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Halfords Tour Series in Kirkcaldy 16/05/2012

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Fife, Scotland.
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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 16/05/2012

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Fife.
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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.

                                           

Scottish Schools Cycle Speedway League 03/04/2012

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Edinburgh, Events, Fife, Scotland.
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Liberton High school, Inverkeithing High School and     Dunfermline’s Queen Anne High School have been participating in the first ever Scottish Schools Cycle Speedway League.

 

 

About Cycle Speedway

Cycle Speedway is similar to track cycling in a velodrome other than the track is shorter and has less of a camber.  The riders compete four at a time and each race is just four laps of the track.  The specially designed bikes have no gears and no brakes! It is easy to learn the basic skills of Cycle Speedway and a lot of fun right from the start.

The inter-schools cycling league was conceived following an invitation by Gavin Kennedy, coach of the Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club, to members of Liberton High School’s after school Bike Club to a ‘Come and Try It’ session at the club’s Redbraes Park circuit. Liberton Bike Club ran a number of cyclo-cross races in their own school grounds inviting other Edinburgh schools to join them – but it became obvious that moving a group of pupils and their bikes around the City was far from easy and few accepted the challenge. The idea of just turning up with a group of pupils equipped with no more than their bike helmets to a fixed venue where specialist bikes were provided seemed like a great idea!

The league was based indoors at the Jack Kane center and bikes were provided by Edinburgh Falcons.  This was a small, but fast circuit – much more challenging than the outdoor track at Redbraes Park which some had visited last Autumn. Each participating school attended their own training session with coaches from Edinburgh Falcons where they had the opportunity to learn some basic  skills and practice racing against each other before the league started.

Liberton Bike Club team

The opening round of races brought thrills, spills, skill and determination in equal measure. There were 26 riders taking part serving up a feast of racing for the spectators including representatives from Bike Club, Scottish Cycling, Sustrans I Bike, and City of Edinburgh Council Active Schools.  After 3 weeks of battling it out Dunfermline’s Queen Anne High School were crowned Indoor champions. Well done to all involved

It will soon be time to take the riders and their new found skills outdoors to Redbraes Park, Scotland’s only surviving shale Cycle Speedway track, for a Summer term of inter-school races. It is hoped that similar competitions can now be developed elsewhere in Scotland.

Bike Club in Scotland celebrates its 1st year 01/09/2011

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Edinburgh, Events, Fife, Glasgow, Scotland.
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To the roar of helicopters over George Sq, Glasgow (the square is being used as location for a ‘Zombie’ film, ‘WWZ’) Bike Club held a reception to celebrate its first year – and hopefully to attract funding from the great and good to enable it a) to continue beyond Dec 2012, and b) to extend to other parts of Scotland beyond the Central Belt.

Matt Kerr, the young and enthusiastic (for cycling) Glasgow City Councillor who currently chairs their Cycle Forum,opened proceedings by noting yet another advantage of cycling (as if we didn’t know enough of them!) – cycling as a means of escape! And hence, for youth, the sense of freedom, of independence, and self-reliance (repairing a puncture in the wild).

Matt told us how he was introduced to club cycling. One day,he was passed by a bunch of racers. Determined to keep up,he latched onto the back of them on his clunky machine, until eventually they stopped. This kid has promise, they said, and invited him to join – with a ‘proper’ bike!

 Sarah Merrington, the UK Bike Club Manager, gave an  impressive array of statistics for BC in Scotland so far – 50 Clubs established (against a target of 30); 3500young people engaged in the activity; £90,000 of community grants, with match funding of another £147K; and 72 leaders trained. She thanked the Asda Foundation for their generous sponsorship of the scheme.

 The result is that the profile of CTC in Scotland has been raised; Bike Club named as an example of ‘best practice’ within the Government’s Cycle Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS); and named as a contributor to the Glasgow Cycling Strategy.

There followed a series of presentations by individual clubs, such as Liberton High School in Edinburgh, which has ‘roped in’ some of the feeder primary schools; and Reidvale Youth ‘n Action from the East End of Glasgow, which has set up two skills areas in local parks, run maintenance workshops via The Bike Station, done some exploring of the city, and brought in celebrities like Graeme Obree and Nigel Mansell. 

