108-mile ride for clubs

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With the calendar offering little on the racing scene in the West of Scotland last week, Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club enjoyed the delights of taking to the roads at a more leisurely pace.

The best of the south west of Scotland and Yorkshire’s finest scenery were favoured by various groups of club members.

On Sunday, by kind invitation of their colleagues at Coylton Cycling Club, the Ayr club enjoyed a great day out by taking part in the CCC century ride.

Ironically, one of the youngest clubs in the south west of Scotland had teamed up with one of the oldest in a run that took them from Ayr via Carsphairn and the Glenkens to New Galloway, before taking the A712 road by Clatteringshaws Loch to Newton Stewart. It was then homewards by Glentrool and the Minnoch Valley to Straiton.

It was a truly rewarding day with much camaraderie amongst the group and a nice mileage of 108.

Sunday also had the main club run take to the eastern byways of Ayrshire. Sinclairston and Skares roads were favoured, before heading by Glaisnock and the picturesque Glenmuir Water to Cronberry, where they headed homewards by way of Catrine and Mauchline, recording 55 miles.

By far the best outing on Sunday was that of Scott Knox and Ed Clifton, who rode the Scarborough Sportive. With over 11,000 feet of climbing and over 120 miles, this event is one of the hardest in the UK’s sportive calendar. The route takes in Yorkshire’s National Park amid beautiful scenery. Climbs include the infamous Rosedale Chimney with an average gradient of 14% and a maximum gradient of 33%. Both were delighted with their efforts.

The midweek group too clocked up over 80 miles, by using the services of Scotrail to Barrhill. Here they headed by Stinchar Vale to Ballantrae and the coast road home.

On a separate run, Gordon Campbell and Alan McGibbon were rewarded at their drum-up spot by witnessing a grey seal catching a huge salmon on the shore just north of Girvan Golf Course.

In the club’s evening 10 Mile Time Trial, Calum MacDonald was first home in a time of 22 minutes 42 seconds, closely followed by Alastair McGibbon in 22:55 and Alex McAllister 22:58.

Other times were Craig Allison 23:25, Tom Godding-Hill 24:03, John Gemmell 27:00, Iain Fisher 27:10 and Aileen Fisher 28:16.

All eyes were on the Fisher family pair with Aileen set off at number one and son Iain behind her. Aileen was caught and passed, but put in a great effort to catch up again, only to see young Iain take off.

Iain also rode the Lothian Flyer Road Race on Saturday, where he put up a strong performance, against uch more experienced riders.

Readers of the Gazette may remember that Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club was asked by South Ayrshire Council to help the young Ghanaian National Cycling Team, when they were based in Ayr for the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow in 2014.

The club and in particular former club member Scott Maclean supported them well throughout their stay.

Scott has remained in touch with them and has continued to lend his support in many ways, either by offering guidance on training or sending them much-sought-after cycle clothing and equipment.

A few weeks ago, when the club heard that the team’s top rider, Anthony Boakye, had been involved in a crash that left him needing new shoes, Roads club members chipped together and a new pair of shoes was immediately despatched to Anthony, a gesture that was gratefully received by the young sportsman.

Last week Anthony became the Ghanaian road race champion, much to the delight of his friends at Ayr Roads.

Anthony is now preparing himself for the next Commonwealth Games which will be held in the Gold Coast next year. He can be assured that he will have the support of his friends at Ayr Roads.