A team of EnQuest cyclists have proven their resilience and determination after successfully completing an arduous 16-hour cycle challenge, pedalling their way to £15,000 for charity.
The 14 cyclists, self-named the EnQuest Rhinos, tackled what is widely recognised as one of the UK’s most challenging cycling routes by aiming to complete a 300 kilometre circuit over the highest roads in North-east Scotland in a single day – the longest day of the year.
They overcame punctures, a tyre blow out, physical challenges and exhaustion to raise money for EnQuest’s nominated charity, Archway, which works to improve the quality of life of children, young people and adults with learning disabilities throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
The ambitious challenge began on midsummer’s day - Friday 21 June - at 6am in Banchory where the team embarked on the incredibly tough route around the central Highlands, including the steep inclines of Cairn o’ Mount, Glenshee, the Lecht and the Cabrach. However, the team excelled themselves by completing the circuit, which involved 4,800 metres of climbing - the equivalent of more than five Munros – within their 16-hour target.
John Cowie, EnQuest area manager for the Thistle, Dons and Heather assets, said: “One of the toughest parts was after about 100 miles when we made the ascent up the Lecht while a couple of members of the team ‘hit the wall’ at Glen Isla. One of our team mates also had a tyre blow out where his back tyre was completely shredded and after changing the tyre, he had to work really hard to catch up with the rest of the team.
“One of the particular highlights was when the sun came out at Rhynie on the final leg of the journey which made for a fantastic end to The Longest Day. Everyone completed the course safely and we all have a real sense of personal achievement and pride at having raised so much money for such a great cause as Archway.
“What has also been amazing is how something that started out as a personal challenge for a handful of people has grown into something that has secured the buy-in and support of so many, and we would like to thank everyone for their generosity.”
The EnQuest Rhinos included: John Cowie, of Aboyne; Derek Liversidge and Craig Matthew, both of Banchory; Graham Bell of Milltimber, Greig Ritchie of Bieldside; Simon Richards of Strachan; Andy McIntosh, Rob Morgan and Ross Bremner of Aberdeen, Richard Holloway of Pitcaple, Paul Massie of Inverurie, Craig Stewart of London, Gerrard Ipenburg of Cults and Graham Leather of Portlethen.
EnQuest is raising money for Archway’s Appeal for Betty’s Place, a project to establish a specially adapted holiday cottage and specialist facilities for the children, young people and adults with learning disabilities that the charity supports.