Call out for women riders for Billie Fleming Tribute relay
A year-long relay ride that pays tribute to the legendary late cyclist Billie Fleming set off on January 1, 2015. I wrote about it for the Sunday Mail (pdfs left and right) and for Scotland Outdoors on-line.
In the 1930s, Billie set an impressive record of almost 30,000 miles in a year of riding every day.
When keen cyclist Anne Hunt heard about the death of Billie in May last year (aged 100) she decided to launch the Billie Fleming Tribute Ride.
The aim is for a woman, or women, to ride the same routes, as recorded by Billie on the same day of every day of 2015.
So far the cycling has taken place in England and around London. Day 100 was reached today.
In July and August, the relay ride will come to Scotland and Anne hopes women riders will be keen to join the challenge in places such as Alnwick and Berwick in Northumberland, Linlithgow, Struan, Nairn, Invergordon, Kirkhill, Ballachulish, Luss, Comrie, Peebles, South Queensferry and Stirling.
Once there is a firmer plan I’ll be blogging about the available stages.
But next month there are other opportunities for keen Scottish cyclists. There are 10 days between, May 18 and 27, when Billie is thought to have cycled 90 miles each day but no-one knew where because the records are missing.
Anne is calling for women to come forward to ride a 90-mile day.
Anne says: “One of the aims of Billie’s year-long bike ride in 1938 was to inspire more women to ride their bikes for fitness. Billie wanted to prove her belief that just by cycling a girl could keep fit and that was the simple principle behind her year of cycling.
“It seems fitting, almost eight decades on, that we are carrying on this inspiring goal by getting women to join our tribute ride up and down the UK.
“Already we have had a lot of interest in taking part in the ride and we will be particularly keen to hear from Scottish riders as the ride progresses north and into the summer.
“For now, though, I am very keen to hear from women who can cycle 90 miles on one of the 10 days in May.”
Riders should keep a record of their route and mileage and also take photos where possible.
Pic: Billie rides past Big Ben in London. Photograph. Phone by Peter Samwell.