Grampian Cycling News 2009

CycloCross Returns to North East

After a long absence, cyclocross racing returned to North East Scotland with an exciting new event held at Knockburn Loch, near Banchory. The Deeside Thistle promoted race saw more than 40 senior riders battle round the 2km course which included sections of forest track, singletrack, tarmac, sand(!), and short steep climbs. The course followed the outside of the Knockburn Loch then surrounding land, with most of it being visible from the start/finish area. The hot showers were a welcome sight for the riders after their cold, muddy race.
Local man Dan Whitehead, racing for Bikestation Ballater came in first, followed by Steven Turbitt of Glasgow United and Phil Kelman of the promoting club. Knockburn Loch is man-made and was created seven years ago by a local entrepreneur as a free-for-all sporting facility. It has been successfully used for open water triathlons and off-road duathlons.

10th Moray Great Bike Ride

The 10th Moray Great Bike Ride in association with Grampian Society for the Blind takes place on 4th October. The fun event has three routes - 25 miles, 10 miles and 1 mile.

Aberdeenshire Plan Launched

Aberdeenshire Council's first Walking and Cycling Action Plan was launched at an event to celebrate European Car-Free Day. The plan outlines a range of actions and policies the authority will use to encourage more people to walk and cycle.
Amongst the initiatives promoted in the Action Plan are cycle demonstration towns, park and cycle schemes, and reward schemes for walkers and cyclists.

Speyside Way Diversion

The Speyside Way has suffered substantial flood damage, mainly around Fochabers, and is impassable on the waymarked route in several places. A substantial diversion has been set up and is likely to remain in place for some time:
From the north. Leave the waymarked route in the Fochabers Bicentennial Park and follow the A96 along the High Street in Fochabers as far as East Street. Turn southwards on East Street, which becomes Ordiequish Road, and continue on this road until you pick up the waymarkers again.
From the south. Instead of turning off Ordiequish road onto a grassy path at the point marked "Ordiequish road junction" on the map above, follow this road all the way into Fochabers, where it becomes East Street. Where East Street meets the High Street, turn left and follow this main road through the village until just before the road bridge over the River Spey. Turn left into the Fochabers Bicentennial Park where you will pick up the waymarked route again.



Lecht goes Downhill

Just over a year after applying for planning permission The Red Fox trail at Lecht Ski Centre, the first of what is hoped to be many trails around the centre, is now open for use. And the good news is there is no need to pedal uphill - chair lift tickets are available at £20 for the day, and £16 for the half day.
The 1.6k Red Fox downhill track has been designed by Pete Laing to include berms, drop offs and some table top jumps. It is given the official status of an intermediate trail.
A skills park is being opened very shortly, with various obstacles and a second trail will be open during July.
The vision for the centre also includes scope for longer trails reaching into Moray towards Tomintoul and the forests of Glenlivet.
The Lecht is based at 2090 ft on the infamous Cockbridge to Tomintoul road (the A939). The trails start a further 700ft up the mountain, accessed using the 3 man chair lift, adapted to take bikes.
Find out more from our Mountain Biking at the Lecht webpage.

Children 1st Balmoral Bike Ride

Following the very successful inaugural event in 2008 the Balmoral Bike Ride in support of Children 1st is back - by popular demand.
There are two circular routes available plus a mini off road event for younger children.
Route 1 - 16 road miles
Route 2 - 30 road and cycle route miles
Both routes will be marshalled, have water and snack stops and will have roving, highly qualified first-aiders - just in case. There will also be a bike breakdown/collection service available should you need it.

First Mini Monster Challenge

The fundraising event First Mini Monster Challenge will take place on Sunday 7th June.
The event, which will take place at Hazlehead Park, comprises two relay races, one for families and one for adults. The family race will see teams of four complete two running sections, each 1.5km long, and two 5km cycling sections. In the adult event teams of four will also take on two runs and two cycles - the run will be 3km and the cycle 10km. In both races, each team member completes one leg only.
25% of entry fees will go to our national charity partner, Save the Children, however competitors are encouraged to raise money for any charity of their choice.

Cycling Roadshow

The Company of Cyclists Roadshow rides into Elgin and Forres to raise awareness about the benefits of cycling as an everyday means of transport, recreation and sport.
The roadshows will take place in Anderson's Primary School on Saturday 29 March and in Cooper Park, Elgin on Sunday 30 March. Both events run from 10.00 to 4.00pm and all activities are free. As well as the advice on offer from expert cyclists about maintenance and cycling safety there will also be the chance to get a free health check for your own bike with Doctor Bike.The event has been supported by Moray Council, Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity and Hitrans, the regional transport partnership.

Drumtochty Challenge Date Set

Drumtochty Challenge 2009 will take place on 10th May.
Brian McLaughlin, event organiser, informs us that "There will be a slight increase in the price this year, however this will be offset by the entry fee including the supply of an A3 size map of the event area. This map will not be pre-marked so you will still have to do that yourself (this removes the need to buy an OS landranger at £7). Further, the organisers have a new electronic scoring system which should make the results and prize giving a much smoother affair.
In addition there will also be a revision to the penalty system for late arrivals as this has been getting used to advantage entrants collecting higher scores rather than make sure everyone returns on time.

Bike Recycling Charity Opens

Bikefit is a bike recycling initiative based in Aberdeen. The basic proposition is to offer recycling opportunities for bicycles through accepting donations from the general public and other sources. The donated bikes (delivered and collected) would be inspected, repaired as required, cleaned and refurbished as required. Bikes would be then offered for sale or free of charge in certain circumstances. bikes would also be provided to individuals for who access to transport is a significant barrier to their take up of employment or training opportunities.
The workshop is located within Instant Neighbour premises at 5 St Machar Drive, Aberdeen, AB24 3YJ and is fully equipped to deal with all requirements.
Dr Bike is a mobile inspection and repair service which offers door to door servicing at workplaces, Universities and Colleges.
The person looking after the workshop is Peter Cooper a bicycle mechanic of 36 years. Peter most recently worked with Bill Reid at Broomhill Road cycles and many of you cyclists out there will know him well and the experience and expertise he brings to this role. Peter is looking forward and eager to get his 'hands dirty' again. He will be able to offer an extensive repair service including wheel building.
To make use of this new and exciting project please contact Bikefit/Instant Neighbour on 01224 489955 to arrange a donation or a service. Alternatively you can call in past Instant Neighbour at 5 St Machar Drive, Aberdeen with your bike for donation/service. Bikefit is open between 8.30am - 4.30pm.
Instant Neighbour Charity opened its doors almost 25 years ago with an aim to alleviate the social and economic hardships of the family/individual and to assist in the development of health, welfare and self esteem. Instant Neighbour already run a number of projects and 'Bikefit' is the most recent.