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Summer of Cycling in West Lothian August 3, 2012

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West Lothian’s  Community Youth Service Work with Young People team and Lothian and Borders Police have teamed up this summer to deliver a series of cycling activities to young people in West Lothian.  Every Monday morning they have been offering a bike maintenance session for local young people at various locations throughout West Lothian.  Young people are asked to bring along their bikes to be checked and fixed free of charge and also have their bikes security coded.

I joined them on Monday at Whitburn Community Centre to help out.  20 young people turned up to get their bikes fixed.  In addition to this every Wednesday they have been organising led rides for young people in their local area, providing bikes for anyone who doesn’t have access to their own.

Colin Wilkinson from West Lothian Council and David Thomson from Lothian & Borders Police are two of the staff who have been delivering the summer project.    They have recently completed Weldtech maintenance training to support the delivery of 2 local Bike Club projects at Burnhouse School and Whitburn Academy.  Both projects are using bike maintenance and cycling to engage with pupils to promote a variety of life skills in a practical way.  Through Bike Club the schools hope to:

Teach pupils new skills in bike maintenance and confidence to fix there own bike

Provide pupils with a sustainable means of transport

Provide pupils with the opportunity to have a healthier lifestyle by increasing physical activity levels.

                                   

Dawson Bike Club August 1, 2012

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Dawson Centre Bike Club has recently set up a family cycling project in a deprived area of Falkirk.  A group of local volunteers have established this project to encourage members of the community to take up cycling as an environmentally friendly and healthy activity.

The Bike Club group successfully applied to Cycling Scotland’s Cycle friendly and Sustainable Communities’ fund.  This has allowed them to set up their maintenance workshop, providedtraining for volunteers who have started delivering cycling activities, purchase spares and additional equipment and to run events.  Dawson Centre Bike Club have been supported by Bike Club and Recyke-a-bike and worked with them to ensure volunteers are trained to deliver cycle training and cycle maintenance.  Falkirk Council has also provided mountain bikes for the volunteers leaders to use on rides.

The programme of activities they deliver includes:

• Bike maintenance workshop to enable completion of minor repairs and maintenance of bikes for members of local community

• Trained cycle ride leader volunteers able to run cycle events for the local community areas and schools

• Delivering community focused cycle maintenance and cycle skills events

• Running organised cycle rides

Bike Club leader Mark Cameron has just published 2 books outlining their journey from the initial idea and setting up their workshop right through to their launch on the 23rd June 2012.

Book One – Past 6 months

Book Two – Opening

It is definitely worth a flick through and demonstrates that a little hard work and dedication by a group of people can truly pay off in setting up a successful cycling project.  Keep up the good work.  You can follow Dawson Bike Club on facebook.

 

School worker completes his Paris cycle challenge for Ashgrove School June 28, 2012

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MADE IT! Ashgrove School worker Ian Liddiatt has completed his Penarth to Paris cycle.

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ASHGROVE School worker Ian Liddiatt has completed his epic Penarth to Paris cycle to raise money for specialist bikes and equipment for the school.

The Learning Support Assistant left the school gates on Tuesday, May 22 at 9.30am – and arrived at the Eiffel Tower, 300 miles later, early on the Wednesday evening.

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A group of students from the school, on an educational trip to the French capital, were waiting at the Eiffel Tower on his arrival.

Speaking shortly before he left, Ian said: “It’s all for the pupils here. I want to do them proud.”

Triathlete Ian, who has worked at the specialist school which caters for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder since February 2009, was accompanied on the ride by friend and training partner Huw Evans.

Huw’s mother Gill waved them off.

“Huw did this to support his good friend and a fantastic cause,” she said.

“The pair of them have done some mammoth events before, but I think this will was the pinnacle of their physical achievements. I’m very proud of them both.”

The aim of the ride was to raise £2,000 for the newly established school bike club, and specifically for specially adapted trikes which will give students the opportunity to take part in adventurous outdoor activities and learn road safety skills, no matter what their ability.

Sue Williams set up the bike club and following a special assembly to send Ian on his way, she organised for students to try and replicate his journey on two exercise bikes in the school hall.

“We worked out that he would spend around 14 hours spent on the bike, and burn some 15,000 calories with his 72,000 pedal revolutions!” she said.

“This was a project that the students got to work on, with Ian, from start to finish – as they helped him plan his route using google maps and could track his progress via a GPS system linked to the school computers.

“He also wore a helmet camera for some of the journey so the pupils could share the excitement with him upon his arrival at the Eiffel Tower.

“He did brilliantly, especially considering the immense heat for part of the journey, a delayed ferry and Paris rush hour,” she added.

“The children can’t quite believe he actually cycled the whole way!”

Donations to reach the £2,000 are still being accepted.

To support Ian and the school bike club log on to www.justgiving.com/ashgrovepenarthtoparis or contact the school.

