Event: 23 October 2011
180 riders from all over Scotland made their way to Dunfermline, to take part in the Ali McGill Sportive. Some 28 clubs were represented, with riders travelling from as far as Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Peebles and even Carlisle to take part.
The sportive was to raise money to help get Ali McGill a Tri-Tandem, so that he might get to be on a bike again. Two years ago, Ali was involved in a near-death accident, where through no fault of his own ended up in hospital for 6 months. He was not expected to survive, but he did. His family were determined for him to get better; his daughter Laura moved her wedding date by a year so her dad could walk up the aisle.
Unfortunately Ali will never fully recover, and won’t be able to work again. However riders from all over Scotland are aiming to get him on three wheels.
Riders took part in an event described, even by seasoned cyclists, as harder than the Etape Caledonia. There was a choice of two courses, one of 50 miles and one of 75 miles. Sandy Wallace, partnered in organising the event, explained “the 70 mile route is a real challenge and is not for faint hearted, and perhaps apt as a challenge that compares with the challenges Ali has faced and beaten, as he recovers from his terrible accident.” Sandy is himself a world class cyclist in his age group.
Many people chipped in to help a good cause, including the main organiser, Allan Prentice of Prenticeevents. He explained “I didn’t know Ali, but when asked to help him, I was more than pleased to do so. On meeting Ali today, I am really glad so many have made the effort. He is a great guy.”
Speaking about the event, Ali said “It is most humbling to see so many that don’t know me, come from many miles away to support sportivedunfermline and help me. I can’t express my thanks enough.”
The event was praised by all that took part, and organisers expect it to be even bigger next year. Any of the public wishing to help Ali can donate via Paypal at www.prenticeevents.com where the story of the event and photos can be seen.