Tour de Lauder started in 2012 as a simple conversation between friends , Jerry Cooke and Gary Cameron, who decided to get a few of their cycling obsessed friends together for a day on their bikes. Jokingly they gave the ‘event’ the lofty title of Tour de Lauder, since they would be starting and finishing from Jerry’s house in Lauder.
To make the day as ‘enjoyable’ as possible Jerry planned the hilliest route he could think of, over 86 miles and finishing over ‘ Col de Stow ‘ – a 15% plus final climb back into Lauder. The date was set and a few emails were sent out inviting friends along. However, having arranged the day they then decided they should put their physical efforts to good use and raise a few pounds in sponsorship for charity. The Chest Heart and Stroke Steve Cully tribute fund was a fitting beneficiary – Steve was a Lauder resident and keen cyclist. So ?250 was set as a target and Steve’s wife offered her best wishes and support.
Within a day of the emails being sent 15 people had signed up, in a week it was 25 and interest was growing. The local Lauder community got behind Tour de Lauder in an amazing way and there was no shortage of local participants and volunteers. As the event snowballed so did the level of organisation required.
Thirlestane Castle, a beautiful historic house in Lauder, offered to host the ‘ Grand Depart ‘,by now there were 50 cyclists and significant space was need to fit everyone comfortably – Jerry’s driveway would no longer suffice! There was also interest in a shorter , 50 mile , route so the event could be opened up to people with less cycling experience. So a Nouveau 50 mile option was added to the now Classic 86 mile route , but 2 routes meant more volunteers were required. However, once again the local community stepped up.
Fast forward to 21st April and the Grand Depart, Tour de Lauder had become more than anyone ever thought possible. Almost 100 cyclists from across the country took to the local roads, among them World Record breaker Mark Beaumont. The money raised absolutely smashed the original ?250 target, totalling almost ?17,000. What made Tour de Lauder so successful and feel special was the level of support from everyone involved – from taking part in the cycling, raising sponsorship, helping with the organisation, servicing bikes, cheering, baking for and manning the food stalls the list goes on and on. It has to be said that the home baking on the refreshment stops was a particular highlight and mentioned by nearly every cyclist! Needless to say we were quick to agree that Tour de Lauder 2013 was a must.
Tour de Lauder is a cycling event that raises money for the Steve Cully tribute fund and CHSS. Everyone involved gives their time, expertise and effort for free and every single penny raised, other than very minimal expenses incurred for running the event, goes to the charity. Hope you can make it along in 2013 please click here to register your interest.
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland improves the quality of life for people in Scotland affected by chest, heart and stroke illness, through medical research, influencing public policy, advice and information and support in the community.
* Every minute of every day 100,000 people in Scotland struggle to breathe because of chronic chest illness.
* Every half hour someone in Scotland will have a heart attack.
* Every 45 minutes someone in Scotland will have a stroke.
All funds raised in Scotland stay in Scotland.