Ayr club go off road at increasingly popular cyclo cross events

Janet Erskine.
Janet Erskine.

With the road racing calendar now ended, a few hardy Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Club members are now turning their attention to cyclo cross events, which are taking place throughout Scotland.

These events are becoming increasingly popular for riders of all categories, including youths. The Raleigh SCX 2016 series commenced on 1 September, with the month of November featuring no less than three races, with more to follow in the new year.

Last week end saw Janet Erskine take 5th place in her age related event at Fife. Amongst her clutch of Scottish medals from time trialling, Janet already holds two Gold medals from her cyclo cross exploits, including a South West of Scotland Championship Gold.

She is working hard to improve her placings in the Raleigh SCX Series, before taking part in the Scottish Championships in two weeks time.

Meanwhile, Fraser Tait was well placed in his category finishing in 13th position, with John Gemmell and Iain Fisher slowly improving. Young Iain, who has now entered the senior ranks, is gaining experience from participation in this new discipline. Both Janet and Fraser have been offering encouragement and tips to the youngster, who is thoroughly enjoying himself. Iain has found the transition from road racing on the ‘pot-holed’ roads of the south west to the ‘muck and glaur’ of the cyclo cross circuits to his liking. Maybe being a farmer’s son has something to do with that!

Sunday had the same riders riding Round 5 of the series. The venue was Irvine beach Park. In the age related races Fraser, jumped two places from last week, finishing in 11th position. Iain also gained a few placings, whereas John dropped a few places, as did Janet who dropped two places to take 7th position. Janet and fellow cyclist, Catherine Logan of Fullarton Wheelers are making the events interesting, with a friendly rivalry between the two Ayrshire Clubs. In a hard fought race Catherine finished in 8th position on the wheel of Janet, less than a minute down.

The Sunday morning club run was cancelled due to icy road conditions, but the ‘men o’ miles’ were out as usual on the mid week run. A seventy mile distance was covered from Barrhill and then by the Knowe Road to Clachaneasy. Over by Bargrennan and then a stop at Glentrool, before taking the delightful Minnoch Valley road. It was then by Rowantree Toll and the Shalloch on Minnoch climb, before the long descent into the Girvan Valley and onto home roads.