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Grampian Cycling News 2007
Aberdeen to Westhill Cycle Route
Work has started on the Westhill to Kingswells to Aberdeen cycle route at the Westhill end of the Langstract. Work was originally envisaged to start on the first part of the route in 2006 with completion in the second quarter of 2007. It is likely that the full route will not be complete before the end of the 2008 financial year.
Pinch Point Success
After two years of campaigning by Aberdeen Cycle Forum on the dangers central traffic islands, commonly known as "pinch points", pose to cyclists, Aberdeen City council has recently changed it's policy on their use.
Elgin to Lossiemouth Cycle Route
Proposals for the final link in the chain for the Elgin to Lossiemouth cycle route will go on display at Elgin library next week. The plans will show how the 'missing link' along Lossie Wynd will be completed to enable cyclists to get to and from the heart of Elgin.
A new crossing for cyclists and pedestrians is also planned across the A96 as part of proposals from Transport Scotland.
The public are invited to view the proposals and talk with engineers at Elgin library on Tuesday, October 23 between 9am and 2pm and Wednesday, October 24 between 4pm and 8pm.
Tandem Time Trial Record Smashed
A Grampian husband and wife team have smashed the Scottish 100-mile Time Trial record by wiping nearly half an hour off the previous mixed pairs record. Ginny and Ken Craig from Netherley, south of Aberdeen, completed the 100 mile event in 4 hours 29 minutes
Ten More in Moray
Mountain biking fans are in for a treat this weekend as the last in a series of endurance bike races reaches a local forest.
Over 200 riders will be taking part in the Ten More in Moray event – a challenging 10-hour circuit of a 10-mile stretch of mountain bike track in Ordiequish Forest near Fochabers on Saturday (August 11).
Ten More in Moray has been organised by Forestry Commission Scotland in partnership with mountain bike events group No Fuss. It follows similar activities held in Lochaber’s Leanachan Forest in June and Galloway Forest Park in July, which saw hundreds of bikers face tough challenges on the Commission’s world-class mountain bike trails.
The series of events has attracted not just hardcore bikers bent on proving themselves equal to a punishing test of endurance but a wide selection of enthusiastic amateurs, thanks to rules allowing teams of up to four people to ride in relays and special categories for junior entrants.
Saturday’s challenge looks set to be a great day for spectators, with large screens broadcasting the race and exciting footage of other biking activities, expert demonstrations of bike skills and trickery from professional bikers, and music and entertainment throughout the day.
The event is also linked to the Commission’s Active Woods campaign, which aims to encourage more people to enjoy activities in Scotland’s national woods and forests.
Rachael Jones, Forestry Commission Scotland, said: "Hundreds of people have entered the Ten Under series of events so far and many more have enjoyed a fantastic day out as spectators, so we’re expecting the final event here in Moray to be something special."
The event will run from 9am to 7pm, with a prize-giving ceremony to be held after the races have finished.
Pitfichie Trails Update
All harvesting work has now finished on Pitfichie, so all trails are now open. However, a small section of forest road was damaged during the work but should be repaired before the summer. Please note that timber lorries can be expected on forest roads so please be vigilant and take care.
The trail on top of Cairn William was completed recently and has been designed to be ridden from west to east. This trail includes challenging sections to ride on such as rock slabs, a rock staircase, jumps and berms and is a great ride with views!
Over the next few months, FCS will be re-waymarking the Pitfichie Cycle trail in line with the national mountain bike trail guidelines. The trail over Cairn William and Green Hill will be graded as red (difficult) and is suitable for proficient bikers with good off road riding skills. The trail is steep and tough and mostly on single-track with technical sections and variable surface type.
The existing blue trail , which basically goes around the bottom of Cairn William and Pitfichie , will become white. This trail does not fit the standard signage as it is basically following the forest road.
The two downhill sections will become orange as this is suitable for technical downhill riders as the trails have serve features. Find out more about Pitfichie Forest MTB trails
Grampian Tigers Spring to Life
Over the last year the Aberdeenshire Cycle clubs have worked with Scottish Cycling to establish a Go-Ride club in Aberdeenshire. Go-Ride is British Cycling's Club Development Programme aimed at improving both young riders and clubs, and will be provided through a new Youth Cycling Club called GRAMPIAN TIGERS.
The Tiger's first sessions, are to be held at Hazelhead park and will be run by British Cycling trained coaches, starting on Monday 30th of April 2007 from 6 p.m. till 7 p.m Find out more about the Grampian Tigers Cycle Club.
The first Go-Ride Event, part of a scheme aimed at getting more youngsters on their bikes was launched in Aberdeen on 2nd April.
The support of Aberdeen City Council's schools department allowed youngsters at Hazlehead Primary to be the first in the north-east to use the programme before it is rolled out across Aberdeen. The pupils were helped by qualified coaches who offer guidance on a range of cycling disciplines from mountain biking to BMX.
