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'Rivy' Sinclair NC500 cyclists 'burst' by Storm Agnes on plucky tribute ride for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS)

By Erin Miller

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Sheena and Dave with friends Caroline Reid, Shaun Bremner and Greg Wilmot.
Sheena and Dave with friends Caroline Reid, Shaun Bremner and Greg Wilmot.

HIGHLAND cyclists raising money for a lifeline charity have confessed to feeling "woeful" after being battered on the NC500 route by Storm Agnes – despite raising a remarkable £7500-plus for the cause.

Sheena Sinclair and Dave Hennessy have been joined by three friends – Caroline Reid, Shaun Bremner and Greg Wilmot – in the effort.

They set out on an NC500 attempt in memory of their daughter ‘Rivy’ Sinclair at the start of the week.

The group, from Kildary, are raising money for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), a charity that provided Rivy's parents, Sheena and Dave, a lifeline after the devastating loss of their daughter.

'Rivy' Sinclair.
'Rivy' Sinclair.

The team set out on Monday morning from Inverness making strong progress in their first few days. The team and their supporters give regular updates of their progress on both their facebook page and youtube channel.

The couple knew that the cycle would be a huge challenge as they are not experienced cyclists. They wanted to do something that to 'push them outside their comfort zone' – and the extremities they have faced have done just that.

On Wednesday, the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning saying that Storm Agnes - the first named storm of the season - would bring strong wind and rain across Scotland.

The adverse conditions have limited the overall progress of the group as they were forced to make difficult decisions to ultimately prioritise their safety on the challenge.

The team sought refuge in the Ullapool Fire station on the night of the storm and were extremely grateful to the local fire brigade for letting them stay there and keep their bikes indoors overnight.

Over the last few days the team has been ‘battered’ by extreme weather conditions as the storm.

A deflated Caroline Reid posted to the group's Facebook page on Thursday evening: “I’m not even posting a selfie or a group photo.

“We are burst. We are evaluating the storm.

“We have very little to eat as everywhere shut before we got here.

“Poor support crew are camping in the hoolie...

"Not enough charging stuff, not enough heat.

“Not my usual post, but morale is let’s say… woeful.”

Last night, she gave an update on the team’s progress as they had just made it over the Kylesku Bridge.

“So we have discussed the logistics and with Storm Agnes still loitering about we have made a decision to play safe and change the direction we are going in.We also know that we are going to be behind about a day's worth of miles due to the poop of the storm.

“Yes it’s a diversion off the ‘route’. Are we too bothered, sort of, but, we want to finish as the team that started and with the support we have joining us on the weekend, and we want to finish on Sunday.

Caroline said that the team would return to the route at a later date and stressed the importance of the safety of team members when making this tough decision.

She said: “We will come back and finish the official one, and as a team when it’s safer to do so.”

For now, the current plan for today will be to make it from Scourie to Laxford Bridge and finish up for the day in Lairg.

Proud mum Debbie Sinclair reported that the team have set off today looking "a lot fresher after a night's sleep and food".

Caroline shared an update a short time ago to say: "Its a beautiful day, a tad windy. It has actually been really nice today, we are enjoying our little cycle."

Tomorrow they will set off from Lairg, Rogart, the Mound, Embo, Dornoch, Bonar Bridge, Ardgay, Tain and Kildary.

The group have made it an incredible £7690 past the three-quarter mark of their £10,000 target. Donations can be made on their gofundme page.

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