THE Mackay Country Community Trust has been awarded £1260 from SSE Strathy North Joint Community Fund for its Cycling in the Straths event next month.
It will take place at Tongue over the weekend of May 27-29.
The event was piloted in 2014 and proved a great success, drawing entries from across Scotland. Organisers report that entries are coming in from as far afield as Edinburgh and Glasgow and it looks set to be another fun-filled weekend of cycling and Mackay Country hospitality.
A varied social programme is also on offer and includes an art exhibition and musical entertainment.
Early arrivals can register on the evening of May 27 and sample the hospitality on offer in the local hotels.
For the main cycling event on Saturday there are two routes to choose, which will take riders through some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe.
The longer route, the Strathnaver Challenge, will take cyclists on a 63-mile trip. Leaving Tongue, riders will head east to Bettyhill before going inland through Strathnaver to Altnaharra, and along Strathmore before heading back to Tongue.
The Ben Hope Trial is shorter but still a challenging 46 miles with riders starting and finishing in Tongue on a circuit via Altnaharra and Strathmore.
Although the event will be timed, it is not a race. Both routes will give riders a challenge with plenty of chance to demonstrate cycling skills and stamina. It is expected that both routes will be completed in five hours.
Following the day’s cycling, riders can enjoy live music from talented Highland musician Davy Cowan in the Ben Loyal Hotel from 9pm.
On the Sunday morning there will be a fun cycle for all ages round the Kyle of Tongue. Melness Village Hall will also be hosting an exhibition by local artists and a barbecue.
All profits from Cycling in the Straths will be used to help local communities and causes throughout Mackay Country.
If cyclists want to organise sponsorship for their own charities they are encouraged to get in touch with the Cycling in the Straths team who can help to promote their fundraising activities.
Event participants can also raise money for the Mackay Country Community Trust which can be found on Total Giving http://www.totalgiving.co.uk/charity/mackay-country-community-trust
For further information, entry forms or offers of voluntary assistance on the day contact Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org