An Alford woman was so inspired by endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont that she was determined to undertake one of her own.
The long distance rider’s recent talk in Aboyne motivated Vicky Duke to embark on a 500-mile charity cycle round the North Coast.
The 33-year-old adventurer described to his audience his just-completed. top to bottom cycle of Africa and also Scotland’s scenic answer to Route 66.
Vicky started out on her bike ride, accompanied by husband Peter, in the Highlands on Monday and their trek will take around 10 days.
The venture is in support of the Jo Walters Trust.
Jo, who died aged 28 in a cycling accident in Brighton in 2010, and sister Lucy grew up with Vicky’s children near Alford.
Vicky recently retired after working as a PA to the chief executive at the MacRobert Trust for eight years.
She told the Piper: “The North Coast route looked stunning and suddenly it seemed do-able. I got carried away.
“What better way to mark retirement than to hop on my bike and raise money for a fantastic wee charity set up for Joanna Walters.
“Jo, who grew up with my children near Alford, was an inspirational person like Mark Beaumont and made the very most out of life.
“The Jo Walters Trust has supported many projects which would have been close to Jo’s heart and they make a difference to people from Aberdeenshire to Madagascar and beyond.
“All proceeds from my bike ride will go to the trust.”
Vicky and Peter, who is also cycling and carrying the kit, set off from the Kessock Bridge and are working their way to Gairloch on the West Coast, then to Cape Wrath, east to John o’ Groats and back to Inverness.
She said: “I honestly won’t be making a habit of it. This is a one-off.”
If you want to support Vicky in her fundraising mission then visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Vicky-Duke