One of the great charity efforts of the summer has had to find a new way to roll in 2020.
The team spirit and the craic of the Butt to Barra cycle ride has always been part of the appeal of the heroic 165-mile, three-day marathon along the length of the Western Isles.
But support vehicles and mass ferry bookings won’t be needed this year, as the committee has decided to go almost virtual and let every rider decide on their own way to achieve the miles.
Committee member Karen Wright said: “We were going to cancel the event entirely, but then the eight members of the committee thought we would just put the miles in anyway, using the roads around our home.
“It’s in aid of a fantastic cause, our own Bethesda Hospice, so then we thought ‘why not open it up?’”
The result is that, from July 1st for one week, cyclists of all ages and abilities are going to be encouraged to join the fundraising effort. People will be cycling loops on their home roads, cycling relays and even putting in the time on exercise bikes in their own garage.
Karen said: “We’ve sent up an event page at https://www.facebook.com/butt.barra.9 and we are asking people to show their interest, share the fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/butt2barra2020 and then to share pictures afterwards of themselves during their ride.
“We’ve allowed a full week for everyone to get the miles in, because this is quite a different set-up from the usual three-day event. All we’re asking is that people observe the rules on social distancing and do their best to cover 165 miles somehow.
“Personally, I’m just going to do loops around my home area. I’ll wait and see which way the wind is blowing before I decide exactly where.”
The picture is from last year’s misty Harris hills (Butt to Barra).