516-mile round trip to Inverness – by bike for Calum’s Cabin

Raymond Evenden (48) from Falkirk and Victoria O'Reilly from Rothesay completed the NC500 northern route on bike in 60hours. June 2018
Raymond Evenden (48) from Falkirk and Victoria O'Reilly from Rothesay completed the NC500 northern route on bike in 60hours. June 2018

Fundraising Falkirk tri-athlete Raymond Evenden ditched two of his disciplines in the aid of charity last weekend.

The 48-year-old Forth Valley College worker took to his bike only to raise money for Callum’s Cabin over a 516-mile cycle with friend, Victoria O’Reilly from Rothesay – near to the respite centre on the Isle of Bute.

But it wasn’t for long that he was securely in the saddle – despite the distance around the north of Scotland starting and finishing at Inverness Castle – and the duo completed their route in just 60 hours.

Raymond explained: “We took a couple of two-hour sleeps and stopped for food at times too. In total there was 40 hours cycle time.

“We had anticipated going right through the night the first time but had to stop as deer were attracted to our lights on the bikes and were jumping into the road in front of us – it got too dangerous.”

In total the pair have raised £1500 for Calum’s Cabin, and donations are still being accepted..

He added: “Victoria is a friend and knows the people who run the centre. She had fundraised for them before and wanted to do this cycle last year but wasn’t keen on doing it alone.

“So this year I didn’t have many big races so we began planning and training for it in January – though now we’re finished we’re looking at what we could do next.

“It was a good trip, hard work with some windy conditions on a couple of the days, but we’re pleased.”

The record for the cycle is 31 hours with 28 hours and 51 minutes in the saddle, set by pro cyclist Mark McCallum earlier this year. Round the World cyclist Mark Beaumont completed the route in the previous record time in just under 38 hours.

Hill-walking was Raymond’s forte until six years ago when he began comepting in triathlons and joined Grangemouth Triathlon Club.

He recently he completed the Barcelona triathlon in May, and the routes around the northern perimeter weren’t new to him having also competed in Celtman endurance race in the area too. And after bagging all Munros walking, the College’s estate department worker is now attempting many running.

To donate to the fund visit the Justgiving page.