TANDEM RECORD FOR LOCAL PAIR

A NETHERLEY husband and wife team have been pedalling their way to unusual cycling success.

Dynamic duo Ginny and Ken Craig have been in record-breaking form over the last few months - on their tandem.

The Netherley couple destroyed the Scottish Cycling Union 100-mile Time Trial record last Sunday in 4 hours 29 minutes, wiping nearly half an hour off the previous mixed pairs record.

Their route saw them cycle from Aberdeen to Stonehaven and back before pedalling to Ballater and back to Aberdeen to complete the arduous ride.

And even miserable conditions and biting wind could not deter the super-fit pair - both members of Deeside Thistle Cycling Club - from achieving their goal.

Ginny, who as Ginny Pollard represented Scotland in the triathalon at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, said the hardest leg of the journey was the outward trip to Ballater.

She said: "It was a miserable day, but when we turned away from Ballater with the wind on our backs we felt like we were on our way home."

The couple, who married in 1997, admit that running is their main passion but wear and tear over the years forced them to look for new pursuits.

The tandem was a surprise wedding present from Ken, but stayed largely unused when son Jamie (4) appeared on the scene.

Ginny said: "It's only this year that we started riding it. The 100-mile event was only our third race."

After not competing for over seven years, Ginny says getting back in the saddle has been great fun.

"It's a much more sociable thing and you're able to overtake so many more people on the tandem. It's a lot faster."

Deeside Thistle Cycling Club secretary Sandy Lindsay said he expected the Netherley pair to go on to greater things.

He said: "Both of them are all-round athletes rather than specialist cyclists. But they're more than capable, and I'm sure they could go quite a lot faster than they did. The 100mile record is quite a big step up and it was the first time they had ridden that distance."

Mr Lindsay said riding a tandem was not as easy as it looked.

He explained: "It's very difficult to get mixed pairs who work well together. Tandem racing does not happen a great deal in in Scotland and you have got to have a couple who are very well matched.

"You've got to be synchronised and it's quite difficult to be get comfortable and stay in balance."

Deeside Thistle is the biggest cycling club in Britain, boasting a membership in excess of 300.

"It attracts folk from all walks of life and it's on the ascendancy when other clubs are in decline," added Mr Lindsay.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the club should contact Sandy Lindsay on (01467) 681 330 or visit www.deeside.org.