Saltersgate School gain recognition for their Cycling Achievements June 19, 2012

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Over the last year staff at Saltersgate School have incorporated cycling activities into the curriculum and established a regular Bike Club group.  This has provided pupils with an opportunity to get involved in cycling activities with many experiencing cycling for the first time, and others have achieved cycling on two wheels.

Recently an event called ‘Hot Wheels’ was organised by the ‘Events organisation team’ of Billy, Mark, Claire and Jamie to celebrate and share the successes of the ‘Bike Club’ and all the cycling activities which take place at the school. All pupils had an opportunity to travel as far as they could on wheels.  Pupils travelled round the playground, or along a cycle path next to the school and recorded how far they could get as a whole school. They travelled a total distance of 105.6 kilometres – which they worked out would have taken them as far as Aberdeen in the North to Newcastle in the South, a great achievement!

The great work the school has done to promote cycling has certainly not gone unnoticed. Saltersgate School won runners up in the CTC Volunteer of the Year Awards 2012 in the Best Youth Group category and  they became the first ASN school to receive Cycling Scotland’s Cycle Friendly Schools Award.

At an assembly in June Saltersgate School were presented with certificates for their success with bikes and recognition of their activities. Local councillor Jim Bryant, Bike Club Officer Amy Hickman and School Travel co-ordinator Gillian Bathgate handed out these awards to the pupils involved in the project.

Cross Country for Crossroads: The Hadrian’s Wall Challenge June 18, 2012

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Hadrian’s Wall provides an iconic pathway for walkers and cyclists to travel coast to coast, and it’s a challenge taken up by Crossroads Young Carers, with a little friendly competition from Bike Club.

Staff and young carers from Crossroads Care Gateshead will walk the 84 mile trail from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend during Carers Week, to highlight the difficulties faced by young carers, and to raise much needed funds. But the action really gets going on the 23rd June, when Bike Club Development officer Patrick Carr saddles a tandem with CTC member David Ryan for a race to the finish.

The walkers, with their five-day head start, will have reached Heddon-on-the-Wall, a mere 15 miles from the finish at Segedunum Roman Fort in Wallsend. The cyclists will start from Bowness-on-Solway and aim to cover 100 miles of the Hadrian’s Cycleway before the walkers arrive in Wallsend.

Bike Club Development Officer Patrick Carr says,

“This challenge streches the limits of both us on the tandem and the walkers, many of whom have caring responsibilities at home. We hope to provide a little bit of extra motivation for tired legs on the last day. And of course, we hope to win!”

Bike Club Officer Patrick Carr with Crossroads staff

Crossroads Young Carers offer cycling to young people who don’t usually get the chance to ride. Young people report increased confidence and independence after bike sessions. Learning to ride for the first time is a big part of what Crossroads is able to offer, thanks to Bike Club funding and support.

To follow the walkers’ progress during the week check Young Carers News on OurGateshead.org . Tandem stoker Patrick will be tweeting from the bike as @bikeclub 

If you’d like to donate text GCYC12 followed by £2 £5 or £10 to 70070

Deans Community High School Pupils meet Nigel Mansell June 15, 2012

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Pupils at Deans Community Highs School met former Formula1 racing car driver on 14th June.  But this time he was on two wheels instead of four.  Nigel cycled through Livingston as part of a 1300 mile charity cycle ride from John O’Groats to Paris over 12 days, raising funds for Youth Charity UK Youth, who are one of the founding partners of Bike Club.

On his arrival at the school Nigel was greeted by pupils, parents and staff all keen to find out how his cycle through Scotland over the last 3 days had been.  Amasingly his time north of the border was spent mostly cycling in the sunshine. 

Nigel was directed to the playing fields where Deans Bike Club leaders were running a taster session for their after school Bike Club. Deans Community High School was awarded Bike Club funding last year to purchase mountain bikes to run an after school club. The overall aim of the project was to increase their confidence to cycle and provide an alternative activity to encourage pupils to be more physically active.  As part of the event pupils had the opportunity to try out the schools bikes on an obstacle course and got a taste of what is offered as part of the after school club.  Obviously Nigel and his cycling entourage had to have a go too. 

After getting lots of pictures taken and signing autographs Nigel and his team retreated to their support vehicle to refuel, warm up and get back on the road to their final destination for the day in Biggar.   Everyone from Deans CHS wishes Nigel and his supporters the best of luck and safe journey to Paris.

Deans Community High School Bike Club normally takes place on a Thursday evening from 6pm-8.30pm.  On Wednesday 27th June as part of the schools activity day the Bike Club will offer a trip down to Glentress for a limited number of pupils.  A bus and trailer will be leaving the school at 9am sharp.  If you are interested and would like further information about Deans CHS Bike Club contact Andy on 07787904139.

