Glasgow to Arran 125 Mile Sponsored Cycle a huge success
The Sponsored Cycle organised by Tim Niven, SSN Trustee, took place between 22-24 April 2022 and was a huge success in terms of fundraising and raising awareness of stammering. Trustee John McIntosh lets us know more about what it was like to take part in the Cycle:
“At 9 a.m. on Friday the 22nd of April, three lycra-clad gentlemen of a certain age met in Pollok Park in Glasgow. We were about to embark on the annual bike ride to raise funds for the Scottish Stammering Network. At around 190 kms, this year’s ride was the longest yet, a 3 day epic comprising a run from Glasgow to Ardrossan, a circumnavigation of the mighty Isle of Arran, and the return trip from Ardrossan to Glasgow.
Tim Niven, stammerer, SSN Trustee and organiser of the trip, was accompanied by myself, fellow stammerer and trustee John McIntosh, while non-stammering supporter and all- round good egg Alan Russell made up our brave trio. Of the original group of five, two had been lost to Covid and other domestic emergencies and circumstances, but the remaining three of us remained remarkably undaunted (well, perhaps a wee bit daunted). Amazingly, the weather looked glorious for the weekend.
This SSN fundraiser has been an an annual event for five years now – in previous years there have been three ‘5 Ferry Challenges’, while last year was restricted to a relatively gentle ride from Glasgow to Chatelherault and back. This year ‘s Arran ride promised to be perhaps the most challenging yet, especially Day 2 round the island. That route is 56 miles long and notoriously hilly, and I think we were all a bit nervous about how, or indeed whether, we would make it. Like I said, gentlemen of a certain age – at least me.
Day 1 was a relatively gentle introduction, mainly on cycle paths, through Kilbirnie, Dalry and finally Ardrossan. We caught the ferry and were on the island by mid- afternoon.
The next morning at 8am, after a full Scottish breakfast, we set off from Corrie, 6 miles north of Brodick, and almost immediately ran into the infamous Lochranza climb, which certainly woke us up. After Lochranza, however, the route levelled out, and the run down the west coast was mainly flat, with spectacular views across to the Mull of Kintyre. However, this was not to last!
Rounding the bottom of the island we were faced with a series of ‘challenging’ climbs which really did push us to our limits, and I think we all wondered if we had over-reached ourselves. The final climb out of Lamlash felt like one challenge too many, but, one painful turn of the pedals at a time, we got there, and in a quicker time than we had anticipated – we even managed to catch the earlier ferry and were back on the mainland by 3pm! On Sunday, we hauled our aching limbs back up the hill from Ardrossan and sprinted (slowly) back to Glasgow.
But it was all worth it. At time of writing our cycle ride has raised around £1300, a very gratifying figure, with more still to come. This is the highest total ever for this event, and we are so grateful to all the friends, families and strangers who chipped in. Your money will be put to very good use supporting people who stammer all over Scotland, so thank you for your huge generosity. A few aching muscles is a small price to pay but we had a fantastic time – why not join us next year?”.
A big thanks goes to Tim, John and Allan for dedicating their time and energy. There is still time to donate to Tim’s JustGiving fundraising site for the cycle: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ssnsponsoredcycletoarranapril2022