FOUR Jedburgh men hope to raise £10,000 for charity cycling a quad tandem around Scotland, writes Sally Gillespie.
The four men will bike to all the Kings of the Sevens rugby tournaments in nine Borders towns and, before returning for the final in Jedburgh, complete a quick pedal round Scotland to raise money for Scottish War Blinded, the Royal Regiment of Scotland Support Service and Hearts and Balls Charitable Trust.
Three of the four – fire and security supervisor Paul Hill, 28, joiner Greg Nagle, 25 and personal trainer Mark Burke, 26 – are Jed-Forest rugby players, while personal trainer Robert Reid, 29, is a former serviceman who lost his left eye in a roadside explosion in Iraq.
Mr Hill said: “Robert is a friend, He got injured four years ago and we always said we wanted to do something for him and the charities that have supported him. Greg decided we would cycle to all the sevens and it just grew arms and legs!”
The men chose Hearts and Balls because of a friend injured while playing rugby.
The four will cycle a total of more than 1,200 miles and training started two months ago, with individuals biking up to 60 miles a day. The team have completed routes between Jedburgh and Kelso and will cycle from Jedburgh to Peebles before over-wintering the quad bike.
Jedburgh Grammar School has given the cyclists the use of the gym through the week and a local joiner, Eddie Nicol, has given them the use of a lock-up for their turbo trainers.
“Quad tandems are very rare. We didn’t find any made in this country,” said Mr Hill.
However, they heard about a group of doctors who had cycled from John o’ Groats to Land’s End four years ago on a quad tandem from a specialist shop in England and bought their bike.
Mr Hill explained why the group wanted the quad: “We tried to think of a way of doing it that made it different.”
The four are hoping for strong support when they ask for donations at the sevens games.
Mr Hill said: “We’re hoping that because of the charities there is going to be quite good support.
“We are all looking forward to the actual week of the lap of Scotland: it will be the hard bit but good at the same time.”
The cyclists are putting their support team together, with 20-year-old prop Connor Hogg signed up so far, and another yet to be found. Mr Nagle’s employer, Ternion, has offered the use of a van.
To donate online, visit www.justgiving.com/bandofbikers.