Get on your bike for Bute rides to raise mental health awareness

Dave Hayes of Bute Community Cycling.
Dave Hayes of Bute Community Cycling.

Bute Community Cycling and Bute Wheelers Cycling Club invite you to join their sponsored rides in aid of Scottish Association of Mental Health.

The new event, open to cyclists of all ages and abilities, will be held during Mental Health Awareness Week, on Saturday, May 11.

Setting off from the sailing club, there will be three routes available. A ten-mile route suitable for families to Mount Stuart Estate. The medium cycle covers 22 miles – one loop of the island. While the long route (40 miles) loops and crosses the island. Entry is £5.

Organiser Dave Hayes revealed why the event is taking place. He said: “Bute Community Cycling wanted to do something during Mental Health Awareness Week so we approached Bute Wheelers and decided to put on this sponsored ride. We hope to have as many people as possible on the ride and supporting charity at the same time.

“It’s raising awareness and helping charity.

“We have had quite a lot of entries so far, so that’s positive. We have still got a lot of promotional work to do on the island itself, including going into the schools.

“We have the shorter ride to really encourage families to get involved and come out with their kids. The event covers all abilities.

“And because of when it is, it’s a good time of year to get out on your bike.”

Dave explained why cycling is so important for the mind as well as the body. He said: “Part of what Bute Community Cycling was set-up to do was to encourage more people to cycle, walk, just to have a healthier lifestyle.

“It’s not just the physical benefits. All the research shows that if you exercise more it’s beneficial to people’s mental health.

“It allows them to deal with day to day stress.”

Dave hopes the rides can become an annual event.

He said: “For us now it’s just the promotional side to make sure we have people coming on the ride and making people aware of exercise and cycling.

“We have had a really good response. Mount Stuart didn’t take any time to say yes. The sailing club has given us the use of their facilities for free because they want to be part of the event.

“And a yoga instructor has offered her service for free for a warm up and warm down at the event.

“We will see how it goes but we hope there will be sponsored rides in the future.”

For more call 07718 150795 or go to Eventbrite and search for Bute Community Cycling.