Aberdeen City Bottom of League
Aberdeen Cycle Forum highlight Aberdeen City's poor record on cycle spending. In a press release they state:
A survey of councils in Scotland reveals that Aberdeen council is near the bottom when it comes to spending money on cycling.
The survey by Spokes, the Edinburgh Cycling Campaign, shows that Aberdeen's spend on cycling left it 26th out of the 27 local authorities surveyed. Aberdeen's spending of less than 1% was well below the Scottish average of over 3%, and well below some councils who spend over 9% of their transport monies on cycling. Even when spending from other sources are taken into account, such as from Nestrans the regional transport body, Aberdeen is still well down in the cycle spending league. The survey shows that Aberdeen City Council spent less than £70,000 on cycling from a total transport budget of some £7.5 million.
Weather Disrupts Racing
The traditional opening event in the North East's racing calendar, the Dick Longdragon Memorial 60 mile road race, beat the trend of the last two years and avoided snowy conditions allowing it to go ahead as planned.
First few placings went to
1 Stephen Cassels Cyclesport Dundee 2.35.06
2 Steven Wright Edge Racing st
3 Scott McRae Pedal Power RT st
4 Raymond Wilson Dunfermline CC @ 36 secs
5 Alistair Watt Granite City @ 57 secs
6 Phil Brown Velo Ecosse st
7 Jonathan Copp Deeside Thistle 1.24
Team – Velo Ecosse Brown,Oliphant & Goldsworthy
The Deeside Thistle promoted 10 mile TT based at Garlogie scheduled for the 18th March wasn't as lucky. High winds and snow forced this event to be cancelled.
Go-Ride Sessions Confirmed
The Grampian Cycle Academy, set up to encourage children to take up cycling as a sport, has confirmed its first 5 G0-Ride Sessions, to be held at Hazlehead in Aberdeen.
Go-Ride activities include games, races, skills tests and Talent Team Tests where it is hoped future Olympic and World Champions will be identified. Go-Ride sessions are run by fully trained British Cycling Coaches and introduce young people to cycling disciplines as diverse as BMX, track cycling, mountain biking and traditional racing. The sessions can be carried out on any type of bike.
The dates confirmed so far are:
£225,000 Cycle Path Upgrades
Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity which promotes walking and cycling, has released £225,000 to Aberdeen city council to improve the national cycle network route (NCN) and links through the city.
Suggestions on how the money will be spent include:
- widening and resurfacing paths, in particular the path linking the Formartine and Buchan Way from Bridge of Don
- installing cycle ramps and signage, and
- a bridge at West Cults Road costing an estimated £10,000 to install.
Changes to NCN1?
The NCN (Route 1) through Aberdeen is predominantly on-road and runs from south of Cove Bay, along Greyhope Road, Market Street, Broad Street, Old Aberdeen, Persley Den, Mugiemoss Road, Stoneywood Road and onto the Formartine and Buchan Way. The purpose of this consultation is to outline an alternative to the current route which will result in an over 25km off-road pedestrian and cycle route through Aberdeen.
Initiative to Improve Cyclist - Bus Awareness
Aberdeen Cycle Forum (AFC) are in discussions with First Bus over a joint initiative to improve Cyclist - Bus awareness within the city of Aberdeen, and would like to hear your views on the current situation and suggestions for improvements.
Tour of Aberdeenshire
The Towns Together Forum (TTF) is a private sector led initiative allowing businesses in the principal towns of Aberdeenshire to work in close cooperation with one another to mutual benefit.
The TTF is seeking to develop a cycling related project linking together its nine participating towns; Banchory, Banff/Macduff, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven and Turriff.
This idea for a Towns Together Tour is inspired by the Elfstedentocht (eleven towns tour) ice skating event in Holland. The Elfstedentocht starts in one town (Leeuwarden) and visits 10 other towns on the way before the participants return to Leeuwarden. It covers a distance of around 220 km (140-150 miles). In each town the participants have to get their entry card stamped with the name of the town. When the canals are not frozen the general route linking the towns is still followed by cyclists, roller skaters and sailors.
The TTF’s idea is to develop a route linking the nine towns and markets this as a challenge to be completed by cyclists of all ages and abilities. Some may do it in one day, others may take a week over it. The route would be safe, signposted and accompanied by a small map/guidebook. In the guidebook is information about each town and a small card for stamping to prove that you had been to each town. A route has been suggested, covering approximately 195 miles, though there are some minor problems with it.
To launch the Towns Together Tour and maintain publicity it has been suggested that an annual challenge race/sportive/or similar event for differing abilities be held. This could start and finish in a different town every year or, could be part of the full route e.g. Huntly to Stonehaven (à la, Milan-San Remo, London-Brighton).
The TTF is keen to hear more comments to see if this is a good, interesting and realistic idea.