A child seat built specifically for trails. This makes two kickstarter posts in one day, but the idea behind Macride was conceived in Scotland (I suspect) and it has been tested in the Ochil hills of Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire over the past few months, so I wanted to give this one a shout too.
Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to see Richard Moore quiz Graeme Obree on his career at the Glasgow Film Theatre.
He was his usual eccentric yet inspirational self with several lines sticking in the memory and making you think again about the way you view things – which is his default way of looking at the world.
He talked about owning his bike shop and being in the comfort zone, as many of us often are, like a ball sitting on a flat surface. Sometimes something comes along to nudge that, and sets the ball off in a new direction.
Motivation and determination are key to his make-up: for example, he asked: would Moser (the previous hour record holder to Obree) have ‘chucked’ a training session in the snow, if he had had two punctures and frozen hands?
Being ‘willing to die’ and ‘getting the ‘last bit of toothpaste out of the tube’ were two ways of describing 100% effort needed to break a record that stuck in my mind.
During the evening, we watched a short rough cut of footage shot at Obree’s world speed record attempt in the USA. Read on to find out more of the background to his record attempt and Journey Pictures’ kickstarter campaign that will transform the thousands of hours of film into a documentary.
I am giving away 1 T-Shirt only, in size medium.
Entry closes 12:00 noon this Sunday November.
Winner picked at random from comments on this blog post.
Eligible only to UK residents.
I’ll contact the lucky winner privately for your name and address and post it out to you.
These images, courtesy of William Holden, show Scottish domestic racing in 1953 in Ayrshire.
There are several of John Kennedy, a rider that regular readers of this blog will know I have developed an interest. is there racing for Velo Club Stella in a few of them.
The Velo Club Stella has been described by a few people to me as ‘the first elite cycle racing team in Scotland’ and below we see what I guess to be the leaders of the respective races depicted, with John Kennedy in the mix.
Above, Kennedy in the foreground, racing for Velo Club Stella with Harry Fairbairn (Ayr Roads CC), left, and Cathcart McCurdie Hay (NCCC?), middle tackling a climb in Ayrshire.
William’s father, Thomas Moss Holden was connected to the NCCC.
Harry Fairbairn is a name riders from today should recognise, as his BMW dealership still graces the jersey of the Ayr Roads CC. One blog reader recalls that he may have started with a bike shop before diversified into cars, and that he is the brother-in-law of Ian Steel .
Ayrshire Road Race, Dalmellington, 1953. L-R Harry Fairbairn (Ayr Rds CC) John Kennedy (VCS) Curdie (NCCC). Curdie punctured at Dalleagles. Continue reading →
A recent interview on Veloveritas with Craig Wallace highlighted how important the Belgian scene is for serious riders who may be looking for a career in bike racing and need to push themselves on. Although Jim Robinson, whose shares memories of the 1960 season below, wasn’t necessarily looking to go pro, there were plenty at that time who were.
It was spring of 1960 and we were sitting in an early-morning commuter train heading from Ostend to Kortrijk. I sat listening to the chatter around us thinking how much it reminded me of the blue trains going into Queen St. Low-level every morning full of Glasgow office-workers. Flemish shares a lot of vocabulary with old Scots and as my ears got a little more attuned to the accent I almost felt at home. Also, I had spent my National Service with the RAF in Schleswig-Holstein, a part of Germany where Plattdeutsch was still commonly spoken. Plattdeutsch, Frisian and Flemish, all Low Germanic languages, are still spoken up and down the North Sea coast from Denmark to northern France. Continue reading →
After a poor 2012 though, where he failed to meet qualification times, he was let go abruptly from the performance programme but Shane Sutton, British Cycling performance manager, said:
“John Paul has left the British Cycling Academy Programme as he didn’t reach the performance targets set out for him. The door is not closed for John to return to the programme in the future, and we wish him well with his cycling career.” Continue reading →
As the road season nears a close, it enters its final, very violent death throes with the hill climbs. Peculiar to Great Britain, these short uphill time trials are some of the most intense races you can do, but with a decent crowd and a tough hill to conquer, can be very rewarding for anyone who enters them.
Kingscavil hosts one of these hill climbs, run by the West Lothian Clarion and club member Debbie Pollard has kindly contributed this piece on the hill and the event.
Cycling is a huge part of my life, my main hobby, the only sport I have ever loved, a source of great pleasure, and one of those precious things that helps keep life in balance. But it has a dark side. Climbing. I am not a natural climber.
