London and Rio Paralympian Mel Nichols came blasting through Ayrshire last week as part of her record-breaking attempt to handcycle around the UK coast, Race Around Britain - The Long Road Home.

Mel’s ultra endurance challenge will see her circumnavigate Britain by handbike. She is looking to set the fastest known time for handcycling around Britain, and will also be looking to break the record for the furthest distance ridden by handcycle.

Depending on the route, the distance around the coast of Britain is in the region of 7000 km.

She was in Ballantrae last Wednesday (August 25) morning where she set off for Arran, passing through South and North Ayrshire along the way.

Ayr Advertiser: Mel in Ballantrae. Photo by Jim Ryder.

Mel said of her time in Ayrshire: "I cycled the Ayrshire coast in the sunshine which was stunning, a really lovely route of roads & cycle routes, cycling into Ardrossan to catch the Arran ferry.

"My favourite place still has to be the Isle of Arran where I call my second home, and I’m so glad I was able to include it in my route as I cycled up my favourite road to Lochranza to continue north from Kintyre. "

She will ride from dawn and through to dark and often beyond each day to complete the gruelling total distance in the fastest known time.

Mel said: "I love cycling, I love the adventure of a journey and I love Britain. As ever it is very much about the journey, the people and places, alongside the performance, hopeful achievement and world records.

"Travelling by bike is an incredible way of exploring Great Britain and by handcycle to share routes, cycleways, showcase and champion places, inspire others to find their routes, explore more and for everyone - able bodied or disabled, to get outside and get out on their bikes.

"As I am fully self supported it is a very different challenge to my lands end to John o Groats world record in 2019 which I had a support team, so cycling all day is just part of the challenge.

"I am also carrying my kit which makes hills much harder, having to plan each day’s route, navigate, find food and find somewhere to sleep each night.

"Many days I am beyond exhausted, but there are always moments in every day that are magical, whether that’s people I meet or places I ride through."

Mel says that one of her onjectives, as well as the record-attempt, is to raise awareness and funds for two charities doing vital work in cancer research - Ovarian Cancer Action & The Eve Appeal.