For many married couples, “I do” is followed by church bells – but for keen cyclists Jo and Rik Millin, it was followed by bike bells.
The Guildford couple tied the knot at the starting line for Perthshire cycling event Etape Caledonia in 2011.
After briefly considering a wedding venue in the Bahamas, the pair went for the obvious choice – a 6am start at the UK’s biggest closed-road cycling event.
This Sunday, the couple will mark their 10-year anniversary by returning to Etape.
Jo, 44, told The Courier: “We met cycling and it was something we always enjoyed and did together.
“Rik had been doing Etape Caledonia for a few years, so I thought I would get involved with that too.
“The year we got married, we were cycling in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support as his mother had passed away that year.
“That really prompted us to go for it and get married at the event.”
Deputy first minister oversaw wedding
The pair raised about £1,500 for the charity that year.
Jo said: “We didn’t know if it was possible, but Macmillan were keen to help and thought it was a fantastic idea.
“They were absolutely brilliant and made the whole thing so special.
“We felt very spoilt. They even organised a cake for after.”
The couple enjoyed a wedding meal after their 85-mile cycle ride at Fern Cottage Restaurant in Pitlochry, where they plan on eating again this year.
Jo said: “We’ve really been looking forward to it as so many events were postponed because of the pandemic.
“Most other events have been delayed unfortunately, but I’m glad that we’re able to make the journey up north again.”
Etape Caledonia running since 2007
More than 35,000 people have taken part in Etape Caledonia since it launched in 2007.
About 5,000 people will participate in the 14th staging of the event on Sunday.
The event is usually held in May, but was moved due to coronavirus restrictions.
This year’s route will go in reverse to accommodate Covid-19 rules and the potato harvesting season.