In the lobby area, another dozen clubs displayed posters about themselves. The diversity of clubs, and the variety of activities they engage in, was outstanding. Perhaps the most heart-warming was a club called ‘Deaf Connections’, which is reaching out to the whole deaf community in Glasgow (including adults), giving a marginalised group new skills and new self-confidence.

 Many speakers praised the work of the two enthusiastic BC Officers, Amy and Victoria, who have truly ‘gone the extra mile’ over the past year. All the indications are that the targets – such as involving ‘hard to reach’ groups – will be met. We must all make every effort to ensure that Bike Club’s successes come to the attention of MSPs and other    policy makers, with a view to continuing its funding, and extending its operations more widely across the country.

Written by Peter Hawkins – CTC Scotland Chair

See what we have achieved in the Bike Club Scotland newsletter

Young People cycling ‘oot and aboot’ in Fife 03/08/2011

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Events, Fife, Scotland.
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More and more young people in Fife have the opportunity to get involved in cycling activities. There are now three Bike Club established and delivering cycling activities. The Madras College project in St Andrews has been going from strength to strength and the are currently on a summer break.  However two newer projects in Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy have recently started up.

Glenrothes Detached Youth Work engages with young people on the streets; or wherever they gather.  Alison O Brien, who manages the detached youth work project, applied for funding to purchase 10 mountain bikes and helmets.  This project provides an opportunity for young people in Glenrothes to participate in a positive healthy activity, build self confidence and begin to address anti social behaviour. Additionally it will allow the young people who participate to develop new skills such as maintenance, team building, planning and experience learning in an outdoors environment.  Back in May they officially launched the project in the Auchmuty Learning Centre. They invited local partners, councillors and members of the public to meet some of the young participants and see the project for themselves. 

                                                     

More recently Middleden mountain bike club received a Bike Club grant to start up a community cycling project in Kirkcaldy.  This project is run solely by volunteers who want to inspire and encourage more people to take up mountain biking and increase the number of young people cycling.  The support from Bike Club will allow them to deliver the GO MTB scheme and train up additional volunteers to run the sessions.  The club will predominantly take place in Middleden Woods where new trails have recently been developed by y Fife Coast & Countryside Trust (FCCT) -for more information or how you can join see their website http://www.middledenmtb.co.uk/  

Middleden mountain bike club are open to all young people, from complete beginners to those who want to develop their skill and are particularly keen to target groups under represented in cycling. They have also set up an adult section to encourage parents and family members to become involved and assist in running the club.

  

On the 2nd and 3rd of July Middleden MTB Club attended one of Kirkcaldys most popular events – The Beveridge Park Community Festival.  They offered some taster sessions and brought bikes along for people to try out on their obstacle course.

Bike Club in St Andrews 04/03/2011

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Fife, Scotland.
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Bike Club has recently reached the shores of St Andrews.  Madras College were successful in receiving Bike Club funding to work with their Princes Trust XL group at the school and help maintain their fleet of recently acquired mountain bikes.

 Pupils who are identified for the XL club are offered both extra curricular activities and activities during the school day with the focus on engagement in the community.   Gavin Waterstone, who works in the Additional Support Department at the school, recognised that pupils who are disengaged in school respond very well to taking on projects that give them a sense of ownership and developing practical skills. He realised that by using cycling activities the XL Club could offer pupils a chance not only to get fit with cycling but allow them to learn valuable new skills.

 They used funding from Bike Club to buys work stands, maintenance equipment and some spares for the bikes. The XL Club will learn bike maintenance skills at lunch times and after school and have been given the responsibility of maintaining the bikes for the rest of the school. Additionally the plan is to use mountain bikes to teach Natural Connections, team building and organisational skills with these pupils.  They will undertake countryside based project work dealing with preservation of environments, wildlife study, use of the land for leisure, and health and fitness projects using the mountain bikes.

A few weeks ago the local bike shop came down to the school to help with a Bike Clean up and servicing session.  The pupils helped clean the bikes after the harsh winter, and they were serviced to ensure they were in working order ready for spring.  The group have been out on a couple of trips already this year, with many more planned as the weather gets better.

I asked one of the girls from the group to write about what she likes most about working with bikes!

