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Maclean's Highland Bakery director Lewis Maclean to cycle 500 miles over five days in aid of Maggie’s Highlands charity

By Garry McCartney

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In training up Califer Hill, preparing for hundreds of miles through the climbs of the Cairngorms.
In training up Califer Hill, preparing for hundreds of miles through the climbs of the Cairngorms.

A LOCAL businessman and father-of-three is cycling 500 miles over five days to raise money for a Highland cancer charity.

Lewis Maclean (56), managing director of Maclean's Highland Bakery, is taking part in the Maggie’s 500 Cycle around the Cairngorms National Park.

During the event he will be part of a group of 40, based at the Macdonald Hotel in Aviemore, who will be completing 100 miles-a-day from Monday, September 6 – all in aid of Maggie’s Highlands, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

He said: “Like most people, I’ve lost close family members and good friends to the disease. I’d like to help raise funds that might afford someone extra care or support.

"I’ve previously done 100-mile cycles but never over two days in-a-row, never mind five. It’s going to be a real challenge!”

The Maggie’s 500 riders will climb the height of Everest, ascending some 30,000ft (more than 9000m), including demanding ascents of Glenshee, The Lecht and Cairngorm ski centres. The ‘Queen’ stage, and most challenging part of the event, involves a 104mile/167km circuit with more than 8000ft (2500m) of climbing over the two highest roads in the UK.

Lewis confirmed the original plan was to do a 500-mile tour of the Highlands but, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers decided it was not right for a large group of cyclists to roam around so decided to base themselves in one place and go in a different direction each day.

He said: “Unfortunately there are large hills in most directions! The Thursday cycle will be quite a challenge as we’re going up Glenshee and the Lecht but thankfully we’ve a support group in vans.

"There’s a great mix of people and abilities taking part so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve already met quite a few of the participants on training runs.”

Lewis has been training hard for the event and is a familiar face on roads in the area. He said: “Training has been going really well. I’ve met new faces, cycled with old friends and discovered new routes while preparing for September.

"I’ve been training most weekends and, as the event gets closer, I’ve started cycling up Califer multiple times in each session. So yes, I’m that idiot who people might see going up and down it!”

Maggie’s Highlands provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends. It has professional staff, costs £480,000-a-year to run and relies solely on donations to deliver its unique programme of support.

Sponsor Lewis at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lewis-maclean1?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=lewis-maclean1&utm_campaign=pfp-tweet&utm_term=8787b456a1cf4ad994d2606ff672e408

Lewis has set a fundraising target of £3000.
Lewis has set a fundraising target of £3000.

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