I hope you won't mind my writing to you about a special ride I'm leading next Wednesday (21st August). This is not a 20-Milers event, and I know that most of you will be at work that day. But if you happen to be free, you might be interested.
The ride is in support of Matt Fountain. As you might have heard, Matt is currently attempting a very ambitious bike ride: 2,000 miles around Britain in 36 days. He is doing this on his own, without any support, and he is sleeping rough or in a tent most nights. His aim is to raise £100,000 - a huge amount - for Shelter.
Matt will be passing through Edinburgh next week. The event that I am organising is a circular "escort ride". The aim is to provide some company - and perhaps moral support - for Matt as he rides out of the city on Wednesday morning. All local cyclists are welcome to come along.
We'll be accompanying Matt as he heads out of town, via the Innocent path, Brunstane and Joppa, then along the road through Musselburgh. We'll take our leave of him around midday, somewhere near Prestonpans. In the afternoon, we'll return to town by way of a scenic inland route.
For the outward leg, we might be cycling at a fairly brisk pace. It will be up to Matt to set the pace. As he is aiming to reach Berwick on Tweed that day, he probably won't want to hang around. For the return stage, however, we'll revert to a more leisurely speed - similar to our 20-Milers rides.
The total distance will be about 25 miles. The outward run will be fairly flat, but there will be some hills on the return leg. Most of the route will be on roads and well-surfaced paths.
Food and drink
If enough people want to, we'll stop at a café towards the end of the ride. For lunch, I suggest you either bring your own food or aim to pick up a snack along the way.
Start and end
The ride will start in Castle Street. I'm asking those taking part to gather at 10 am. Before we set out, Matt will be involved with a photo-shoot, so there might be a bit of hanging around. But I'm expecting to leave by 10.20 at the latest.
We should be back in the city between about 3.00 and 3.30 in the afternoon.
Cost and booking
There will be no charge for taking part in the ride, but please consider making a donation to Matt's fundraising target (you will be able to do that on the day).
You don't need to book in advance for this ride. Just turn up at the appointed time and place.
I hope you'll consider joining us if you're free. Apart from being a pleasant day out, it will be a chance to support a worthwhile cause. (You can read more about Matt's ride and charity work at http://www.changehomelessness.
Best wishes, and thank you for reading this.
P.S. I'd be grateful if you could forward this message to anyone else you know who might be interested.