Fife cyclist tackles Scotland in one day

Vic Leitch completed the cycle in under 24 hours.
Vic Leitch completed the cycle in under 24 hours.

A Collessie cyclist has raised for than £2000 for a charity after riding the length of Scotland in less than 24 hours.

Vic Leitch (50) took part in the ‘Lang Way Doon’ event, riding 325 miles in one day, from Tongue at the tip of the north coast to Coldstream, on the border to England.

Vic completed the ride in just over 23 hours, and in doing so raised thousands for MND Scotland.

He chose to support the charity after his wife’s godmother died from the terminal illness.

Vic said he decided to do the challenge after seeing it online.

“Last year this guy posted online that he wanted to do a ride the length of Scotland in 24 hours,” he said.

“It was a bit of a tall order and he was looking to do it with like-minded idiots to do it as well.”

With 325 miles to tackle, the event was split into six stages.

The group travelled from Tongue to Bonar Bridge, before cycling along the east coast to Inverness, then to the northern edge of the Cairngorms at Tomintoul, through the hills to Blairgowrie, then passing through Fife to South Queensferry, and finally to Coldstream.

Despite the difficulty of the challenge, which saw the group ascend 6000 metres during the course, Vic felt confident that he would be able to complete it.

He said: “I commute from Collessie to St Andrews every day, so you could say I’m a bit of a keen cyclist.

“Still, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

“The Cairngorms were tough because of the swirling winds, and it was brutal up by the Glenshee Ski Centre.

“And the dark hours are always tough.”

Vic was one of 50 to sign up, but it wasn’t long before the numbers dwindled.

Just 22 arrived in Tongue to tackle the challenge, and only 14 finished next to the English border.

He admitted that the group was not sure if it would be able to finish the cycle in under 24 hours, saying: “We didn’t know we would do it until about 30 miles from the end.”

He also thanked his wife, Ann, as she drove the route to offer support.

While there are no plans to organise a similar event next year, Vic admits he would be interested in doing it again.

“Physically it was not too bad.

“I knew I would complete it because I do an awful lot of cycling and when you ride in a group you keep each other’s spirits up.

“I would do it again, though.”