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A charity cyclist will drop in to sample the spirit of Campbeltown as part of a challenge to visit every single-malt distillery in Scotland.
Midlothian cyclist Rob Richardson will set off on May 12 on an epic 2,000-mile fundraiser, riding from the most southerly distillery in Scotland, Bladnoch in Dumfries and Galloway, to the most northerly, Saxa Vord, Unst, Shetland Isles.
En route, he will visit Campbeltown’s three whisky distilleries – Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia.
He plans to complete the journey entirely man-powered, apart from necessary ferry travel between the Western and Northern Isles and the mainland.
Known as the Whisky Ventures Ride, the challenge will involve 141 distilleries, is expected to take just under two months to complete, and will raise funds in aid of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and the Scottish regions of Cash for Kids.
Along with the ride itself, it is hoped that each distillery visited will donate at least one bottle of whisky, creating a unique collection containing a bottle from every distillery in Scotland, which can then be auctioned after the event, raising further funds for the charities.
Rob’s current schedule will see him arrive in Campbeltown on Saturday May 21. He will start the morning on Arran, before catching the ferry to Claonaig and riding down the east side of Kintyre.
He has arranged to visit Campbeltown’s three distilleries in the early afternoon and, if he doesn’t find accommodation in town, he may cycle to Kintyre’s west coast to camp before continuing north to Islay the following day.
Rob, who is originally from the Yorkshire Dales but has lived in Scotland for more than 10 years, told the Courier: ‘I have travelled quite extensively around Scotland over the years for both work and pleasure, but Campbeltown and Kintyre is one place that has always eluded me.
‘Albeit brief, I look forward to visiting the town as part of the Whisky Ventures Ride and will have to return soon for a longer visit to explore Kintyre further.’
He added: ‘I will ride the entire route, but there is an open invitation for others to join me for as little or as much as they like.
‘For those who cannot join themselves, I hope to have a GPS tracker running each day, so people can follow and support me in spirit.
‘The current route is on the event website and people are more than welcome to tag along if in the area, have a chat and help support two great charities, or even just offer a brew on the way past. Any support is welcome.
‘I would also recommend keeping an eye on the socials just in case I am running late for anyone wanting to join.’
Rob, an outdoor instructor, educator and guide, chose the two charities, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and the Scottish regions of Cash for Kids, as he has a large amount of respect for them, and believes that the work they do is hugely important and often taken for granted.
To follow his progress, sponsor him, find out more about the Whisky Ventures Ride or even join Rob as he cycles through Kintyre, visit www.whiskyventures.co.uk for more information.