Grampian Cycling News 2010

Aberdeen Launches Cycle Challenge

Aberdeen City Council has launched the Community Cycle Challenge.
The NESTRANS-funded project was created to help one local community develop and promote cycling in their area.
Applications are being invited from community representatives with proposals illustrating how their area would benefit from the scheme.
This is a fantastic opportunity for community representatives, perhaps working with a local business or school, to present to us their ideas and ambitions to create a more cycle friendly community. This could be anything from providing cycle training or new maps to developing or improving cycle lanes or paths.
Applications will be reviewed in early January and when an area has been selected, the Community Cycle Challenge team will liaise with the local community in mid-January to look at ways in which the area could be made more cycle-friendly.
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 28 January 2011. Application forms are available in local libraries and community centres and can be downloaded from the Aberdeen City Council website.
For further information, or to obtain an application form, call (01224) 523324

Peterhead Cycling Paradise

Buchan councillors approved £185,000 of funding yesterday for a scheme to transform Peterhead into a "cycling demonstration town".
Some £70,000 of the funding will be used to extend or improve cycling routes in the town, while £105,000 is to be spent installing street lighting on popular cycling areas at Buchanhaven and Peterhead Bay.
The remaining £10,000 is allocated for cycle racks and stands throughout the town.

Elgin's New Cycle Paths

Moray Council have said yes to new cycle paths in Elgin. A path will be built from the outskirts of the town to the train station, and a nother will run through the town's Doocot Park. The council has commited £200,000 to the scheme with funding also being made by European Regional Development Fund, Sustrans and Cycling Scotland.

Glenlivet Bike Trails

Plans to create 39km of mountain bike trails through Glenlivet Estate are one step closer with the confirmation of European funding.
The project, led by The Crown Estate, to develop a centre and new trails in the Carn Daimh Forest, near Tomintoul, has been awarded £178,467 from the European Regional Development Fund (Highland & Islands Partnership Programme).
With funding already committed by other partners - The Crown Estate (£242,000), Moray Council (£30,000) and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (£35,700) - the proposals, which could breathe new life into one of Moray's most remote areas and make it a key mountain biking destination, look set to progress.
Along with the trails The Crown Estate plans to build a small centre with space for a cafe, information area, toilets and car parking.



Bike by Bus on Deeside

Aberdeenshire Council and Stagecoach Bluebird are trialling a scheme to allow cyclists to take their bikes on the bus running between Braemar and Aberdeen. They will provide free bike bags which cyclists can use to protect their bikes and the bus before poping their bikes in the boot space of the bus. There is no need to book a ticket in advance, just wait at the bus stop.
Depending on the success of the trial and feedback from customers, then bags may be provided on other parts of the network in future.

New Bike Shop in Stonehaven

Cycleworld of Arbroath are opening a new bike shop in Stonehaven. The shop is already open for repairs, and will be a fully functioning shop as from Saturday 26th June. To celebrate the opening of the Evan Street store they are having an open weekend with discounts across all items, a free barbecue and ice cream, and a shop-to-shop cycle from the Arbroath store to Stonehaven.
The new bike shop is located at 13-15 Evan Street, Stonehaven.

No Excuse Zones Launched

Aberdeenshire council have launched No Excuse Zones in Westhill and Peterhead, with events held at the Arnhall Business Park and Peterhead Academy. A No Excuse Zone is a simple idea based on a series of test bike rides mapped within an area easily cycled by a healthy person within a modest amount of time.
The No Excuse Zone approach will soon be developed for Portlethen and Inverurie, with other Aberdeenshire towns to follow.
The No Excuse Zone concept is just one of the latest initiatives Aberdeenshire Council is using to encourage a change towards sustainable travel behaviour and promote the benefits of an active lifestyle.
For each zone, a No Excuse Zone map is developed. The maps are surprisingly far reaching and provocatively suggest that if a person lives within the zone there are several places they could try cycling and enjoy the benefits. The zone is not "anti-car" but instead positively draws attention to the benefits available to those who replace short car journeys with a more active lifestyle.

