Dingwall businessman's epic bike ride chips in towards £65K Highland Hospice boost
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A ROSS-SHIRE man was among the cyclists that took up an epic ride through the Highlands to raise £65,000 for a local charity.
Gordon Macallister (52), from Dingwall, was part of the group of business people that took on a 380-mile route, leaving from Wick and cycling to Durness, Ullapool and then to Skye, eventually heading for Fort William, finishing with a ride along the Great Glen to Inverness.
The team pushed themselves in a gruelling ride which included 25,500ft of climbing, equating to the ascension of the highest point on earth, to raise money for Highland Hospice.
Mr Macallister, of Tulloch Homes, said: "A friend of my wife got me into this initiative, although the longest I have been on a bike is probably a day and then having six or seven days of rest. This time it was the other way round!
"The first day was the hardest one, but the week turned out to be very entertaining in the end. We all got along very well and we were amazed by the beautiful views we came across our route, with the exception of the second day which was very rainy.
"It was very hilly at some points and it was a challenge to spend seven to eight hours on the seat of a bike but it was a really good experience and the organising team did an incredible job supporting us along the route and finding accommodation.
"At the end it feels like you've achieved something and you are doing it for a good cause."
Patrick Balfour (66) and Kirsty Innes (24) were the oldest and youngest cyclists to ever take on the challenge.
Kirsty’s dad, Julian Innes, was among the organisers and said: “We started the week as individuals and rode into Inverness as a team with a common goal. Each rider had different motivations but we all recognise the excellent work undertaken by the hospice staff supported by the wonderful volunteers.”
Hospice community fundraiser Emma Nicol said: “We cannot thank the cyclists enough for their hard work and commitment to this event, they are truly an incredible group of people who have given up so much of their time to train and fundraise for us over the past 12-18 months.
"Everyone at Highland Hospice is very proud of their achievement. We would also like to thank all our incredible sponsors who supported the event and our wonderful drivers who ensured the safety and wellbeing of our cyclists at all times.”
The event, held biannually, has raised a total of £356,500 for the charity so far.