A CHARITY cycling event is heading for East Lothian in August, to raise funds for Scotland’s National Respite Centre.
The Big East Lothian Cycle has been organised by Leuchie House in collaboration with True Grit events, and aims to help raise funds for Leuchie.
Leuchie offers respite breaks to people living with neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, MND, Parkinson’s and the effects of stroke.
Around 300 cyclists, from beginners to seasoned riders, will get in the saddle on Sunday, 28th August, to make the 50-mile journey from Leuchie to Gifford, Garvald and back, with a smaller, gentler route also available.
Mark Bevan, Leuchie CEO, is delighted the charity can once again host face-to-face events, and hopes it can follow the success of last year’s Big Hare Trail, which has been shortlisted for Campaign of the Year in the Scottish Charity Awards.
He said: “We loved bringing The Big Hare Trail, along with lots of visitors to East Lothian during lockdown.
“It was a great way to show off our fantastic area and get involved with the wider community including schools, local business and of course, guest’s carers and volunteers.
“On the back of that success, this summer we will bring The Big East Lothian Cycle, a tour of our famous landmarks with excellent local food producers to entice people from far and wide and with all abilities to enjoy a cycle in company.
“Although much of society is moving on from Covid, like other health care services, Leuchie is still experiencing significant challenges as we meet the regulations which keep out guests and team safe.
“There has been little change for us except a significant increase in cost. So, we hope that this event will bring fun and funds!”
Arlene Main, Fundraising Manager at Leuchie, said: “We are delighted to launch our first-ever Big East Lothian Cycle and can’t wait for people to sign up.
“The cycle will take in the stunning East Lothian scenery and with two routes available, ensuring there is something for everyone.
“All funds raised from The Big East Lothian Cycle will help Leuchie House provide transformational respite breaks for people living with a neurological condition and a break for their carer too.”
Starting at Leuchie the first section will be a fast flat ride out, with views of Berwick Law, Dirleton Castle and East Lothian’s Golf Coast, before turning inland at Luffness Mains and taking on the first climb of the day to Chesters Hill Fort and Hopetoun Monument.
Riders will then head downhill into Haddington before moving into the hills and on to the next stop in Gifford.
For those wishing to do the shorter route, this is the halfway mark, and from there, that group of riders will pedal to Papple and face a generally flat or downhill route back to the coast before the last push up ‘The Heugh’ back to Leuchie.
The longer route will put participants’ stamina to the test with a long climb into the Lammemuirs and up the daunting Redstone Rigg, before a downhill stretch towards Whiteadder, followed by a well-earned stop, then back to Leuchie via West Barnes.