Disability writer David Reilly, is to set out on Sunday (16th Sept) to conquer an iconic 237 mile cycle route in Scotland, to help raise awareness of accessibility along the National Cycle Network.
Reilly, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, will undertake the 10-day long Caledonia Way Challenge Ride with support from Sustrans Scotland.
And he hopes his journey, which will see him travelling the length of Scotland, from Campbeltown to Inverness, will help to challenge perceptions about disability participation in cycling.
As part of his ride David will stop off in Oban to speak to a representative from Oban Disability Access Panel and Sustrans Scotland Network Engagement Manager, Nail Shannon about some of the challenges faced in making the National Cycle Network more accessible and inclusive to all.
Speaking about his upcoming journey David said: “As a disability sports writer, I work to improve opportunities for disabled people to take part and participate in outdoor sports.
“Inclusion and access are issues very close to my heart and I'm delighted to be working with Sustrans on this project. The Caledonia Way is an iconic route through the heart of some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery and I'm really looking forward to riding it.
“I don't underestimate the challenge however, 237 miles lie between Campbeltown and Inverness which is a really big push for me. I really look forward to completing the project."
David’s ride comes as Sustrans near the completion of a year and a half long audit of National Cycle Network Routes across the UK. The results of the review, which are set for publication in November 2018, will help the national walking and cycling charity to create a network of safe, accessible and high-quality routes and paths that will make walking and cycling easier and safer for everyone.
Sustrans Scotland Head of Network Development, Tom Bishop said: “We are really excited that David is to set out and ride the length of the iconic Caledonia Way.
“As the National Cycle Network has grown over the years, we recognise that its quality has varied and that this has resulted in an inconsistent experience for the people who use it. We need to make it better, which is why we are undertaking a UK-wide review of the National Cycle Network.
“As a leading disability writer, David’s unique experience of cycling the Caledonia Way, and the conversations we hope it will inspire, will help us to understand what is required to make all of our National Cycle Network routes accessible and inclusive to all.”
About The Caledonia Way.
National Route 78 of the National Cycle Network, runs from Campbeltown to Inverness - following Kintyre and the Great Glen, iconic features on any map of Scotland. It offers a variety of cycling, from challenging on-road hills to lengthy sections of traffic-free path through the spectacular scenery of the west coast of Scotland.