Tag Archives: Scotland

trials bike mountain bike skills

The Drum Up Scottish Cycling podcast 18 Trials and sponsorship

In this show I interview Kevin Johnston of the Clydesdale Colts cycling club and who is also involved in the the Scottish trials club. We talk about how young riders can use trials bikes to get on bike skills quickly that can be easily transferred to mountain bikes.

In Motherwell they were looking to raise awareness of what he calls the best kept secret in cycling – how the trails bike can be used, and even with a simple grass area and cones course.

Any Scottish cycling Go-ride club can get involved and Kevin is keen to share the knowledge.

www.clydesdalecolts.com/

After that, keep listening I give a few thoughts about big event sponsorship based on my talking to a few major sponsors at the Motherwell tour series.

Listen in the player below:

Or listen on Apple Podcasts:

Here’s Lee Craigie’s Ted Talk, as mentioned in the show.

Vlog 003: Dig In At The Dock cyclocross 2017

I recorded this video at the last ever Dig In At The Dock Cyclocross race in Bo’ness at the end of February 2017.

The race had grown to become a very big, successful and popular event – one of the biggest races on the Scottish calendar, with arguably the best atmosphere. It was much loved and will be missed. The organisers are stepping down after it has perhaps become a victim of its own success, with a tented village, band, printed programme and great course features to set up, and several bags of dog dirt to uplift before the race.

Luckily Davie Hamill isn’t stepping back from race organisation entirely, as he explains towards the end of this video. It’s quite long, which in itself is an homage to Davie’s own video blogs. See if you can spot any other tributes to the original ‘Dig In’.

2017 Dig In At The Dock B Race Cobbles

I’ve covered Dig In in various ways over the years. Check out this other content:

Podcasts
Scottish cycling podcast 6: Dig In cyclocross and marketing events
Scottish cycling podcast 5: cyclocross with Dave Hamill

Blogs
Q&A: looking forward to the 2014 race
Davie Lines – The (fire)man who would be king

Videos
2013 race promo video
Au revoir to the Dig In videos
New series of Dig In videos 2012

24 hour mountain biking event in scotland

Scottish cycling podcast 15: Richard and Tom Seipp!

Have you ever met a 12 year old that has raced 100 miles solo over 24 hours, ridden 215 miles in a day and attempted one of the toughest self-supported bike events in the world?

In my previous show I shared my brief thoughts following a chat with Richard and Tom Seipp. I’ve overcome technology problems and can bring you the full chat – listen to it below or get along to Craigton Mountain Sports on Biggar Road in Fairmilehead for 7pm to hear all about it. (Buy tickets here: 10% discount for Drum Up followers if you use the code DRUMUP on checkout!)


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24 hour mountain biking in Scotland

Scottish cycling podcast 14: bikepacking and long distance mountain biking

In this show I record my thoughts after a chat with Richard Seipp and his son Tom. They are speaking this Thursday 16th February in Edinburgh about long distance rides like the Highland Trail 550, the Strathpuffer 24 hour and tours in Europe.

Listen to my thoughts below or go along to Craigton Mountain Sports on Biggar Road in Fairmilehead for 7pm to hear all about it. (Buy tickets here: 10% discount for Drum Up followers if you use the code DRUMUP on checkout!)

UPDATE: I managed to publish the full audio of my chat with Richard and Tom Seipp, which you can listen to HERE.

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?

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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!
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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.

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Listen on itunes or using the soundcloud audio below.


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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.

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Scottish climbs: Kingscavil, West Lothian

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.

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Good news: the 48th David Bell RR is go

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.

Nationality and the nationals

Today it is the National Road Race Championships in Glasgow. I looked at the course a little while back and the Spokedoke blog has done as good a preview as I could aspire to, so I thought I would post some alternative thoughts that have been rattling around my head.

As I began to establish my blog I looked for a niche angle to focus on – there were already numerous bloggers covering the international pro scene better than I ever could. Even in 2010 it was clear that Inner Ring was a cut above, and I thought that if I had no hope of writing pieces as good as that, I’d be better off staying local and focusing on Scotland.

Allez l'Écosse

A minority of people eschew their national allegiances when it comes to sport. For example, I have heard writer Daniel Friebe say he has no real interest or passion to see British winners in cycling. As he grew up, Italian riders and racing were what excited him and is where his support still lies.

One of Scotland’s greatest riders, Robert Millar, seemed to distance himself from Scotland and Glasgow as his early pro career took off, seemingly seeing himself as an outsider and apart from his own country. However after retirement he was quoted as saying he would vote SNP if he lived in Scotland. [Richard Moore, In Search of Robert Millar]

I am proud to be Scottish – it is a beautiful country, despite the weather and our achievements down the centuries in all manner of fields, from science to literature, as well as sport, are distinguished. I was born in Edinburgh, but my mother is Welsh and my Father English. In primary school I was slagged for my accent, as my R’s pretty soft, so I made a concerted effort to change the way I spoke to avoid the jibes. How Scottish does that make me?

Sport under a national banner is a powerful thing that can unite a country. Gino Bartali was asked in 1948 by politicians to win in France to boost a fragile post-war Italy, and his victory eased the tensions of internal feuding. But the nature of sport is that it is played out within the bounds of certain rules, and the place where national lines are drawn is different to other walks of life.

David Millar custom Scotland shoes

Contrast myself with David Millar, leaving aside the Grand Canyon-sized gulf in ability for a moment. Born to Scottish parents in Malta, he grew up in various places around the world;  ‘more Scottish’ than me by blood, but arguably with less of an affinity to the place.

I have heard the fairly cynical view that he only rode the Commonwealth Games as a route to the 2012 Olympics, but this doesn’t square with the pride and cameraderie that was obvious in his statements and those of his team-mates after his bronze medal in the road race Dehli 2010. In any case, there was no guarantee of London selection at that point, with the BOA’s lifetime ban for dopers still to be challenged. With the cynical hat back on, why would he bother with the national road race in Glasgow today? He has won it before and I’d expect him to avoid risking a crash ahead of the Tour de France. But his appearance today might show that he would be proud to win in Scotland. On balance his allegiance to Scotland still seems to be more of a sporting one rather than a cultural or social one, but maybe a return for Glasgow 2014 would tip the balance.

Kilmacolm Kermesse 5th May 2013

Ben Geenwood is a domestic rider who will be riding in Glasgow today for his Hope Factory Racing team. He was selected for the Ras recently and came under some harsh scrutiny for his English nationality. He has lived in Scotland for a while, has close family connections and is as much a part of the local scene as Scottish-born pros Evan Oliphant and James McCallum. Scottish Cycling, under pressure to justify their funding, will select the strongest national team from the riders available, with the best chance of posting a good result in a big race. Ben is popular in the Scottish cycling community and will have plenty of support if he is selected for Glasgow 2014. There will be some who feel that without Scottish blood or birthplace he is ‘not Scottish enough’, but we aren’t playing by those rules.

While the rules and moral interpretation of sport are not always clear-cut at the international level, politics also come into it on a personal and at a local level. It all depends how nationalistic you want to be.