A Letchworth dad rode his motorcycle the length of South America in memory of his son, Tom, who died when he was just seven years old.

Richard 'Dicky' Barr rode more than 10,000 miles in three months, travelling through six countries - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina - to Ushuaia, the world’s most southerly city, dubbed 'the end of the world'.

The Comet: Tom, who had Down's syndrome and congenital heart disease, died in 2004, when he was just seven years old.Tom, who had Down's syndrome and congenital heart disease, died in 2004, when he was just seven years old. (Image: Courtesy of Richard Barr)

Richard’s son, Tom, had Down’s syndrome and was born with congenital heart disease.

The aim of Richard's challenge was to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association and Woolgrove School, a special needs academy in Letchworth.

Remembering his son, Richard said: "Tom tended to create a tidal wave of smiles and laughter wherever he went, as others were taken by his infectious joy. He has had a huge influence on my life and that of my family."

The Comet: Richard at Ushuaia.Richard at Ushuaia. (Image: Courtesy of Richard Barr)

Tom died at Great Ormond Street Hospital in July 2004 and, ever since, Richard has raised money each year for the two charities.

He said: "Each year, I take on a different challenge to raise funds for the two charities who helped us so much.

"I guess, too, there may be something therapeutic for me in the charity adventures. When I was about to embark upon my first charity challenge, a friend said he was sure that Tom would be riding pillion with me.

"This sentiment is comforting and has always rested with me. There are two of us on the challenges I undertake."

The Comet: Desert in Argentina.Desert in Argentina. (Image: Richard Barr)

About his most recent challenge, Richard said: "The ride was an amazing adventure and great fun. I got to meet so many fantastic people and experience different cultures.

"The scenery was spectacular, with amazing roads and extremes of weather.

"It was also very challenging at times, but a real privilege to have been able to undertake such an incredible journey."

Richard’s past challenges have included riding a penny farthing across all of London’s Thames bridges, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, doing the Three Peaks Challenge in the UK, riding a bicycle across Vietnam and Cambodia, and dog-sledding across Lapland in six days.

Richard’s fundraising page for his motorcycling challenge remains open. To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/RichardBarr.