Around Arran Four Times in One Day

Chris Blakely intends to cycle the 56 mile coastal road four times in aid of North Ayrshire Foodbank – meaning he’ll be pedaling for 224 miles if successful. The 43-year-old will start the challenge on Friday, June 17 when the ferry to the island sails in a t 7.55am. The Fullarton Wheelers cyclist hopes to complete the circuits before catching the last sailing back to the mainland at 9.30pm.

Chris became serious about cycling after suffering a severe head injury and fractured skull in 2012. As part of his rehabilitation Chris became involved with the Dirrans Head Injury Centre, Kilwinning where he was introduced to bicycle maintenance, eventually earning a certificate in the subject at the Bike Station in Glasgow.

Chris has already completed half of his challenge after successfully cycling around Arran twice, non-stop in 2013. A chance encounter with former Kilmarnock FC captain, Ray Montgomerie proved to be a turning point in Chris’s cycling ambitions.

Chris says: “I met Ray on the ferry on the way home and told him about my injury and the cycle journey I had just completed. He suggested that I should join the Fullarton Wheelers Cycle Club in Irvine and he put me in touch with them.”

Chris Blakely with his bike shortly before his fundraising challenge.

Since joining the club, Chris has taken part in the Pedal for Scotland Big Belter which is a 110-mile circuit from Glasgow, through the Southern Uplands to Edinburgh.

Chris added: “I completed the circuit and then had to cycle home from Edinburgh to Irvine. Unfortunately I took a wrong turning on the way back so by the time I got home I had covered over 200 miles that day—roughly the same distance as it is around Arran four times.”

Chris is full of praise for the people and organisations who have supported him in his recovery and says he now feels he want to do something to support the community. He said: “I’m aiming to raise £300 and will donate it to the food bank as I know they provide a vital service.” North Ayrshire Foodbanks will use the donation to help support its Make A Meal Of It (MAMOI) project which provides meals to children during the school holiday periods.