Speyside Way Gets New Start Point

The Speyside Way has a new northern terminus in the town centre of Buckie. Established as part of a town centre re-generation scheme, the new official start/finish point replaces the previous location at Buckpool Harbour. Waymarking for the change is not yet in place, but expected to be soon. Its not a difficult change to follow - just pedal way down the hill towards the shore and turn left (west) along Baron Street and the Yardie.
Maps and guide books will be revised to show the new start point when they come to be re-printed.



Grampian Tigers Gain Accreditation

Grampian Tigers, the Aberdeen based cycling club for youngsters, have achieved Go-Ride Clubmark accreditation. The Tigers are the first cycling club in Grampian to achieve this, and only the 9th cycling club in Scotland to achieve it.
Accreditation is awarded to clubs that can demonstrate minimum operating standards in 4 areas
- Safeguarding Young People
- Sports Equity
- Club Management
- Coaching
See our web page to find out more about Grampian Tigers.

Kirkhill Mountain Bike Race

The organisers of the Mountain Bike Race planned to be held in Kirkhill in July have scaled back the event due to a lack of commitment from the promoting club, Deeside Thistle, to provide marshalls for the event. The event will now be confined to youths and juveniles only.

Knockando Landslip

The Speyside Way landslip identified early last month (details) is now being assessed. The ground has now sunk considerably and is threatening the water main buried under the track. Scottish Water are investigating. For the moment, the track is still open and passable with care.
Cyclists may well encounter fallen trees in places, involving either a scramble or an excursion into a neighbouring field to get past. The Tomintoul Spur south of Cairn Daimh is reported to be particularly badly affected, and the section between Advie and Cromdale also has one or two obstacles. These are a cumulative consequence of the very heavy and repeated snowfalls that this area has experienced this winter. The appropriate authorities have been advised. - Update of June 2010, Cairngorms National Park staff advise that all the fallen trees on their section of the route (including the Tomintoul Spur) have now been cleared.

New Cycle Group in Banchory

A new group has been formed to encourage people in or around Banchory to get on their bike.
Banchory Pedallers have initially organised two easy rides which will leave from the Guide Hut in Bellfield Park, one on Tuesdays at 6.30pm, the other on Wednesdays at 10am. Everyone is welcome to take part.
The group plan to start with half hour rides at an easy pace, with as many stops as is needed.
Each ride will be led by a ride leader who is an experienced cyclist and who has been trained by Cycling Scotland, supporters of the project.

Moray Drivers Asked to Give Kids Space

Cycling Scotland is coordinating a Cycle to School campaign targeting children, their parents and drivers in Moray. The campaign will be centred around local schools to promote "Cycle Friendly Zones" - areas where drivers are asked to give children as much space as possible so they can make an easy and safe journey to class. The six week campaign will include outdoor advertising, advertising on local radio and leafleting to parents.

Mountain Bike Skills Training

Pupils who have taken part in a new mountain bike initiative, which has seen an improvement in their skills and general fitness, will receive certificates from Jim Reich the project manager of Go Mountain Bike, who is also the education manager of Cycling Scotland.
Aberdeen City Council's outdoor education service adventure aberdeen is the Go Mountain Bike accredited centre for the north east, and is delivering these fun learning sessions using a new bike fleet funded by EnQuest PLC (formally Lundin) and the Children's University.
The project piloted at Tullos Primary has seen pupils ride the new state-of-the-art bikes during afternoon sessions during March.
The pupils took part in skills development sessions using ramps and obstacles then progressed to riding technical forest trails with significant obstacles such as rocks, roots and drops.

Children 1st Balmoral Mountain Bike Rides

On Sunday 13 June 2010 bikeBalmoral will be the first mountain bike event ever to be held completely in the grounds of the Balmoral Estate, all in aid of CHILDREN 1ST.
With five events for adults and children, this event will give all levels of mountain bikers the opportunity to race or to ride off-road through the stunning scenery of this beautiful Royal Deeside estate.

Mountain Bike Race for Aberdeen

On Saturday 3rd July 2010 Deeside Thistle Cycling Club will be holding the first Grampian District XC Mountain Bike Race in Kirkhill forest near Aberdeen. The event will be a multi-lap cross-country course on the popular bike trails through the forest with categories for all ages and abilities (including junior). The event is intended to attract not just experienced racers but also those who are new to mountain bike riding and racing.



