SKYE was great. The boys did so well, cycling 195 miles to the island, for the Butterfly Trust, a Cystic Fibrosis charity. James and Ricky conquered the epic cycle with a lot of hard work and a lot of laughs.
James, a bike mechanic and cycling enthusiast, had come up with the idea after our friend fell seriously ill with the condition and Ricardo, a former army serviceman, decided to come along for the ride.
Both of them trained vigorously for the event and aimed to collect £500 for the cause.
They set out from James’s place of work, Qbikes on Neilston Road, Paisley, at five in the morning, making fantastic time, and laughing and joking as they sped over the Erskine bridge.
They were cycling in freezing conditions and just before Loch Lomond both had to stop and thaw out their frozen water bottles!
When reaching the Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum at 8.30am, they were frozen but in good spirits.
On hearing of their story, the owner of the Green Welly, Fiona Robertson, ushered us into the cafe, where she treated us all to a hearty, well-deserved breakfast of tea, coffee and bacon and sausage rolls – for free.
Fiona also gave them £20 to their cause.
The boys then made for the Mallaig ferry to Skye, meeting friendly holiday-makers and pipers along the way.
James and Ricardo clocked up an impressive 15 hours and 195 miles on their bikes, by reaching Portree at 8.00pm.
They have since gathered in many more donations, and passed the £500 mark.
I thought I would give you a little of what they thought…
James said: “I’m so happy we made it. It was hard-going on some bits and we are both pretty sore. But knowing that we have made our target is worth it, and we still have more donations pouring in, so hopefully we will help even more people than we thought.
“Getting a free breakfast was great! Fiona at the Green Welly was so good to us and even gave us a donation.
“I think I would do it again. It was really hard work but the people we met and the sights and scenery we saw couldn’t be matched. It’s truly beautiful up there.”
Ricardo said: “It was a fantastic trip. I loved the cycle. We had a great laugh and I think we helped to lift each other’s spirits the whole way.
“It’s great that we have reached the target we hoped to and I hope the number keeps growing, so keep donating.”
You can still donate to their cause by going online, here.
Lisa-Nicole Mitchell is a third-year BA in Journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University.[/private]