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ScoreScotland Bike Club June 13, 2012

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Score Scotland recently launched their South West Bike Club project in Edinburgh along the Union Cana l.  Over 3 days they offered children and young people in the area a chance to try out their new mountain bikes and take part in cycling activities including: a bike obstacle course, led rides along the canal, mountain biking at Hailes Quarry Park and Dr Bike courtesy of Evans Cycles.  Local Community Police Officers also joined in on the bike rides and helped with the activities.

                                   

Score Scotland are working in partnership with Bridge 8 Canoe Club and Set in Motion to deliver this Bike Club project.   Bridge 8 have donated use of one of their shipping containers to use as storage for the bikes and Set in Motion staff will assist in delivering the sessions and help with maintenance of bikes and equipment.  Set in Motion is also delivering some maintenance training for staff and volunteers so they can maintain their new fleet of bikes.

Becky Leach from Score Scotland believes ‘Encouraging children and young people to cycle through this project will increase their knowledge of accessible cycling routs, increase their mobility and access to other parts of the city and ensure they are more confident at using a bike for leisure and transport purposes.’

 

Larbert High School S1 Cycle Roadshow June 13, 2012

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S1 pupils went cycling crazy at Larbert High this term when they took part in this year’s Cycle Road shows. Over 3 days 300 S1 pupils tried out different cycling activities to encourage more pupils to take up cycling and get involved in cycling activities at the High School.

Although slightly cold, the days stayed dry and pupils had the chance to try out the schools assault course, riding Tandem bikes, and tackling hills on mountain bikes. PC Imrie security stamped bikes that pupils brought along on the day and local bike recycling project Recyke-a-bike came along to teach pupils how to fix. All the pupils are to be congratulated on their effort and enthusiasm.

Thanks are given to all the senior pupils who assisted as well as all the departments that the school linked with to carry out this venture:  Outdoor Education, Recycke-a-bike, PC Imrie and Transport Planning.

Girls Only Aloud!

Larbert High ran its first girls own cycling adventure to Calendar Estate cycle trails in Falkirk with Mr Townsend and Miss Macgowan.  It was identified through the S1 cycle road shows that girls were interested in mountain biking but were uncomfortable going out with the boys.  Miss Macgowan reported that ‘After getting to grips with the bikes we tried our hand at first the green run, then the blue and finally the red. This took us from flat trails to more challenging corners and undulations which we become more confident at. This was a great way to spend an hour out in the sunshine and we look forward to the next one after the summer holidays.”

Halfords Tour Series in Kirkcaldy May 16, 2012

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Last night (Tuesday 15th May) Team UK Youth travelled north of the border to Kirckaldy to race in Round 1 of the Halfords Tour Series.  This was the first time the tour has ever came to Scotland and everyone made sure the series kicked off to a great start.

An afternoon of activity was planned to accompany the evening event for the public to participate in. Before the professionals took centre stage for the evening event, primary and secondary school youngsters were given the opportunity to take to the town centre race circuit and try it out for themselves. Scottish Cycling also organised a race for youth racers with a girls race and boys race taking place.  Throughout the afternoon members of the public were invited to sign up to the community parade through Active Fife at 4.30pm.

Local Bike Club group Link Living came down on the day with a group of young people to meet team UK Youth.  They watched them warm up for the evening race and chatted to them about their cycling experiences.  As the team officially ‘signed’ on for the race Link Living were invited up onto the podium with them. ASDA colleague Heather from the local store in Kirkcaldy joined them on the podium and presented the group  with a cheque for £2000 on behalf on Bike Club and the ASDA foundation. Bike Club funding will allow the group to buy bikes and safety equipment for their cycling project to encourage more young people to cycle.

 

As for the main event, there was a great atmosphere in Kirkclady with spectators fully getting caught up in the event cheering on all the riders. Team UK Youth put in a strong performance and saw them place four riders in the top ten.  Unfortunately this was not enough and they narrowly lost out to Endura – but a very respectable second place, well done.  A big good luck to the team from everyone at Bike Club in Scotland, you have a whole new group of fans who will be cheering you on for the rest of the series!!

See more pictures from the race here.

Team UK Youth meet Middleden Mountain Bike Club May 16, 2012

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On Tuesday 15th May the Halfords Tour Series came to Scotland for the first time, with a professional cycle race around Kirkcaldy town centre. Team UK Youth are one of 12 teams competing in the series.  Team UK Youth cycling team was founded by ex Formula 1 racing car driver Nigel Mansel and represent the work and values of UK Youth – national Youth Charity and consortium partner of Bike Club.

As part of their visit Bike Club Officer, Amy Hickman, arranged for the team to visit a local Bike Club group in Kirkcaldy the night before the race – Middleden Mountain Bike Club.  Team UK Youth met the leaders and young people and had some photos taken with them.  They chatted to the young people about everything from cycling, mountain biking to what they do in their spare time and how much their bikes cost! Some of the young people showed them a thing or two about mountain biking – and then chatted some more about bikes.  Middleden were running time trials in Middleden Woods for their session and the team went down to watch cheering the youngsters on, giving them encouragement and tips.