Saddle sore and exhausted, members of the late Joe Russo’s family ended their fourth Tour de Tayside on a high on Sunday, buoyed by the overwhelming support of friends, family and even strangers.
A total of 31 riders set off from the Market Muir for a 43-mile bike journey that was to take them to Craichie, Wellbank, the Sidlaws, Meigle and back for a well-deserved get together and barbecue.
The emotional day was planned to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the much-loved and well-known Joe Russo, a familiar figure in the town with his ice-cream business.
Joe’s family - Martin, Graeme and Alison, and his widow Anne - organised Sunday’s event to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and the haematology ward at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
Joe lost his battle against leukaemia on August 8, 1994, and since then the family has raised around £12,000 to help Ninewells’ patients and their families.
Money is still coming in for their latest efforts, with some justgiving pages still receiving donations, but they are well on target to raise over £2,300.
Alison said: “On Sunday alone we raised £1,527.65. We have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who has supported us, it has been amazing.
“We had people turn up on the day to join us. We met up with cyclists along the route and when they heard what we were doing they donated money to us.
“We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped us, including Strathmore Mineral Water and Forfar Farmington Football Club which supplied us with a B.B. marquee.”
Both Alison and Martin were carrying injuries but the family were determined to complete the course.
Alison continued: “It was all about mind over matter. Dad always used to say anybody can achieve anything. I would go back and do it again!“