Poverty-aid group launches 70-mile cycle challenge

Cyclist Iain Monk is raising money for Mercy Corps
Cyclist Iain Monk is raising money for Mercy Corps
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A CITY charity has launched a 70-mile cycling challenge around the Firth of Forth to raise funds for families living in poverty across the globe.

Around 150 to 250 people are expected to take part in Mercy Corps’ first Tour de Forth, which will start and finish at Ocean Terminal and become an annual event.

Mercy Corps, which created the fundraiser with Dunfermline’s Prentice Events, is asking each cyclist to raise £1 per mile to support its work.

The event is aimed at cyclists of all abilities, with four different routes available.

Tour de Forth Classic and Tour de Forth Sportive will take cyclists the full 70 miles, starting and finishing at Ocean Terminal.

Demi Tour de Forth is a half-route for those who would prefer to do a 35-mile challenge, cycling between the shopping centre and Kincardine.

The Family Ride is aimed at all ages and abilities and offers a leisurely 22-mile ride from Ocean Terminal to Craigie’s Farm, then heading to South Queensferry to stop for strawberries and cream before returning.

Mercy Corps’ events co-ordinator, Lisa Seymour, said: “We wanted to develop an event locally to engage with the local community. We are really excited to have our launch event this year, the feedback so far has been excellent.

“Lots of people are signing up already, so it’s looking to be a really successful event that we’re hoping to grow over consecutive years.”

She added: “The day is set to be filled with fun and excitement as participants take on the challenge to pedal around the Firth of Forth, with the assurance that they are being carefully looked after and supported throughout the day.”

Around 50 people have signed up to take part in the event since it launched last month. Mercy Corps hopes to raise around £10,000 from its inaugural cycle.

Iain Monk, who lives in Gullane, East Lothian, is among the cyclists to have already signed up.

The 49-year-old will take part with colleagues Andrew Slorance, 41, who lives in Liberton, and Kirsten Boag, 39, from Leith.

He said: “I’m a very keen cyclist – I cycle to Edinburgh from Gullane most days to get to work – and I also wanted to raise some money for a good cause.

“I’m really excited about it because it’s a fantastic route and it’s going to be great.”

Iain and Andrew, who both work in communications for the Scottish Government, hope to raise around £1000.

Iain, a father-of-two, added: “It’s not a race so we won’t be going hell for leather, we will just enjoy it and maybe stop off and have a pint.”

Mercy Corps currently works in more than 40 of the world’s toughest places to help people survive emergency situations and rebuild their lives.

Tour de Forth will take place on August 19, from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Registration will open at 8am.

To sponsor Iain, visit www.justgiving.com/SkynyrdScotland.