Lee Craigie of the Adventure Syndicate – a group of women passionate about getting more female cyclists into endurance events – has made a short film with Sustrans.
The video was filmed as she rode along the National Cycle Network route 78 – the Caledonia Way.
The long distance cycle route links Campbeltown in the west, with the Highland capital of Inverness in the East – it is 237 miles long (though you don’t have to ride the entire route).
"I'm reminded daily of the positive, emotion regulating effects that cycling and outdoor exercise can have on the mind."
Craigie wanted to use the video to highlight the positive effects that cycling has on the mind – she said: “I was inspired to make this film with Sustrans because I'm reminded daily of the positive, emotion regulating effects that cycling and outdoor exercise can have on the mind. It's so easy to forget that the simple action of riding a bike in the fresh air can make you feel better about almost anything - at least temporarily - and that's something I want for everyone."
The route features vista views of famous castles, west-coast islands and rugged mountain landscapes. Craigie added: “I've faced many challenges over the years, both emotional and physical, and cycling has provided me with a continuity - an escape from the everyday pressures of life. My hope is that people watching this film will think 'that's the freedom I want' or 'I remember those feelings that bikes can bring' and be inspired to get outside and start their own adventure. I particularly hope that people in need of creative solutions to make themselves feel healthier and happier emotionally as well as physically, see this film."
The former Scottish and British National Mountain Bike Champion, and Commonwealth Games athlete implored: “Whether you are a young person struggling to find your way, an adult who has lost theirs in terms of participating in physical activity, or even a regular bike rider who recognises the joy I feel when I ride my bike, I hope this film offers some inspiration for the planning of your next adventure, whatever that may be."
The film premieres at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival this weekend - but you can take a peak below...
The Caledonia Way NCN78 has been made possible by financial support from the Scottish Government. The project partners are Transport Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, The Highland Council and Hitrans. Take a look at the Caledonia Way map here.