Tag Archives: Stirling

Andy Macleod: Superman

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.
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Neil Taylor wins Stirling Bike Club’s Battle of the Braes Road Race

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!
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Stirling Bike Club Battle of the Braes

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

Frost inversion Stirling

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.

SBC 144

SBC 141

Pictures © Jo Cooke 2011

Danny MacAskill in and on Scotland’s landscape

The Danny MacAskill: Way Back Home film has only been out for three days and already it feels like I’m late to the party. It will have been blogged, tweeted and facebooked all over the world already, so I wondered whether it was worth reposting on here.

The great thing about this film for me is the beautiful scenery. Danny’s first film showed off his incredible skills on a trials bike, but also his creativity and imagination- that he even considered riding a certain obstacle or clearing a gap. Pushing the boundaries like skateboarders such as The Gonz, Tony Hawk and Danny Way.

Here we see him literally riding the landscape, which brings us two simultaneous pleasures: jaw-dropping tricks in, on and amongst our beautiful country.

Cheap thrills were provided for me when he rode the edge of, and dropped off Old Stirling Bridge. The other locations are creative too, and these are mentioned briefly in a teaser film:

What does it take for a global company such as Red Bull to sponsor such a beautifully shot film that is a great showcase for Scotland? Simply a rider of Danny McAskill’s outstanding talent!