An idea from last seasons captain Ross MacMillan to keep the players fitness up during lockdown soon turned into a full-blown charity challenge.
A quick call to teammate David Hill and a plan of cycling a thousand miles in a week for two local charities was hatched, a poll among players was taken and the two charities chosen were Hope Kitchen Oban and the MacMillan Day Bed Unit at LIDGH.
With the competitive edge of the players beginning to fester in the background the stage was almost set, players committee members and friends began dusting down their bikes and a few desperate calls for spare parts padded seats and even an electric bike were sought.
The final preparations were all but done, a strava team page was set and managed by Iain MacFarlane to clock the miles in order to avoid tall tales or wild claims of millage that the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins would be proud. The fund-raising page and a direct payment method were also put in place.
The dates were now set starting 4th May and ending 10th of May.
On day one 23 cyclists totalled 322.4 miles which was beyond our expectations and a great achievement by the end of day two 30 cyclists had added another 378miles.
On Day three the cyclists then surpassed the targeted 1000miles with 24 cyclists clocking up 341 miles giving a total of 1041 miles. To have achieved this at only three days in was testament to all the cyclists taking part. The funds were also climbing and by this point donations were just shy of £1000 which was also a figure we had hoped we could reach by the end of the week.
With the cyclists all keen to keep pedalling and previous targets surpassed it became a case of lets just see how far we get.
Day four and with legs beginning to feel tired for some of the 24 cyclists another 353 miles were logged.
On day five with some cries of saddle sore and cramp 18 hardly cyclists clocked up another 335 miles.
Day six again 18 took part covering 320 miles.
Day seven and a big push from David Hill and Neil Macdonald who were by now seemingly reaching pro level along with 21 other riders including a rather bizzare looking Lorne Robertson on a child’s BMX clocked up the highest total of the week reaching 415 miles
The spectrum of riders involved was especially pleasing for the club with such young members as Aaron Burnett 2 ½ and Ollie Duffy 4 right through to the other end of the scale with chairman David Hamilton clocking up a fair amount of miles himself although we did have to discount the miles he clocked up in his van while forgetting to turn his strava of, we simply put that down to fatigue on his part while the debate of who pedalled and who steered is still ongoing in the Burnett household. There was indeed a real family feel to the event with many parents and siblings taking part all in good jest.
While this was not a competition but you just can’t but the competitive nature of the players/members and a special mention must go to David Hill 280 miles Neil Macdonald 266 and a determined Lorne Robertson 162 clocking up the final few miles by commandeering young Alfie’s BMX on the last day in order to pip Stephen Campbell to third in overall miles.
Oban Celtic shinty Club would like to thank all 43 cyclists who took part from players committee members and friends as well as the two guest cyclists from Martyns Monday Club.
A very special thanks goes to all who donated to both fantastic local causes and we are extremely proud to be able to present Beth Campbell the service coordinator of Hope Kitchen and Manager Donna Mackenzie from Macmillan Day Bed unit cheques for £1068.00 From Oban Celtic.