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North Kessock businesswoman to pedal from John O’Groats to Land's End for a Highland charity Mikeysline

By Ian Duncan

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Abbie McCahill is doing a charity bike ride from John O'Groats to Land's End for Mikeysline. Picture: Gary Anthony
Abbie McCahill is doing a charity bike ride from John O'Groats to Land's End for Mikeysline. Picture: Gary Anthony

A woman who only began cycling during the coronavirus pandemic, is hoping to raise big money for a deserving charity.

Abigail McCahill (35) will set off from Caithness on Monday.

She is planning to tackle the challenge solo and will be supported along the route by her partner Stevie and her 11-year-old springer spaniel, who will travel ahead and welcome her at the end of each stage of her epic journey.

However, as she is still relatively new to cycling, she has not set a timetable for the trip.

The managing director of Inverness-based Adder Business said: “I’m not a seasoned cyclist – having only bought my first real bike in August last year – so I’m not going to put any time pressure on myself.

“The whole trip will be just under 1000 miles of pedalling and I’ll aim to cover between 80 and 100 miles per day.”

To prepare for the fundraiser Ms McCahill has been helped by Kenny Riddle, from Bikes of Inverness, who showed her the ropes of cycle maintenance and put together a survival kit for the journey.

She said: “I have also been tagging along with The Manky Mob who have been training for the amazing Maggie’s 500 later this year. The group are just awesome and I’ve learned so much about cycling while getting the craic all over the Highlands.”

Far from finding the trip daunting she said she had taken to cycling “like a duck to water” adding: “I’m not terribly good at it, and certainly not very fast, but I thoroughly enjoy it both solo and as part of a group.”

She will be raising cash for Mikeysline, which she described as an unbelievable charity doing vital work.

“Most people know, I think, that they started off in response to a focus on young male suicide which is a huge problem today,” she said.

“I have a young son, Robbie, who is 13 and a brilliant, clever, kind and outgoing boy with lots of friends, but I’m acutely aware that Robbie will soon fall into the age bracket of those that Mikeysline help the most often.”

She is planning to collect money for the cause along the way, adding: “I know that lots of folk have experienced difficulties recently and that a lot of people have taken a hit on their income. I don’t want to ask people for any more than a fiver.

“I know often when you see JustGiving donation links you can feel pressured into giving significant sums – the default position suggests £30 – that’s three-and-a-half hours of work on minimum wage.

“I have been really happy so far asking anyone and everyone for a £5, or less, contribution to the bucket and have found that everyone has been really, really, willing.

“I have to say that was my mum’s idea and I’m the one who works in marketing.”

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