Pedal power

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EAGLESHAM resident Ronald MacLean took up his bike recently in aid of Marie Curie cancer care.

A GP in the village for 40 years, the now retired doctor was joined by his daughter Catriona Reynolds – a former Eaglesham primary and Hutchesons’ grammar school pupil, now living in Dundee.

The Étape Caledonia is a gruelling 81-mile cycle challenge taking in the beautiful views and dizzying heights of highland Perthshire.

Held on May 13, anyone aged 18 to 80 can take part, but with a 6 hour, 15 minute time limit before roads are opened up again, participants need to maintain an average speed of 13 miles per hour around the course, or else finish it alongside traffic.

Despite the miserable weather on the day, both father and daughter completed the challenge within three places of one another.

Ronald has raised £472 so far, and he estimates that between the two participants, Marie Curie will be receiving over £1,000..

He told The Extra: “There was tremendous support from spectators along the route, despite the weather. This really helped when the going was tough.

“The weather was indeed a challenge, with wild headwinds and rain, but over 4,000 finished the course – 81 miles and over 6,000 feet of ascent.

“I reckon the hills were steeper this year than when I took part three years ago, but perhaps advancing years have something to do with that!”

Murray Easton, Marie Curie’s fundraising manager for South and South West Scotland, thanked the southsider for his efforts, and commented: “Everyone at Marie Curie Cancer Care appreciates the support we have received from Ronald through his participation in Étape Caledonia.

“It’s thanks to people like Ronald that we hope to be able to offer more hours of support in 2012 than ever before to people with a terminal illness, providing care for them and respite for their families.

“Every £20 raised funds an hour of nursing, so Ronald has made a huge difference with his total raised”.

To follow the fundraising efforts, visit Ronald’s Just Giving page.