Charity Cycling Challenge
Our courageous adventurers Ciaran, Dylan, Leo and Lewis have raised over £1300 for Young Lives vs Cancer following their truly remarkable 207km sponsored cycle across the Highlands, starting from Inverness Castle and finishing in Perth.
The boys pushed themselves to their limits over the the course of the 14-hour challenge, showing determination, enthusiasm and incredible spirit. What’s more, on one of the hottest days of the year so far.
A massive thank you to Mr Shaw, who managed the logistics of the challenge from start to finish, and to Mr Adams, Mr Brennan, Mr Melville and Mr Patterson, who made the challenge possible, providing support, pedal power and sun screen, and ensuring the boys maintained optimal hydration levels!
Mr Shaw reports on the event:
On 15th June, four students from Falkland House School – Ciaran, Dylan, Lewis and Leo – embarked on their ambitious goal to cycle from Inverness to Perth, covering nearly 130 miles, and raising funds for the Young Lives vs Cancer organization.
Our four students were accompanied on their cycling adventure by Mr. Melville, Mr. Brennan and Mr. Adams, a recent addition to the FHS care team. To make the challenge more manageable, it was divided into eight stages, allowing the participants to set shorter goals and pace themselves effectively. Mr. Patterson accompanied the riders in the school minibus, while Mr. Shaw provided support from the accompanying car.
After gathering in front of Inverness Castle at 7am for a group photo, Dylan, Mr. Melville and Mr. Adams set off on the first leg of the journey through the quiet streets of Inverness. At Culloden, Ciaran, Falkland House School’s climbing specialist, took over and began the demanding ascent of the Highlands, even pushing Mr. Adams out of his saddle. Leo, an excellent climber himself, continued, assisting the team in reaching the Highland Plateau, with Lewis completing the challenging stage in Tomatin. And so, with seven stages still remaining, the journey continued.
As the morning progressed, the day grew hotter, with temperatures soaring into the mid-twenties. The boys diligently applied sunscreen and staff ensured that their water bottles remained filled. Such was the enthusiasm and spirit of the group that the main challenge became slowing them down. Despite starting an hour behind schedule, by the time we reached Coylumbridge, we had caught up and were back on track. The students were so eager to continue that they requested to ride for longer. However, recognising the halfway point at Dalwhinnie, they were advised to conserve their energy until then. The stage from Dalwhinnie to the Falls of Bruar involved descending on cycle paths along the old A9 route, offering a unique experience of riding on a car-free road.
True to form, upon reaching Dalwhinnie, the students were eager to push forward. After refilling their water bottles and fuelling up with oat bars and snacks, they embarked on the 20-mile stage over the Drummochter Summit.
After this exhilarating and memorable stage, the challenge began to take its toll as the century mark approached – an impressive distance covered on a bicycle. Ciaran carried the baton to Pitlochry, where the team rewarded themselves with highly anticipated fish and chips. This marked a psychological shift, as Perth was now within sight, merely two stages away.
Ciaran, Mr. Brennan, Mr. Melville and Mr. Adams (who had not stopped cycling since Inverness!) exerted incredible effort between Pitlochry and Dunkeld. Their determination pushed the team ahead of schedule, allowing them to conquer the remaining hills before the final descent into Perth. Cheers and support from the community in Bankfoot propelled everyone closer to the finish line. Finally, the cyclists arrived in Perth, where the cycle path along the banks of the Tay led them into the city centre. From there, it was a short but steep final push up to Falkland House School in Perth!
Despite their exhaustion, smiles adorned their faces, and a profound sense of accomplishment filled the air. The Falkland House School Perth community warmly welcomed and congratulated the team on their extraordinary achievement.
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ciaran, Dylan, Leo and Lewis. Your commitment to this challenge, even in the face of the unknown, is truly commendable. By attending training sessions, working hard, and stepping out of your comfort zones, you surpassed expectations. Your remarkable efforts raised much-needed funds for Children with Cancer, making a significant difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Well done to all of you.
A massive thank you goes out to Mr. Melville, Mr. Adams, Mr. Brennan and Mr. Patterson for their exceptional efforts during those two unforgettable days in June 2023. Without each of you, this challenge would not have been possible. Additionally, a special nod goes to Finlay, who joined the team with little notice or training, cycling the full distance alongside the students, providing support and ensuring their safety. Truly, what an incredible team!