On Saturday June 4, Team Little’s awoke to the sound of their alarm clocks ringing at the unearthly hour of 04:00am, had a last-minute breakfast consisting of carbs, carbs, carbs and set off to the Ardrossan Ferry Terminal to check in for the 07:00am sailing to the isle of Arran.
Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, and takes around one hour to reach by ferry. As we were cycling straight from the ferry port in Brodick (Arran’s main town), we left our cars on the mainland, but the ferry does accommodate vehicles if booked in advance.
The reason behind our cycle was to raise funds for The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, a long-time charity partner of Little’s, and as part of our involvement with the 50/10 Club – a group of 50 Glasgow businesses each committed to raising £10,000 to build the atrium of the charity’s new hospice, scheduled to be built in Bellahouston Park in the next few years. Following the success of the Five Ferries Challenge in 2015, our team of five budding cyclists committed to the moderate level of training that is required to tackle the rather hilly island in the shadows of the looming Goatfell.
As it so happens, the challenge fell in the midst of an uncharacteristically hot spell of weather – not normally something experienced during the Scottish summer! This made for stunning views of the island as we journeyed around, first tackling the undulating hills of the south-east of the island before stopping for lunch in Blackwaterfoot and then enjoying a gentle cycle around the west coast of Arran. Our Business Development Manager, Neil, who had travelled from London to take part couldn’t resist a dip in the strikingly clear waters to cool down – his first visit to the island.
Always at the back of our minds during the cycle was the notorious Loch Ranza hill that many a cyclist had warned us of – a strenuous and stretching incline that we would be facing after already cycling 40 miles. Remembering the wonderful cause that we were cycling for pushed us on and (with a bit of encouragement) we scaled the Loch Ranza hill. From Loch Ranza, it is a gentle cycle back to Brodick along the coast, going past Arran Aromatics and the Arran Brewery.
We were welcomed at the finish line by a host of friendly faces representing the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice – and huge credit must be awarded to them. The whole day was fantastically organised and the PPWH team provided much-needed words of encouragement and support as we cycled around.
We would like to thank our clients, friends and family for their generosity so far and hope that our future fundraising events will continue to assist us in reaching our goal.
You can still donate directly through our JustGiving page – click here to donate.