Fundraising Deeside residents get on their bikes

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The sun shone, the daffodils bloomed and more than 100 Aboyne residents got on their bikes on Saturday, March 24, to raise funds for a new mountain bike park in a Deeside village.

Aboyne Bike Park Association planned the mammoth sponsored cycling event in support of the project which is proposed for the Bellwood community woodland, Aboyne.

The team of cyclists planned to cycle the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats - 847 miles in total - using static bikes set up in front of the Victory Hall, Aboyne.

No-one anticipated quite how successful the event would prove to be. On the day, 79 cyclists took part in the sponsored event and cycled more than 1,500 miles.

More than 20 members of the public added to the tally by cycling more than 130 miles on the ‘public bike’, which was set up to count miles cycled by members of the public and was sponsored by local companies.

The barbecue (donated by HM Sheridan’s, of Ballater) served bacon rolls and burgers throughout the day, with donations from the Aboyne Co-op, Costco and Warburton’s. Strachan’s of Aboyne also supported the event.

Organiser, Anna Blair said: “We are thrilled by the success of the day. We raised over £895 of donations on the day and are expecting to raise a lot more when the sponsor money starts to come in.”

Aboyne Bike Park Association and Aboyne Nomads MTB club, in association with Mid Deeside Limited, are aiming to raise funds for a proposed mountain bike play park in the village. This would be for young people and big kids alike and would be free to use. It would consist of a pump park, skills course, dirt jump area and two downhill tracks. It is planned for the far eastern end of the Bellwood and will be designed so as not to conflict with existing footpaths.

The group has already raised £28,000 of around £60,000 required for the project and is following up several other positive sources of grant funding.

Plans for the bike park were on display at the Victory Hall on March 24 and Aboyne residents seized the opportunity to meet the committee and discuss the project. Further opportunities to see the plans and discuss proposals will be made available to residents in the near future.