Rachael does the double

One of the club’s youngest riders, who only took up cycling a year ago, is celebrating after completing a marathon 100-mile ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh and back.

Rachael Mackie, 15, persevered through Sunday’s horrendous wind and rain to “do the double” in the annual Pedal for Scotland fundraiser.

The Kilmarnock youngster set herself the target of achieving a century ride – 100 miles in 12 hours – last October when she signed up for her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

The furthest she had travelled on a bike before then was a shaky two-mile trip on the cycle path outside her house.

But the St Joseph’s Academy pupil quickly caught the bug after neighbours gave her a shot on a lightweight bike when she joined Walkers Cycling Club.

Soon she was leaving experienced club members well behind as she put in the miles and practised hill reps. Her longest spell in the saddle before the weekend was a 60-mile run to Largs for an away day cycle and lunch.

On Sunday, with clubmate Fiona Wallace cycling alongside her, Rachael managed the 45 miles between the two cities then turned around to pedal an extended route back to the start point. Some 8,000 riders had taken part in the 18th edition of Pedal for Scotland, but the vast majority had chosen a lift or a train ride home to Glasgow Green!

In Rachael’s first year as a cyclist she has travelled the roads of all Ayrshire on two-wheels, has competed in the club’s TT series and has taken part in the club’s regular mountain bike rides. Although she enjoys both road and MTB riding, she has decided she prefers the rough stuff that only serious mountain bikers can handle.

“I love hitting the tracks and trails on my mountain bike,” she said. “I’m now hoping to fit in some off-road adventures in between studying for exams.”

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ton-up cyclists Fiona Wallace and Rachael Mackie (rt) proudly display their Pedal for Scotland 45 mile Classic Challenge  medals before setting off to complete a further 55 miles back to Glasgow.