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By Mark Davey
A horsewoman who swapped four hooves for a two wheels in a 1,000 mile charity challenge scoffed scallops during a Kintyre rest day.
Louise Cruickshank made a slight detour to visit her Torrisdale based mum, Rhona Elder, and, with riding partner Stuart Irvine, topped up her distance on a 36 mile trip to Skipness Seafood Cabin.
Last Saturday Louise’s cycling dreams came true as well when she pedalled and panted on a uphill stretch of the A83, near Furnace, alongside her hero, round the world record holder Mark Beaumont.
Mr Beaumont has supported her charity efforts to raise money for Kayleigh’s Wee Stars formed to remember Kayleigh Cordiner who passed away from a terminal brain tumour in June 2012.
Louise is also raising money for CLAN Cancer Support a charity providing emotional and practical support to people affected by cancer across north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.
Mr Beaumont will further aid Louise’s efforts by speaking at a November ball she has organised, on Saturday November 3, in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire.
Louise, 34, said: ‘On Saturday Mark was going in the opposite direction so we turned round and cycled with him up a hill we had just descended.’
At the time Louise was about six miles into a 112 mile day, from Inveraray to Torrisdale, via the Kilberry Loop and Campbeltown.
Louise’s boyfriend, Ross MacRae, 33, said: ‘It was Mark Beaumont who inspired the 11 day 1,000 mile tour and it was Louise’s dream to ride with him.
‘Louise designed the kit with her friend Ally Mitchell of Champion Systems, London and it was made by her cousin Andrew McCorquadale in Australia.’
Last weekend the Baxter’s group chief accountant was counting her luck after surviving Storm Ali although that day, which finished in Dumfries, was cut short at 49 miles, meaning distance had to be made up on the rest day.
The following day the riders had to dismount and lift their bikes across a fallen tree blocking the road to Ayr.
Five firms have been very supportive, particularly Louise’s employer Baxters and Morrison Motors of Turriff which loaned a campervan free of charge as a support vehicle.
Louise said: ‘Saturday was the best full day of riding for scenery as we cycled into Kintyre on the West Road.’
At a village stop Stuart Irvine left and Louise Cruickshank right met Susan MacDiarmid from Network Bistro and Ian Brodie of Carradale Bikes & Buggies. NO_c381000miles01_bikes_and_buggies
Louise tucks into Skipness scallops. NO_c381000miles04_Louise_Cruickshank
Perfect weather on Kintyre’s East Road. NO_c381000miles03_Stuart_Louise