A couple of years ago my wife showed me this video of 15/16yr olds ripping on their jump bikes in the local woods. The footage is rough but she knew the kids, it was local, and we were impressed. Although The Drum-Up has a pretty roadie-centric worldview, my teenage years were spent skateboarding and mountain biking, and I can still appreciate a nice jump when I see one.
Amongst the majority of Drum-Up readers, ‘Superman’ will conjure up Graeme Obree’s revolutionary position used to break the hour record for a second time. But in this context, it’s the motocross-inspired freestyle manoeuvre that most of us could only dream of attempting, let along landing.
Originally hailing from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, Andy Macleod started taking his biking seriously around the age of 13, and was immediately drawn to jumping and getting whatever air he could. He chose a full-face helmet and pictured himself as a motocross rider.
I had a spring in my step as I left my wife at home with two grizzling children (thanks Mrs P- again) to cover my club’s Battle of the Braes Road Race. Cruising along the A811, ‘Kippen Flats’ TT course, behind a tractor to the sounds of De La Soul’s Stakes is High was a relaxed way to start.
The race, which started in Callander and was run over a 57 mile course, took in four ascents of the “Braes of Greenock” climb. In this, the race’s 2nd year, the course had been altered to finish at the top of the Braes of Greenock, rather than on the “Mini Braes” near Thornhill, meaning only the strongest would be victorious. Open to 2nd, 3rd and 4th category riders, and with a generous prize fund supported by Stirling Bike Club, it was sure to be a keenly contested.
A heavyweight course: not to be messed with!
Stirling Bike Club’s new race enters its second year with the Battle of the Braes coming up on Saturday 20th August.
It’s a hilly road race through some classic Scottish cycling country, up the ‘Braes of Greenock’ climb that was once part of the Tour de Trossachs TT. This year the finish will be tougher, and more suited to the best climbers, as the line will come near the top of the Braes climb rather than on the ‘mini Braes’ near Thornhill, as it was last year.
As a Regional A race open to 2nd 3rd and 4th cat riders it gives an opportunity to the middle of the pecking order to score some points.
Organiser Eddie Cowle is still looking for a few helpers on the day, and there will still be a few race entries available I believe- entry by post- although a full field is expected.
Download a PDF of this poster
Going Carbon Neutral Stirling has been awarded funding from the Climate Challenge Fund for several cycle projects in the area. One of these involves a fleet of 15 cargo bikes that will be available on a month’s loan- intended to get cycling for transport or utility seen and accepted as a normal thing.
A quick preview of the Corrieri’s Classic 10 Mile Time Trial, which is held this Sunday 20th March on the ‘Kippen Flats’ course. It is organised by my club, Stirling Bike Club.
I enjoy sharing local stuff, as well as good photography. These two things are embodied in the following post.
Stirling mountain biker Steven Smith is the regular ‘king of the inversion’ – I don’t mean he pulls backflips, rather that on foggy days he has the nous to head up through the soup onto the hill, knowing that a spectacular sight will be there waiting for him.
This weekend we saw a slightly different type of inversion. On Saturday morning the cold fog that had been lingering in the west lay in the Forth Valley. After 6 weeks of snow and ice, and a couple of January weekends ruined by frost and a torrential downpours, on and off-road cyclists will have been itching to get out. While the roadies, still fearful of ice, warily kept to main roads, the mountain bikers set off up the Ochils to enjoy the sight of a frosty inversion, rather than a foggy one.
Pictures © Jo Cooke 2011
Making the most of the extreme conditions we have had, this video, shot by local rider Steven Smith, showcases the skills of Stirling mountain bikers on a section of built trail nicknamed Streetfighter.
In drier conditions, Steven filmed himself riding Bridge of Allan’s Mine Woods– also well worth a watch.
I do publicity for Stirling Bike Club, and have been working on the Autumn / Winter newsletter over the last month or two, hence the relative lack of blog posts.
12 pages of local club news covering road, MTB, cyclocross and youth cycling.
Newsletter 3 2010 web
This is the type of view you get from Dumyat, the most easily-accessible of the Ochil Hills for riding, if you brave what may seem like murky conditions at ground level. To explore the Ochils, why not come out with Stirling Bike Club?
Pic by local ripper Steven Smith. Click on the image to go through to see more of his stuff.