Author Archives: Owen

image by Sam Shaw

Scottish Cycling Podcast 7 Crit On The Campus, Jenny Holl, Joe Nally

In this episode I was at Crit on the Campus, a closed road circuit race held at Stirling University. I spoke to two junior riders, both on the British Cycling Junior Academy. They were Jenny Holl and Joe Nally. I also spoke to Joe’s sponsor, coach and mentor Craig Hardie of Hardie Bikes after the race.

image by Sam Shaw

image by Sam Shaw

Listen on itunes , in your podcast app of choice, on soundcloud or using the player below.

Continue reading

Sam Robinson Glasgow racing cyclist

Sam Robinson: the cyclist, the road race and all the results

The All Bikes Scotland facebook group is brilliant. It’s so good, that if I had more money than I knew what to do with, I’d buy it and rebrand it as The Drum Up Scottish cycling FB group.

It is driven by Harry Tweed Jr, who posts historical images of the Scottish cycling scene going back to the 50s, with the occasional shot from before the war. Harry’s consistency has encouraged lots of others to post their own historical images and memories – a thriving example of social media at its best.

Martin Knox posted this image of Sam Robinson, courtesy of his son Jim Robinson, who has a memorial race named after him – a tough hilly race through the Trossachs which is arguably one of the classics of the Scottish calendar. I have always been intrigued by the names behind the memorial races and feel that many entrants to these events are oblivious to the characters behind them – one of the original aims of this blog was to record and spread these stories.

Sam Robinson Glasgow racing cyclist

Sam was a member of the Glasgow Nightingale continuously from the late 1920s until his death in 1973 at the age of 68.  The Sam Robinson trophy was donated by his son Jim and Jim’s brother-in-law in 1975 on the occasion of the first event. Jim plays an instrumental part in the running of the club today. Running continuously since 1975, this year sees the 42nd edition of the event organised by the “the Gales”.

Click here for details of the 2016 race.
Full historical results below:

Continue reading

Scottish cycling podcast 6: Dig In cyclocross and marketing events

In this episode, I’m at the Dig In At the Dock cyclocross race and take in the atmosphere before racing it. As the cross season wraps up, I share my thoughts about what is successful about this event today and how it grew in popularity to the level it is at. What elements of this race could be incorporated into your club’s event?

DSCF6039

Listen on itunes , in your podcast app of choice, on soundcloud or using the player below.

Again the audio is not perfect – apologies and thanks for sticking with me. I’m looking at getting better mics!
Continue reading

How to run a twitter account for your cycling club

I’ve been on twitter for a while now, and have been involved in the twitter account for Stirling Bike Club. This account has really taken off in the past two or three years and I thought I’d share some tips on how other clubs could do it succesfully.

Why do it?

You can use twitter to spread the word about your cycling club, grow your membership, create or improve a sense of community amongst the members, promote your events and other uses.

Don’t go on twitter just to go on twitter or your account will drop like a stone – it’s good to start out with a few specific aims.

To begin with, I aimed to follow any club members who were on twitter and any notable local cyclists. At that time, we were talking Scotland-wide, but these days many more people are on twitter. The aim was to build an audience and a community that would become self-sustaining.

Cycling Past

Conversation and community

To state the obvious, perhaps, social media is best when used socially. The big brands and personalities might judge their performance in the thousands followers and hundreds of retweets but for a cycling club, the numbers will be small. I usually cringe when people talk about their followers on twitter. Rather, success should be engaging in useful conversations and building an online community.

Anyone who sent me a tweet or replied would be engaged in conversation – this helps the person running the account to get to know people. After a while, your twitter community will take a life of its own and people will be having their own conversations. Continue reading

Scottish cycling podcast 5: cyclocross with Dave Hamill

In this show I recorded a chat about cyclocross event organisation and the cx scene in Scotland generally with Dave Hamill who runs the Dig In at the Dock race, held this year on 26th February. We recorded at Rouken Glen at the end of January, which was race 1 of a 4-part series called the Super Quaich.

20160117-IMG_1728.jpg

Listen on itunes or using the soundcloud audio below.


Continue reading

Scottish cycling Podcast 4: How to organise a big cycling event

In this show I talk to Norrie Petrie, chairman of Stirling Bike Club about organising a big event. The Crit under the Castle race has been held in Stirling in 2014 and 2015 and has incorporated the Scottish Cycling criterium championships. This event has enjoyed a full programme of racing with closed roads in a town centre and I wanted to ask Norrie about how this was achieved to help other clubs with ideas and practical advice about how to improve their own events.

Crit2 (56)

Listen on itunes
Listen on Soundcloud below

Continue reading

Scottish cycling podcast 3: my 2016 predictions

After my last episode at the Scottish cyclocross champs I got some great feedback and discussion on Facebook in the Scottish cyclocross group. I was really pleased to see this – I’m not aiming to be controversial for the sake of it, or to draw attention, but to raise constructive discussion points and this is what happened, so thans everyone who commented.

I thought I would keep the run going with an ‘inbetweenisode’ – just me talking. Tis the season to make woefully inaccurate prognostications, but I’m not much of a gambler, so I’ve gone for a few fairly safe predictions for the Scottish cycling scene in 2016.

Blogger Spokedoke has posted his view of how the future of cycling will look and this is a good look at the way things are changing in international pro road cycling.

  • ASO V UCI
  • Light weight bikes with the removal of 6.8kg rule
  • How this might affect:
    •    Disc brakes on road bikes
    •    Power meters
  • Thought on Rio Olympics and how athletics doping crisis may affect things

In the podcast, I delve into my humble predictions for the coming year with a Scotland-centric hat on.

Or listen on itunes Continue reading

Scottish cycling podcast 2: Irvine cyclocross champs and Tom Forbes

In this episode I speak to National commissaire Tom Forbes at the Scottish National Cyclocross championships. Unfortunately the windy coastal location has created some interference but there was some good discussion so I have posted the audio anyway.

If it’s unpleasant to listen to, read below for some of the points discussed.

Or listen in iTunes if you prefer.
Continue reading

Scottish cycling podcast: Plean cyclocross and Andy Rafferty

I have recorded my first Scottish cycling podcast.

I’m planning to look at broad topics in Scottish cycling, rather than race previews or news. I hope to get some interesting in-depth interviews that can help everyone from club riders to aspiring racers, and from committee volunteers to event organisers get the most out of the sport.

The stilted intro to this show makes me cringe but I’d rather get things up and running than chew my fingernails over perfecting the audio and format. Let me know what you think!

Or listen to the Scottish cycling podcasts in iTunes

Show notes Continue reading

Instincts, crashes and cyclocross starts

Sometimes it’s all about instinct. This striking image, capturing Chris Barr about to the deck at the Strathclyde round of the Scottish Cyclocross series, conveys many things for me.

cyclocross start crash

The unbridled instinct of the improver, bursting with enthusiasm and gridded at the front, to sprint full gas but underestimate the treacherous conditions and potholed surface.

The instinct of the seasoned racer, well-versed in the rough and tumble of Belgian racing, to anticipate the chaos and take a wide line to avoid potential chaos. The reactions kick in, to resist grabbing a fistful of the brakes, shift your weight on the bike and squeeze past the danger.

The instinct of the photographer, Mike Bishop who shoots a range of sports, to position himself near the bottleneck, sensing an incident may happen at the bottleneck formed by the gate.

Continue reading