scotland 2011

may 2011

“Over the Bank Holiday weekend 19 Amos supporters cycled across Scotland for the fourth annual Amos bike ride.
The ride started with a fairly leisurely 53 miles from Inverness to Aviemore, with an obligatory tour of the Distillery en route before a night watching the Champions League Final.
The second day was the hardest day yet on one of these rides, from Aviemore down to Glen Nevis, at the foot of Ben Nevis just outside Fort William. It was a journey up into the Highlands with Scotland at its most beautiful and hardest.   Only 65 miles but it was into a headwind of 15 – 20 mph, with gusts over 40 mph.  Each time that you tried to freewheel down a hill, a gust would either knock you sideways or stop you in your tracks.
The third day was back up the Great Glen returning to Inverness – the wind had dropped and was at our backs.  Seventy miles of staggering beauty and great cycling; along the Caledonian Canal, off road around Loch Lochy, a category 2 climb out of Fort Augustus and then a long fast descent to Loch Ness and 15 miles along its south side.
The ride is not really about fundraising (although over the years it has raised £70,000), it is really about being involved with Amos. Ian Hempshall had just returned from the Palestine/Israel trip which he had heard about on the previous year’s ride. Richard Rawlings – now a sprightly 67, was once more along with his son Dan who had organised the two previous rides, and many of those involved have visited our partners in Palestine or South Africa. There is a fantastic atmosphere among the riders and each evening there is a large meal where people relive the day before branching into a wide range of discussions and the obligatory awards ceremonies and lots of laughter.
Huge thanks are owed to Amos volunteers Elie Vanvlasselaer and his assistant Jochen Thies for organising the trip, also to Karen Chalk for driving and Adrian Stokes for the medicinal hip flask.  Unfortunately we just missed Kip Gresham and Adrian Reith in Inverness – who successfully managed to complete a gruelling ride from Lands End to John O’Groats in the face of dreadful weather in aid of Amos’s parter in South Africa, Umthombo Street Children. You can read about their ride here
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