PICTOU – History and cycling merged on Saturday to help close Bike Week in Pictou County.
Bike Week organizer Sally O’Neill, who is the co-ordinator for Active Pictou County, saw a chance to alter a Bike Week event on Saturday in Pictou and allow local bikers to learn about Ian MacLean’s quest to help raise awareness and funds to repair a Scottish Castle.
“It was a fantastic addition to Bike Week,” O’Neill said. “We switched up some of our plans to help celebrate Bike Week in Pictou County. We had great support from the cycling community. I’m so pleased so many MacLeans came out to combine the physical activity element with raising money for the ancestral castle of the MacLeans.”
MacLean and his assistants wore t-shirts in tribute to Duart Castle, whose origins can be traced back 800 years to the eastern end of the Isle of Mull in Scotland’s Central West Highlands.
He took time to share why he was touring Pictou County and talked about the repairs the castle requires.
He explained that the castle is a treasured piece of history for Clan MacLean, which he described as a one-time sea power.
“They had ships like Viking ships, but they had a deeper keel and a rudder,” he said.
MacLean was accompanied by social media technician Karen McLean and George MacLean, who is president of Clan MacLean’s Atlantic Chapter, as well as Westville resident Daryl Ingram – all of whom donned the Duart Castle tops.
Other bikers included Andrea Haughan and Lloyd MacLean, and Pat MacDonnell. They cycled along the Jitney Trail to Lyons Brook to the Betsy Memorial at the Lyons Brook Hall and to the Loch Broom Log Church before returning to Pictou for Ian MacLean’s planned trip Saturday afternoon to the Culloden Cairn in Knoydart.
At certain points, the cycling stops and the bikes are driven from side trips like Loch Broom to points where the bike trip resumes.
From left: Pat MacDonnell,Andrea Haughan, Lloyd McLean and Ian MacLean gather on the Jitney trails’ bridge at Lyons Brook. (Goodwin photo)