WHILE the Tour de France may be underway on the continent, local cyclists have the chance to take part in a fun bike event in Yell on Sunday 27th July.
The South Yell Sportive is the first event of its kind in Shetland and hopes to attract a field of adults and teenagers to cycle along routes in the isle, to promote cycling and to raise funds for the North Ness Public Hall.
Sportives are a new phenomenon across the UK, where participants enjoy the challenge of cycling a set distance on public roads, without the pressure of taking part in a competitive race.
The event will start at the hall around noon and two routes are available for participants of different abilities – one of around 24 miles, riding an anti-clockwise loop of the south end of Yell, and one of 11 miles, from Ulsta to West Sandwick and back.
The event has been timed to coincide with ferry times from Toft, where there are Sunday sailings at 9.40am and 11.00am. Cyclists can cross on the ferry with only their bikes, leaving cars at Toft, and return on the 2.30pm or 3.25pm sailings.
The event is jointly organised by the committees of the North Ness Public Hall and the Shetland Wheelers Cycling Club.
Andrew Grant of Shetland Wheelers said: “Sportives are a fun introduction to cycling, for individuals and families, and a great chance to exercise at your own pace. We hope this will become a regular and popular event.”
The hall committee will be supporting the event and organising Sunday teas and homebakes, that will be free for all entrants who complete the route. Raffles and stalls for children will be offered at the hall. Secretary Graham Stiles added: “We’d love to see as many people at the event as possible and what better incentive than Yell homebakes to spur you on to the finish line.”
The event has also received financial assistance from Healthy Working Lives, a national initiative to create a healthier and more motivated workforce.
The entry fee is £10 per cyclist and full details on the event, including entry forms and route maps, can be found online at www.shetland-wheelers.co.uk or by contacting Elsbeth Clark of the North Ness Public Hall Committee on 01957 722747 or by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Shetland Wheelers Cycling Club are also organising a similar event at Tingwall on Sunday 31st August to raise funds for CLAN House.