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The Leader of Newbury Town Council embarked on a trip to Scotland to cycle the ‘North Coast 500’ route with an aim to raise £500 for the Mayor of Newbury’s chosen charity Speakability. Not only did he reach his target, but he managed to triple his target amount raising more than £1,500 for the charity.

Martin Colston cycled the Highlands of Scotland in a grand total of 35 hours and 45 minutes in the saddle and covered 524 miles, covering an average speed of 14.7mph – the longest, furthest and highest he has ever ridden in one week.

Carrying his luggage with him on his bicycle throughout the duration of his challenge, Martin suffered from one puncture, a twisted chain and some broken gears as well as constant heavy rain on the final day of his challenge, but he did not let this stop him from finishing the challenge.

Upon completing the cycle, he said “What a trip! Wonderful scenery, more than my fair share of sunshine (and a fair bit of rain too!).  Random acts of kindness from camper van drivers, campsite managers and B&B owners. I saw 3 stags, several deer, some highland cattle and two eagles. Glorious glens, stunning loughs, desolate moors, plenty of peaty, frothy rivers and burns and a few castles. And, of course, porridge, haggis, venison, local beers and local whiskies, shortbread and lots of chocolate. Oh, and I read 3 books too!”

“Best of all a total of £1,520 has been raised so far for Speakability who help stroke victims recover the power of speech. Many thanks to all those who have already generously donated. And, if you would still like to sponsor me for this really worthwhile cause, you can by following this link https://www.givey.com/nc500solo.”

Martin took on his challenge as part of the Mayor’s One in 100 Fundraising Campaign. The Mayor’s campaign aims to raise £10,000 by getting 100 local people to raise £100 each. Everyone is welcome to participate in fundraising by either making a one-off donation or by taking part in their own fundraising challenge.

The Mayor of Newbury, Cllr Billy Drummond, said, “What a tremendous amount of money Martin has raised for a local charity close to my heart. We all salute you, Martin!”

If you would like to find out more about the Mayor’s One in 100 Fundraising Campaign and how you can get involved, visit https://newbury.gov.uk/the-council/civic-office/the-mayor-s-one-in-100-fundraising-campaign/

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In Tongue on the north coast

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Loch Eriboll on the north coast

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Canisp and Suilven in Assynt

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The wet ascent of Bealach na Ba from Applecross