Summer of Cycling in West Lothian 03/08/2012Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Scotland.
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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 01/08/2012Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Scotland.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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.
Larbert High School S1 Cycle Roadshow 13/06/2012Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Edinburgh, Scotland.
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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 16/05/2012Posted 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.
Larbert High School become Cycle Friendly 14/05/2012Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Scotland.
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Larbert High School recently became the first Bike Club group in Falkirk. The school have invested a huge amount of time and effort in promoting cycling through their Bicycle User Group and running a very successful extra curricular mountain bike club. They have sourced funding to install cycle parking for staff and pupils, a fleet of bikes and trailer for excursions and had a storage container donated from the council to store equipment. With Bike Club funding they plan to buy additional bikes and encourage more young pupils to get involved in cycling, particularly focussing on girls.
Cycling has now been integrated into the school curriculum during PE and outdoor activities and the school are exploring Youth Achievement Awards as a way of accrediting pupils achievements . They recently ran their annual S1 cycle road show where over 300 pupils were given the opportunity to take part in cycling events, maintenance demonstrations and speak to staff and local partners about cycling.
Their achievements in encouraging more children cycling to school have been fully recognised. Larbert High School became the first ever Cycle Friendly Secondary School in Scotland – having passed the award with distinction. The award, run by Cycling Scoltand, is given to schools that put in place appropriate infrastructure, incentives and promotion to encourage pupils to cycle. Larbert have certainly set a high standard for other secondary schools to follow. The school received this prestigious award on the 27th April from the Minister for Housing and Transport, Keith Brown MSP on his visit to the school.
Jon Reid, Rector of Larbert High School said: ‘It is terrific that the excellent work going on in Larbert High school and the effort, commitment and dedication of our staff and pupils has been recognised. There are many exciting initiatives underway and I look forward to years of continued success’.
For more photographs from the day follow the link.
Scottish Schools Cycle Speedway League 03/04/2012Posted 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.
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.
Cycling Out in East Lothian 03/04/2012Posted by Amy Hickman in Asda, Events, Scotland.
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On Saturday 31st March Beyond Boundaries East Lothian (BBEL)launched their inclusive cycling project ‘Cycling Out’ at Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School, Pinkie Road, Musselburgh. ‘Cycling Out’ aims to provide and develop opportunities for people with disabilities and mental health issues living in East Lothian to participate in regular cycling activities. BBEL now has a small stock of used cycles which they have inherited, borrowed or had donated and have also received funding from Cycling Scotland to run this project.
For this event BBEL linked up with Fife based cycling charity Talking Tandems who provide tandem cycling for people who are blind or with visual impairments. As part of the event I joined 2 tandems from Talking Tandems on the north side of the Forth Road Bridge to cycle down to Musselburgh. We were joined at Crammond Brig in Edinburgh by 2 cyclists from Musselburgh Road Cycling Club and on arrival into Musselburgh we were met by another group including a tandem, mountain bikers, and some adapted cycles. We were all escorted by a police man on bike through the town.
On reaching the school we were welcomed by young people and their families taking part in a variety of activities which included:
- Quest 88 with their 2012 Roadshow showcasing a variety of adapted bikes for everyone to try out.
- Freewheel North (Glasgow based Bike Club) also brought along some of their adapted bikes to try out
- Dr Bike from the Bike Station in Edinburgh were on hand will be on hand to have a look at bikes and make small repairs and adjustments.
- Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative had their cycle smoothie maker - making smoothies using pedal power.
- Luca Ice Cream was there the glorious sunshine with their Ice Cream Trike.
Fabb Scotland were also on hand to discuss plans to set up inclusive cycling in East Lothian for young people and consult with parents. Earlier this year Janet from Talking Tandems carried out an audit across Edinburgh and Lothians to assess what Inclusive cycling opportunities are currently available in the area. This information will be used by Fabb, BBEL, Bike Club and East Lothian Disability Sport to look at establishing an Inclusive Cycling Hub for young people in the Lothian area. Watch this space for further developments.
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Backbones Women Learn to Ride project has been running every Saturday for the last 6 weeks in Edinburgh. This is a joint Bike Club project with Backbone and Blackhall Mosque with additional funding from the Forestry Commission Scotland. The project has been designed to provide a safe, fun and comfortable environment for women and girls from all backgrounds to learn to ride a bike and to increase their confidence in riding a bike.
Backbone coordinated a 6 week training course for up to 14 women who were new to or returning to cycling from across Edinburgh. The cycling sessions have been running every Saturday at Inverlieth Park, led by 3 female trainers from the Bike Station using their lovely step through Paper Bicycles.
For some of the women this was the first time they had ever been on a bike. The cycling sessions were tailored to the abilities of the group, ranging from those learning to ride a bike for the first time to others who just needed a little encouragement. The cycle trainers took them through elements of Bikeability Scotland Levels 1 & 2 with a mixture of on and off road activities. By the end of the 6 weeks some of the group were planning their own routes and going for short bike rides on the network of cycle paths and a slightly longer trip to Crammond along the promonade.
I joined them for some sessions and was delighted at the progress the group made over 6 weeks. They were all extremely enthusiastic, came prepared to learn and offered each other support and encouragement. It is safe to say that apart from some tired legs and sore bums everyone really enjoyed themselves and left each week with a big smile on their face. By the end of the block all the women were able to cycle and had developed a new passion for cycling with one particpant saying ‘Cycling has given me a new kind of freedom I have never experinced before’ and another thanked the cycle trainers saying ‘I cannot describe in words how happy I am to finally be able to cycle!’
The group have already organsed a visit to the Bike Station to explore options for buying their own bikes and accessories so they can continue cycling. The next stage of the project is to identify 8 women to complete Cycling Scotlands Cycle Ride Leader training. Following this they will be able to establish their own Bike Club project to get more girls and women cycling in their local communities.