New route aim­ing to keep prankster cy­clists at bay

Event: Meth­lick Cy­cle Chal­lenge plays safe with start and fin­ish in vil­lage

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - LOCAL | NEWS - BY JOANNE WARNOCK

The or­gan­is­ers of a char­ity cycling event have been forced to change the route after “lit­tle tykes” pranked riders by send­ing them on de­tours dur­ing last year’s race.

The young­sters donned high-vis jack­ets and mas­quer­aded as event mar­shals on the Shed­dock­sley stretch of the route, di­rect­ing riders away from the cor­rect path lead­ing to Howes Road. Com­peti­tors were pointed down a road to­wards the city cen­tre in­stead.

“Thank­fully,” said event or­gan­iser Boyd Ross, “The riders re­alised they had gone wrong some­where and man­aged to find their way back to the proper route meet­ing it again at Dyce Rail­way Sta­tion, where the For­mar­tine and Buchan Way be­gins.

“The lit­tle tykes at Shed­dock­sley were send­ing our riders off course. They had gone to the lengths of dress­ing up in high vis jack­ets pos­ing as our mar­shals.

“They were send­ing them round the wrong way – with some adding on miles ex­tra.

“Our own mar­shals no­ticed they hadn’t counted in all the riders go­ing through Dyce sta­tion.”

Now in its fourth year, the Meth­lick Cy­cle Chal­lenge raises money for the British Le­gion and nor­mally be­gins in Bal­later fol­low­ing routes along the Dee­side and For­mar­tine and Buchan Way, fin­ish­ing in the vil­lage.

How­ever, or­gan­is­ers have now de­cided to both start and fin­ish the routes in Meth­lick.

Mr Ross hopes to also raise enough funds to give to other lo­cal causes, and is try­ing to at­tract riders of all ages and lev­els to take part.

Tak­ing the prank in good hu­mour, he said he would­not­beal­low­ing­for any “slip-ups” this year and added: “This year we have de­cided to re­main in the Meth­lick area, and we will be go­ing over the routes thor­oughly with all those tak­ing part.

“Our mar­shals will all be clearly iden­ti­fi­able – and won’t be teenagers.”

En­tries are now open for the Meth­lick Cy­cle Chal­lenge for ei­ther the 67 miles, 40 miles or 20 miles routes tak­ing place on Sun­day, July 15 start­ing be­tween 10am and 1pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion please visit: www. meth­lick­cy­clechal­lenge.

MIX-UP: Last year’s Meth­lick Cy­cle Chal­lenge was marred when chil­dren dressed as mar­shals and redi­rected dozens to the wrong route

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