Kingscavil Hill occupies a special place in my mind. A dark wee place of hidden fears. A place of nightmares and panic. I shudder a little each time I pass the turn-off for Kingscavil. Two or three times a year, however, I allow the hill out of that place so that I can challenge it.
The hill is just less than a kilometer in length. The gradient maxes out at 20%. But mere statistics don’t do it justice.
Netapp-Endura targeted a Grand Tour ride this year and finally got a wildcard entry to the Vuelta. The Pro Continental team, part headline-sponsored by Scottish clothing manufacturer Endura have certainly grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
I’ll recap some of their exploits at the race briefly below but rather than simply regurgitate the press information, I thought I offer an alternative take on what success means.
Endura’s stated goal when they expanded their pro team was to build the brand in Europe and with a road audience, as they were already well known in the UK and for mountain bike apparel.
Without interviewing the director Jim McFarlane, it’s pretty hard to quantify how succesful sponsorship of a pro race team is. Even still, I’d guess they might be reluctant to publicly state what they felt they were getting for their money, as with any marketing. However there are a few you can look at.
Outside of a GC win or a jersey, which would be pretty tall order, a stage win would provide the best exposurefor the team to date, and they got that with 25-year-old team leader Leopold Koenig’s victory on stage 8. You get a prime spot on live TV and plenty of visibility in post-race coverage, not to mention a nice shot with hands in the air.
It’s now two weeks since Evan Oliphant won his 3rd edition of the Davie Bell Memorial Road Race down in Ayrshire. The promotion and reporting of this particular race by Ayr Roads CC is some of the best in Scotland, off the top of my head, comparable with the Scottish road race championships when run in Balfron by Vortex RT and the Dig In Around the Dock cyclocross event.
Their race report is too good to waste but it’s too late to run it as a blog, so click through to Velo UK if you want a recap – the interesting point is that a race held over such tough parcours (below) came down to a sprint from a group of 14.
Evan has since won the Scottish criterium championship, at Ingliston on Saturday, where he attacked the bunch and pulled out a 30 second gap as he rode solo for the victory.
Good news – the Davie Bell is go- news recently out:
Organisers have confirmed that the 48th edition of the David Bell Memorial Race will go ahead, and what the race lacks for quantity it more than makes up in quality. The race had been in danger due to low entries but riders have responded to the rallying call and once again Girvan will play host to the famous race on August 18th.
No less than two UCI Continental teams will be represented with Ben Greenwood (Team IG SigmaSport) and Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh) both looking for a top result. Already a two-time winner of the event, Oliphant returns in jubilant mood having just secured victory in the British Cycling Premier Calendar – an outstanding result for the Edinburgh based rider. Meanwhile Greenwood has recently inked a deal with IG Sigmasport and will be looking to impress before the Tour of Britain.
Among the other riders on start sheet is current Scottish Road Champion Gary Hand (Herbalife Leisure Lakes) and local Ayr Roads man Gary Maher. Both will be looking for a good result in front of a friendly South Ayrshire crowd.
Race promoters, Ayr Roads Cycling Club, have been committed to developing young riders with the launch of the Ayr Burners Youth club and the first ever SCCL Youth Criterium. Therefore they are delighted to have no less than ten Under 23 riders contesting the gruelling 81 mile event. The first Espoir will be presented with the Savoy Park Hotel Shield.
The action kicks off in Girvan at 11am before speeding down to Lendalfoot and the first of six categorised climbs. These will decide the winner of the DigitalMyWay King of the Mountains trophy. It is expected that the eventual winner will make their move on one of the closing laps of the Byne Circuit, before racing up South Park Avenue to be presented with the Ayrshire Alps Trophy at approximately 2:30pm.
Meanwhile the Highwayman Challenge continues to attract entries with the new 200km version proving more popular than the 100km! Audax riders must complete their ride in a minimum time to be recorded, averaging at least 15km/h. No easy feat when faced with the hill roads of the Ayrshire Alps. The 200km participants also have to navigate 16 miles of unsealed forest roads, further adding to the challenge. Both distances take place on the 17th August with riders setting off before 9am. www.southcarrickdaviebell.org
Both the David Bell Memorial Race and Highwayman Challenge feature as part of the Ayrshire Alps Cycle Festival, supported by South Ayrshire Council and South Carrick Community Lesiure.