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Posted May 16, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Travel

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CUBA CHALLENGE — Tania Aitken prepares to set off for a quieter cycle ride with twins Katie and Tom. 

TANIA Aitken returned recently from a 300-mile cycle in high temperatures to raise money for the Women for Women Appeal.

Mum of twins Katie and Tom (2), Tania cycled across Cuba over six days on terrain which combined roads with more than a fair share of potholes and a mountainous challenge, uphill for six miles and in temperatures of 30 to 35 Celsius.

But Tania, who stays at Cardrona, along with 100 other women, took it all in her stride — and in the process raised £2500 for the charity which is chaired by Lord Robert Winston.

“Cuba was a country that I always wanted to visit, and this was a great opportunity,” she said. “My husband (Colin) said ‘off you go’ and I will keep an eye on the twins.”

Sounded a good deal, and so off Tania set.

But not before she had pedalled a few miles around the Borders getting herself fit.

“I was this able to enjoy the challenge,” she said.

“It did have its moments, the headwinds and the heat. But mostly the terrain was flat and sometimes undulating, and only the mountain section was hard.”

The proceeds which she raised will go towards the appeal, helping to improve the health of women and babies.

“I am very grateful for all the support I had,” she said.

Tania added that she would like to thank a number of companies and individuals for their sponsorship.

Bicycle Works, Cardrona Toddlers, Innerleithen Tennis Club, Sheila Spence Travel, Forsyths, Villeneuve Wines, Clare Gilmore Beautician, Kingsmeadows Nursery, the Women’s Fellowship of St Peter’s Church, Peebles Judo Club, Cardrona Golf and Country Club, Osborne Books, Formative Fun, Phoenix Trading, Just Eat It, of Cardrona, and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, of Leith.

Thanks also to Susan Charleston, Carol Muir and Mrs Laidlaw, of Peebles, Jeanette Newton, Lynne McGowan, Hazel Renwick, Sandy Haines, Sue Hope, Roni Duncan, Jack Johnston, of Cardrona, Lesley Tidmarsh, of West Linton, Jill Pearson, of Edinburgh, Mrs P. Gordon, of St Andrews and Mrs J. Aitken, of Musselburgh, as well as Colin, of course.

So will she be looking for another challenge? Yes is the answer, but for the moment Tania is quite happy to cycle around the quiet roads of Tweeddale with the twins on special seats behind.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 22, 2003 by I-cacique with 18 total posts

    So let me get this straight. This woman goes to Cuba to ride and raise money for a charity that is outside of Cuba, back in her homeland? Unbelievable. Imagine being a Cuban woman and watching these cyclists riding by, knowing full well that they are raising money for people who probably need it less than her. That is unmitigated gall.

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