Former Scotland rugby captain Rob Wainwright set off on a mammoth charity cycle at the weekend.
The ex-rugby star, who now farms on the isle of Coll, is giving hungry children hope for a better future by raising money for Argyll based-charity Mary’s Meals.
He and eight friends are tackling a hilly Highland ride, which will see them cover 811 miles and 54,209 feet of ascent – the equivalent of climbing 18 Munros – in just nine days.
The team has already raised more than £11,000 for Mary’s Meals, a Scottish-based charity that helps to break the cycle of poverty by setting up school feeding programmes in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The challenging ride has been nicknamed North of the Fault after the Great Glen fault line, which runs down by Loch Ness.
The route will take the riders from Oban to John o’Groats via Applecross and Ullapool, then down through Beauly and back to Oban for the ferry to the Isle of Mull.
Mr Wainwright and friends, who set off on Saturday, will be camping en route, and on the final day, the nine-strong team will complete the Isle of Mull Sportive – an 88 mile cycle route with 3,500 feet of ascent.
He said: “During the long winters on Coll we spend many an evening scheming about the exciting things we are definitely going to do in summer. Alas, few of our dreams ever make it past planning, but finally we had an idea that has come to fruition.
“We first toyed with the idea of doing a cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, but quickly decided we preferred our own neck of the woods, so the North of the Fault route was dreamt up. While our route is slightly shorter, it’s also rather more climbing and will be quite a tough ride for our team.
“We wanted a meaningful charitable element to such a demanding project, and the simple genius of Mary’s Meals was a no brainer, particularly since it started locally and is on our route.
To sponsor the team, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/NorthoftheFault .