A group of 21 cycling enthusiasts are preparing to tackle the famous Ride The North cycle event for a local cancer charity later this month.
The team, who are raising funds for Maggie’s Aberdeen, will embark on the challenging 175-mile ride around Rhynie and Inverness on August 27 and 28.
The squad is comprised of a number of centre visitors and employees from companies such as Brodies, Activpayroll and Walkers Shortbread, who are sponsors of Ride The North.
One of the team is father-of-two, Richard Haugh, who will be participating in the two-day challenge for a second time after being treated for bowel cancer following his diagnosis in 2012.
Mr Haugh said: “It’s hard to imagine that, three and a half years ago, I was fighting for my life after being told I had bowel cancer.
“After recuperation, I decided I wanted to get fit after gaining weight through my treatment and, the fitter you are, the less chance there is of a relapse.
“I thought cycling would be a great way to get fit and get me out and about again. The time on my bike not only makes me physically stronger but also benefits me mentally after my ordeal. I started cycling a few miles and gradually built this up.
“Ride The North is a great way to allow me to give something back to Maggie’s Aberdeen after the support the staff at the centre gave me and my family from the beginning and throughout my treatment.
It’s not a race, but a cycling challenge that celebrates the sport and the picturesque scenery as you travel across the region is just superb.”
The popular event starts in Rhynie where the cyclists will commence their long and hilly ride up to Inverness, passing through such communities as Dufftown, Glenlivet and Tomintoul.
Day two follows with the final 90 miles, beginning at Culloden before the route continues on through Forres, Elgin and Fochabers, climaxing with the climb over The Cabrach and the descent into Rhynie to the finishing line.
Susan Sutherland, centre head at Maggie’s Aberdeen, added: “We are delighted that we have a team, yet again, taking part in the fantastic Ride The North event.
“Every year, we have a team complete it and I only hear great things from each cyclist. They all enjoy the extremely testing route, whilst raising the valuable funds that helps to keep Maggie’s centres operational.
“This year alone, Maggie’s Aberdeen has had more than 5,000 visits from people affected by cancer who have been able to benefit from our unique programme of support.
“To continue to offer that support, Maggie’s Aberdeen relies entirely on voluntary fundraising including the generous donations we receive from corporations like Fifth Ring, Brodies and Activpayroll.
“I would like to wish the team the best of luck ahead of the event.”
To support the team riding for Maggie’s visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Richard-Haugh3