Speyside Way Landslip

An area of landslip has been cordoned off between Carron and Knockando. This is potentially very serious for the Speyside Way, but until the snow melts the damage cannot be fully assessed. Fortunately the Way is not currently closed at this point, but the situation could worsen at any time. It is recommended that you approach and pass the area with great caution.

Dual Bike for Hire

A new specially adapted cycle for people with disabilities will be available to hire for free from Sunday, 04 April to Sunday, 31 October from Aberdeen Beach Leisure Centre, Beach Promenade.
Provided by Dundee-based charity PAMIS, the dual bike will enable people with disabilities and their carers to enjoy a cycle ride along the beach front.
In order to hire the bike:
three forms of ID are required;
cycling helmets advised;
hirers must be experienced in operating a hoist but only if it is required;
provide additional straps or padding to ensure a safe, secure and comfy ride.
A hoist is available however people will have to bring their own sling.
To hire the bike contact Aberdeen Beach Leisure Centre on (01224) 655401. It is for use along the beach front only - maximum hire two hours. Although the hire is free donations are welcome which will go towards the maintenance of the bike.
PAMIS is a voluntary organisation, which works with people with profound, and multiple learning disabilities, their family carers and professionals who support them across Scotland.

Moray Great Bike Ride

The annual Moray Great Bike Ride is to adopt a new format this year.
In previous years the popular event has seen cyclists of all ages complete a choice of routes starting and finishing at the Cooper Park in Elgin.
However, in an effort to encourage even more people to take part, satellite rides are to be staged in the Cullen and Keith areas in addition to the main Elgin ride. The combined distances amount to approximately 100 miles.
Over the years the Moray Great Bike Ride has raised more than £50,000 for the Grampian Society for the Blind. This year's proceeds will go to the combined Moray Sensory Service which provides assistance and support to both people with sight and hearing impairment.
As a result of the new format for the bike ride, volunteers are being sought to help register participants on the day of the event (Sunday, July 4) and to marshal the routes.
Volunteers are essential for the success of the event and anyone who would like to help out at any of the three venues should contact Moray Council assistant leisure officer Nicola Davidson on 01343 557146.

New Deeside Way Bridge

A new footbridge providing improved continuity for cyclists along the Deeside Way has been officially opened. This is good news for the estimated 200 cyclists per day who use this stretch of the route.
Regional transport body Nestrans has invested £170,000 into the structure which crosses over West Cults Road and has been designed and delivered by Aberdeen City Council.
The new footbridge has greatly improved safety at the road crossing. No longer will cyclists have to negotiate a steep slope down to cross West Cults Road and then climb back up a slope to rejoin the route. Through this improvement it is hoped the route will be more attractive to the public and encourage further cyclists to use it for leisure or commuting.

New Trail for Moray

The possibility of a 100 mile trail in Moray looks brighter after a recent meeting in Elgin.
It is proposed that The Moray Way will incorporate parts of the Dava Way, the Speyside Way, and the Moray Coast Trail. Currently the 3 routes have capacity to cater for more visitors.
The Moray Way Project aims to bring relevant parts of the above paths into the framework of a continuous circular route of just less than 100 miles which will become increasingly attractive for outdoor pursuits from casual leisure on the one hand, to outdoor rugged activities on the other.
The Moray Way Association is spearheading the development of the trail, and has already secured funding to help to create a definitive map, guide book and website.

Drain Grating Thefts

More than 40 drain gratings have been stolen across Aberdeen city. Police warned that the 3ft-deep holes could have put road users, including cyclists, in serious danger.
Areas hardest hit include Hazlehead, Beach Esplanade and Bridge of Don.

Moray Monster Trails

Trails currently unrideable due to weather conditions. Car parks inaccessible.
Harvesting News
- Ben Aigan Mast Blast will be closed from December 2009 until end March 2010.
- Ben Aigan Bunny will be closed from December 2009 until end March 2010.
Advance notice: there will be harvesting operations on the Fochabers Ring during February & March 2010. The trail will be closed during this time.