bikes Newsworthy Personal

Thank You!

Friends, I’m touched that so many of you have donated to the charitable causes on whose behalf I’ve cycled the Danube/Ness-Leverburgh/RideLondon100. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Between us we’ve raised £6539-33 for Cancer Research, Macmillan Cancer Support, Bethesda Hospice and Guide Dogs. None of these cycles was easy – they all involved fixed-gear or single-speed bikes, and they all involved pain! Because I don’t wish to impose upon your kindness, the next (95-mile, single-speed) bike ride and the half-marathon are not for charity, just for ‘fun’. And because I value your support, anyone who has sponsored me for any of these bike rides can email me with Short Story as the subject and I will email you back a free, unpublished short story. Can’t say fairer than that. Again, thank you, on behalf of all these charities. Your donations are making a real difference to real people.x


bikes Culture/Arts in General

100-mile single-speed bike ride to raise £££ for Guide Dogs

A happy wee fellow who will one day add to a visually impaired person's quality of life
A happy wee fellow who will one day add to a visually impaired person’s quality of lifeI’m doing a 100-mile cycle (all in one go) on a single-speed bike (a bike with only one gear) – but I’m doing it for charity, not because I like pain!

I’m doing a 100-mile cycle (all in one go) on a single-speed bike (a bike with only one gear) – but I’m doing it for charity, not because I like pain!

That charity is Guide Dogs, a very worthy cause indeed. (Some of you will know I’ve had my own eye problems). Any donations, no matter how big or small, will be most gratefully received.

The 100-mile route starts in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, where I will follow a modified version of the road race rouvivapicte used in the 2012 Olympic Games. Rather worryingly, Leith Hill and Box Hill feature, both of them leg- and lungbusters, especially on a single-speed bike!

We will ride along closed roads through the capital, and then continue on to the country roads of the Surrey Hills before heading back into central London to cross the finish line in the Mall. I’ll probably collapse a few centimetres after the finish line, but that’s okay!
I’ve been training really hard for this but there’s no doubt it’s going to be one of the toughest days in the saddle I’ve ever had, maybe THE toughest. Here’s the Route Map And Profile.

Profile looks a bit daunting
Profile looks a bit daunting



Please consider sponsoring me for this vital cause:


Bike Adventures


The Dolan fixed-gear bike is having some adventures this summer! First of all, the Ness to Leverburgh ride I did in my native Hebrides in May raised an amazing amount of money for Stornoway’s Bethesda hospice (where my mother passed the last weeks of her life). Ullapool Book Festival, a favourite of anyone who has ever attended it, generously donated money from one of their famous coffee mornings this year, plus they had a charity bucket during the festival to which many people kindly donated. These lovely gestures boosted the monies raised by £470-00!
So, the bike-ride raised £2687-01 which, with Gift Aid of £433-00, totals £3120-01. I am humbled and grateful and want to say to everyone who contributed what they could and who supported the ride for this cause:

Back to the present! This week the Dolan and I are back in Scotland, delivering a film as part of the Hansel of Film project (part of the Cultural Olympiad, and brain-child of Shetland Arts, Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams. It is a UK-wide relay (Shetland to Southampton and back!) of screenings of short films made by the public as part of the London 2012 Festival.
You can find out more about it here.
I am delighted to be taking part. Shetland runs two brilliant concurrent festivals every year – WordPlay (books) and ScreenPlay (films). I’ve had the pleasure of participating in a number of events at these great festivals and so it feels good to give something back to Shetland Arts and its associated individuals and communities.
Some info from the Hansel page about my involvement:
Kevin MacNeil
Cycling from Ullapool to Ayr, with an occasional bus, cadged lift or train journey thrown in!
“The only thing better than a moving picture is a moving moving picture. If it’s quite a poignant film then it’ll be a moving moving moving picture. I’m riding a fixed-gear bike because it’s a physical counterpart to the mental exercise writing demands. I also want to support Shetland Arts as I lived in Shetland for a year and I reckon WordPlay and ScreenPlay are two of the best festivals in Scotland.”

Cycling through one of my favourite places in the world, the Isle of Harris. You might recognise the landscape from 2001: A Space Odyssey! (“Tinted shots of parts of the island were used by Stanley Kubrick as the surface of Jupiter in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.” -Wikipedia)