people talking about something that affects 23,000 of us in the UK. I’m determined to show that no matter what life throws at you the impossible really can be possible. We all have our own challenges, we all need help at different times throughout our lives and I truly believe that the best way to overcome is by reaching out, asking for help and coming together. If I can do anything to help bring Britain a little closer together by riding a bike around it then I’ll be satisfied.” Gavin suffers from a degenerative eye condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa, making him only partially sighted. This made the challenge attempt even more impressive as Gavin road in all conditions with only a narrow field of sight. His eye condition also means his eyes are highly sensitive to light and he can suffer with 'night blindness', giving him even poorer vision at night or in poorly lit conditions and areas. Gavin's condition makes riding a bicycle significantly harder and more dangerous than an able-bodied rider. Due to these limitations Gavin was unable to break the record for the fastest circumnavigation of Britain by bike. However, this didn’t stop Gavin from completing the challenge. Gavin completed the challenge on the 7th September 2021, riding 4,811 miles in 31 days. Gavin partnered 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. As part of the record attempt Gavin is encouraging people to donate and raise funds for both charities.
The film was produced with a 2-person crew travelling in one vehicle to follow Gavin. We hope that in the film's visual language we celebrate the great outdoors of Britain and encourage people to engage with their surroundings, as Gavin has done.