Finlay whips up support for mammoth cycle

Things were a bit different this year in West Linton during the Whipman Week due to current Covid-19 restrictions, but that did not stop a local seven-year-old lad completing an amazing cycling challenge.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 1:31 pm
Seven-year-old Finlay Gibbs with family pal Amanda McGibbon.
Seven-year-old Finlay Gibbs with family pal Amanda McGibbon.

Traditionally, a cycling race would take place in the village encouraging participants of all ages to take part, but this year the organisers decided to run a ‘virtual’ challenge, logging rides on an online GPS tracking website instead.

West Linton Primary School pupil Finlay Gibbs finished school on Tuesday, June 8, and jumped on his bike with family friend Amanda McGibbon, who is from Peebles, to take part in the event.

For Finlay’s age group (under-8s), he was required to complete 1km, but he was not content with that.

Instead, he cycled from West Linton to Carlops, out to Romanno Bridge, then across to the A72 to take in a loop of Dolphinton, before returning back to West Linton via Blyth Bridge, completing the Whipman 50km Four Kirks Challenge, which is usually taken on by adults or older children.

He was met with a round of applause from local residents and family as he crossed the finish line at the West Linton clock tower around 8.30pm, after cycling a grand total of 52.1km in around 4 hours and 50 minutes.

His dad Ben told us: “He was back at dancing the following day, and racing mountain bike on Friday night in Callendar.

"I wish I had a fraction of his energy!”