In this show I cover closed road cycling circuits in Scotland, including my own experiences at the much-loved Ingliston near Edinburgh. There is news about the Fife Cycle Park, which is starting to be built, and an interview with Matt Ball of the Linlithgow Development Trust about the West Lothian Cycle Circuit, which is entering its final phase of funding.
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I have been on a little hiatus with the podcast and it’s related to my cycling – I haven’t been riding much, other than the daily commute – and hence I haven’t been podcasting as much either.
With the podcast, I’m inspired when I’m at races or events, either because there are people to talk to and record interviews with, or because I get ideas. I haven’t been at many events so hence the lack of podcasting.
Have you ever lost your mojo on the bike? Have you ever lost your motivation for cycling, whether that’s training and racing, riding with your club or just riding your bike for leisure or pleasure?
When that happens, one way to get over it is to ‘just get back out there and ride’ – do do whatever you can, for as short a distance or at as slow a speed as is needed, just in order to get back out there.
So that’s what this podcast will be – a rough first draft – as a writer might call it – unedited and unpolished – just to get something out there. I’ll probably get a bit philosophical as I fly solo and explore the topic of motivation and cycling.
Listen below or on iTunes
In my last show I reviewed my new cyclocross race bike and with the season underway, my plan was to do a few Scottish cyclocross events.
In this episode I gave my thoughts about live broadcasting at Crit under the Campus, a closed road circuit race held at Stirling Town Centre. I did live Twitter and Periscope broadcasts at the race and shared my tips about how best to use technology to live broadcast your event.
I hadn’t recorded for a while and wanted to get this out – just my monologue thoughts. I have one longer interview to come soon.
In this episode I was at Crit on the Campus, a closed road circuit race held at Stirling University. I spoke to two junior riders, both on the British Cycling Junior Academy. They were Jenny Holl and Joe Nally. I also spoke to Joe’s sponsor, coach and mentor Craig Hardie of Hardie Bikes after the race.
Listen on itunes , in your podcast app of choice, on soundcloud or using the player below.
The All Bikes Scotland facebook group is brilliant. It’s so good, that if I had more money than I knew what to do with, I’d buy it and rebrand it as The Drum Up Scottish cycling FB group.
It is driven by Harry Tweed Jr, who posts historical images of the Scottish cycling scene going back to the 50s, with the occasional shot from before the war. Harry’s consistency has encouraged lots of others to post their own historical images and memories – a thriving example of social media at its best.
Martin Knox posted this image of Sam Robinson, courtesy of his son Jim Robinson, who has a memorial race named after him – a tough hilly race through the Trossachs which is arguably one of the classics of the Scottish calendar. I have always been intrigued by the names behind the memorial races and feel that many entrants to these events are oblivious to the characters behind them – one of the original aims of this blog was to record and spread these stories.
Sam was a member of the Glasgow Nightingale continuously from the late 1920s until his death in 1973 at the age of 68. The Sam Robinson trophy was donated by his son Jim and Jim’s brother-in-law in 1975 on the occasion of the first event. Jim plays an instrumental part in the running of the club today. Running continuously since 1975, this year sees the 42nd edition of the event organised by the “the Gales”.
Click here for details of the 2016 race.
Full historical results below:
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?
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!
In this show I talk to Norrie Petrie, chairman of Stirling Bike Club about organising a big event. The Crit under the Castle race has been held in Stirling in 2014 and 2015 and has incorporated the Scottish Cycling criterium championships. This event has enjoyed a full programme of racing with closed roads in a town centre and I wanted to ask Norrie about how this was achieved to help other clubs with ideas and practical advice about how to improve their own events.
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Listen on Soundcloud below
Actor Greg Drysdale edited this old footage for the Stirling Cycle Hub short film competition a few months ago and I recognised some of my local roads on it.
The Central Scotland Wheelers (now City of Stirling Wheelers and still running a time trial on the Cambusbarron course) ran a race on the Cowie loope.
The loop is still used for Falkirk BC’s Billy Warnock memorial, which is one of the first races I entered.
Central Scotland Wheelers Cowie Road Race 1986 from Greg Drysdale (Actor) on Vimeo.
The course is largely flat but includes one steep little brae before the town and another incline as you come into the centre of town. If those are not enough to split the field up, an attack through the narrow twisty back roads between Cowie and the Bellsdyke Road might get away. I like the finish in Cowie, but you could never have that now with all the road furniture and speed bumps. Today’s finish on the main road is always a bit sketchy for me, with the bunch fanning out and cars invariably coming in teh other direction.
“Yes, really, 1986. I filmed it using our new (at the time) Sony CCD V8 AF E Video Camera.” explains Greg.
“I think it’s interesting not only because it’s a nostalgic record of a bike race that happened nearly 30 years ago… but also reveals some vintage cars (and vintage people!) and may be of some interest to the people of Cowie to see their old town and how it’s changed .”
Greg’s cousin Raymond was in one race (he is wearing black and yellow and can be seen on the right at the finish line.)
Please post up a comment if you were involved in the race or recognise anyone in it.
There comes a time in every man’s life where he must leave behind the 4th category road racers and make the step up to ‘the big time’. After about 5 years of trying, I finally managed to get the hallowed 10 points* in 2013 and the 3rd category road race license that came with it. This may actually be a curse rather than a blessing for someone like me, but that is another blog post. But as the season approaches let’s ask: how do you get your 3rd cat?
*Know the rules
This year the British Cycling rulebook, Tech reg 6.2.2 states that you now need 12 points to get to 3rd cat. How many points are available in your races, and down to what placing? You can find this information on the British Cycling website, and by checking the category of race you are entering.
Target your efforts- make 3rd the goal
In 2012, I tried a mixture of things, APRs, time trials, road races of different categories, and I didn’t do well at any of them. I went better in 2013 when I focused on the points, picked 4th cat and 3/4 road races that I thought I could place well at, and trained specifically to be fit for them (see ‘train smart’ below).
Be super talented
I have found that strong juniors, triathletes and newcomers can clean up in the first few races. If you are starting the season fit, or feel that this is your year, be aware that some strong new faces will be there. Maybe after a month these guys will have moved up already and found their level. If you are one of ‘these guys’, get stuck in straight away!
In one of my previous posts, I tracked the growth of the VC Stella, a club formed in Scotland as a formidable race outfit. In the 1950s in Britain, road racing was only just taking off, as a segment of cyclists sought to break away from the touring and time trialling culture and emulate their continental heroes of the Monument Classics, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
John Kennedy was one of the VC Stella’s most successful riders, winning the Scottish Road Race championship in the 50s, amongst numerous other results, and going on to a professional career on the continent. The SCU team for the Oats 8-day Circuit of Britain, and later the Milk Race, was often comprised of mainly VCS members.
One of the founder members of VCS, Ronnie Park, was an accomplished rider about whom little is known today. I hadn’t heard his name until I began researching the VCS.
Below shows the start of the Glasgow Highland Games road race, in George Square in June/July 1954. The race was won by Joe Mead of St Christopher RC.
L-R Albert Wheeler (Douglas CC), David Ross, James Kelly, Ronnie Park (all VC Stella). Continue reading