New cycle ride to celebrate links with Melrose
GALASHIELS is gearing up for its annual gala week - with a family bike ride.
The Braw Lads' Gathering confirmed it has added the new event to its programme to celebrate its links with Melrose.
It will leave Currie Road in Galashiels on Wednesday, June 20, at 6.30pm, and travel along the Black Path to Tweedbank to meet the cycle ride from Melrose before returning to Galashiels at 8pm.
The bike ride will be led by the Braw Lad and Lass and their Attendants, from Galashiels, and meet the Melrosian, along with his Left and Right Hand Men, from Melrose.
Meanwhile, the Melrose cycle ride will leave the Gibson Park at 6.30pm.
It was only introduced in 2001 after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease restricted the use of horses and farmland.
But last year, more than 500 cyclists took part in the event which has been
described as a runaway success.
David Houston, chairman of the Braw Lads' Gathering executive committee, told the Border Telegraph: "The idea originated from our Mounted Events committee who brought up the subject.
"They asked why we don't meet our nearest neighbour - Melrose - when we meet Selkirk on Spurs night and Lauder at Threepwood.
"After much discussion, the idea of a 'Rideout on Bikes' to meet Melrose was proposed and it was thought it could be held on the same night as theirs, which is highly successful, when both sets of Principals could meet.
"Melrose Committee was asked for their thoughts and were very much in favour of the idea.
"The benefits for the Braw Lads' are huge, not only are we meeting our nearest neighbours, we are potentially attracting hundreds of children along with their parents.
"These are residents of Galashiels who might not have had any interest in the Braw Lads' Gathering will now become involved in it, many at an early age. It gives them a small insight into the Braw Lads' Gathering, our community involvement, our town Galashiels and what living in and being part of the Scottish Borders means to many people.
"At the very least, hopefully they will continue to support the Braw Lad and Braw Lass at other functions during the Gathering this year and into the future.
"For the children riding, it might sow the seed that one day, they want to become Braw Lad or Braw Lass and represent their town throughout the Borders and for the adults, it may encourage them to become involved in the Executive Committee and help with the many events that we run or even become a Patron and support the Gathering financially."
The Braw Lads' Gathering celebrates the history of Galashiels and culminates with a week long series of events beginning at the start of the last week in June.
It gets underway with the annual swimming gala at Galashiels Swimming Pool on Tuesday, June 19, at 6pm.
Mr Houston said: "The Braw Lads' Executive Council is a very forward looking committee and it's hoped that by encouraging all of the people of Galashiels, our Gathering will continue to grow in stature and will be around for many years to come."
This article appeared in Border Telegraph 15 Jun 12
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