 What I like about working with bikes

 I like changing the tyres, pumping them up, fixing punctures, using all the tools and tightening (adjusting) gears.  I know how to check a bike is safe by doing an “M” check, which means starting at the front and going al the way to the back.

 Before I started working with the bikes I did not know how to check for punctures, how to take the inner tube out and pump the inner tube up.

 Now I know how to take the wheel off, take the tyre off, blow up the inner tube to find the hole and fix the patch on.  I really like being able to fix punctures.

 This week I have cleaned and polished 3 bikes.  I put new tyres on a bike, greased and oiled the gears on a bike and, tightened the brakes, tightened gears and sorted a seat.

 By Colleen Nicol

There is no better place than Scotland for Mountain Biking! 04/11/2010

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Edinburgh, Events, Fife, Scotland.
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Scotland is recognised as one of the best Mountain Biking destinations in the world.  This is largely due to our stunning scenery, the presence of world-class facilities and riders, access legislation, varied terrain and on occasions nice weather (well you can’t have everything…!). But then I would say that!  However at Scotland’s first national mountain biking conference at Perth Concert Hall, around 170 delegates would certainly agree with me.

Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland project was set up to maximise Scotland’s potential in providing opportunities to mountain bike.  There was representation from all over Scotland including local authorities, cycling organisations, national governing bodies, bike shops, trail centres and tourist destinations.  The CTC are a key partner in this project and both myself and Ian Warby (Senior Off Road Development Officer) attended.  Ian also landed himself a job at the conference facilitating a workshop on ‘Increasing Participation’.

The conference was a great networking opportunity for me and I discovered some mountain bike projects that are developing across my Bike Club area. There was a lot of discussion on the importance of developing more accessible and ensuring a pathway from introducing mountain biking to elite competition for young people.

Two special guests also featured on the programme. Lesley McKenna a Scottish professional snowboarder  and Mark Beaumont ‘The man who cycled the world’. Both spoke of their early mountain bike experiences and how this has helped achieve their current successes.  They also explained why they believed Scotland to be the best place to experience the outdoors.

 Lesley also spoke about engaging girls and young women and on the importance of how ensuring a fun, supportive environment is key to participation.  Lesley also put an emphasis on having successful role models for young females to aspire to.

I also got to catch up with my old friend Mark. He was delighted to hear about the Bike Club project, and thought it was a great way of encouraging more young people to participate in cycling activities.  During his on stage interview Mark told delegates how his local cycling roots in Perthshire led to the desire to cycle around the world and pointed out that there is more to mountain biking in Scotland than trail centre’s. ‘Everyone has to start somewhere and people will be amazed at how many good routes are available right at their doorstep.’  This was empahsised by the project manager of the project Graeme McLean “Mountain biking in Scotland is a massive success story and can only be improved by highlighting routes near where people live.”

Bike Club Scotland update: Exploring the Kingdom of Fife 09/07/2010

Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Fife, Scotland.
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Over the last few weeks I have been out exploring my local area, meeting lots of people and discovering lots of exciting bike related activities.  On one of my excursions to the Kingdom of Fife, I discovered an outdoor education centre –  Lochore Meadow Park.  They have recently acquired a fleet of specially adapted bikes for people with disabilities, and have developed a half day training for staff in the community interested in bringing their service users along to access the bikes. So I went along to one of these sessions to find out a wee bit more about what they have to offer.  Everyone enjoyed the course, particularly getting to have a go on all the different bikes, and found the day very useful!

Lochore Meadow Park also runs a very successful mountain bike club for young people, with over 50 members currently signed up. Whilst I was out exploring some of the trails on my own bike I came across a  skills loop which had some pretty impressive logs, seesaws and skinnies for anyone wishing to brush up on some technical mountain biking skills.  The outdoor education team at the centre are keen to link with Bike Club in the future and to offer support and examples of good practice to other groups.

Since the recent launch of Bike Club in Scotland, I have been kept very busy following up  pledges made on the day and being contacted by groups enquiring about Bike Club.

All in all Bike Club has been a very positive experience for me so far! Please get in touch if you have a cycling based project you would like to let me know about or if you are interested in finding out how you can become part of Bike Club.  I look forward to hearing from you

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