Cyclists back twinning ride to France

THE idea to have a sponsored cycle ride from Newton Stewart to Marcoussis in France to mark the twinning of the two towns has, according to the organiser, caught the imagination.

The suggestion was put forward by Newton Stewart man Stephen Varney in a letter printed in The Galloway Gazette on January 25.

Stephen said this week: “I have had a very positive initial response from both cyclists and the twinning committee but no response from potential sponsors, albeit I haven’t really tried yet.”

Steven said it was too early to give a specific number of those willing to undertake the 1400-mile round trip to raise money for local charities.

He added: “Unfortunately it is too early to be this specific. I had a very good meeting with the twinning committee and it was decided to fit the ride dates around the twinning signing dates, which are as yet to be confirmed. The committee is in contact with its counterparts in Marcoussis, who are also extremely keen on the idea and are to get back to me with what support they can offer. Once I have a specific date and cost, I can get specific commitments from other cyclists. I have a lot of interest and I have only had the chance so far to speak to half of those potentially up for it.”

If you are interested in taking part, you can contact Stephen at

Joan Mitchell, from the twinning committee, said: “We are delighted to support the twinning cycle idea as we are looking for spontaneous ideas like this to come forward.

“Now that we have got the official go-ahead from the council for the twinning, it’s now about finding a suitable date. At the moment it looks like it will be in the autumn but the cycle can go ahead at any time – they don’t have to wait for the official date.”