Fundraising cycle up north

Victoria O'Reilly  and Raymond Evenden with their support team, Lorn Smith and Sure Brooks
Victoria O'Reilly and Raymond Evenden with their support team, Lorn Smith and Sure Brooks

Victoria O’Reilly from Rothesay recently cycled 520 miles through the Highlands in three days to raise money for Bute charity Calum’s Cabin.

Victoria took on the gruelling NC500 coastal route with her friend Raymond Evenden from Falkirk on the weekend of June 22-24.

Victoria O'Reilly from Rothesay  took on the gruelling NC500 coastal route with her friend Raymond Evenden from Falkirk on the weekend of June 22-24.

Victoria O'Reilly from Rothesay took on the gruelling NC500 coastal route with her friend Raymond Evenden from Falkirk on the weekend of June 22-24.

Taking off from Inverness Castle at 7am on the Friday morning, the pair returned to the historic site at 8.30pm on the Sunday evening, having only had around four and a half hours sleep all weekend.

Victoria said: “We had a support team, Lorn Smith and Sure Brooks, and they had a support vehicle which we could eat and sleep in.

“We had two sleep breaks. Friday night 12.30am- 2.30am and Saturday night 12.30am - 3am. On Sunday we had a five minute doze before heading down the A7.

“The idea is we wanted to do it non-stop as an endurance event – to see how quickly we could get round the route.

“It’s something that we will never forget. It was no mean feat. To endure the hills, the traffic and just the hours on the saddle.

“It was very hard going.”

Victoria was delighted with how the cycle went. She said: “I’m very happy with our time. We had wanted to get finished early on the Sunday. But as it went on we realised how difficult that would be.

“On Saturday the weather was pretty bad. Quite windy and rainy. So it took time to recover from that, change our clothing and eat something warm.”

Raymond is a triathlete with the Grangemouth Triathlon Club, who recently completed the Barcelona Triathlon. Victoria added: “I met Raymond through my cousin, who lives in Falkirk, who is big on triathlons. So Raymond came with cousin to the local triathlon here.”

Victoria hopes to raise as much money as possible.

She said: “I have done a couple of events over the years raising money locally. I helped raise some money for the kidney dialysis unit at the hospital. And again I just wanted to use this challenge to do something for the local community.

“Calum’s Cabin was the obvious charity to go to. What they do is amazing. It’s a very worthwhile cause to support.

“I have got a Just Giving link on my Facebook page but I could only do it in one name. We had hoped to set up a donation page for both of us, for the challenge as a whole.

“So we have done two. Raymond has had more donations than me. But if we put them together it’s about £2,5000 at the moment. Which is not bad but we want to raise more.”

To donate, go to - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/victoria-o-reilly