Cyclists out in force at Easter

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Members of Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club were out in force over Easter. While Ayrshire roads were popular, some members ventured further afield.

In Wester Ross, Alan and Alastair McGibbon tackled Scotland’s most iconic climb – The Bealach na Ba. The name is Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle, as it was historically used as a drover’s road.

They climbed from Loch Kishorn to Applecross, negotiating the 20% gradient in some parts. The Bealach boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level to over 2,000 feet.

From Applecross they followed the coastal single track peninsular road to Shieldaig and were again rewarded with the views of Loch Torridon with its backdrop of the Torridon Mountains. The homeward leg was by the A896 to Loch Carron. Although a circuit of 60 miles, the pair covered over 6,500 feet of climbing!

The club’s mid week run also had Alan and other clubmen clocking up more than seventy miles with a run down to the club hut at Pinwherry, before taking the hill road from Colmonell over to Lendalfoot and the coast road home. Sunday saw two club runs taking the coast road to Turnberry.

Under the guidance of club captain, Bobby McGhee the Sunday runs are becoming very popular with new comers.

A faster paced run is offered the more experienced club riders, with a slower paced for others. There is a cafe rendezvous stop arranged, where both groups meet.

Ayr Roads members for some years now have travelled to Majorca to enjoy the warmer weather it offers at this time of year.

Four members made the trip last week and joined up with a group of clubmen from the Lomond Roads CC.

The party was based in Puerto Pollensa – a mecca for cyclists, offering superb cycling in the mountains of the north east coast.

The quartet clocked up five hundred miles each on the trip and amassed nearly 50,000 feet each of climbing.

On their last day they rode the length of the west coast of the island through the Tramuntana Mountains finishing at Cap Formentor.

A distance of 100 miles with a total ascent of 11,000 feet. En route they took in the 17 km climb from Soller to Puig Major Pass.

Alex McAllister said the Majorcan trip is a taster for the epic Raid de Alps later in the summer.

Insert Photo of Simon Woodliff ,Alex McAllister & Craig Robertson after an epic ride of the full west coast of Majorca

On the racing front, club members featured in two events.

On Saturday the Lake of Menteith APR promoted by Glasgow Nightingale CC, saw Robert Kelly taking 8th place. Kenny Armstrong was hampered by mechanical problems and finished in the bunch.

On Sunday Stirling RC staged the very popular Crit on the Campus. The Roads had two riders competing. At the time of going to press, results are not yet confirmed, although Robert Kelly, who was lying in a favourable position before being blocked finished in the top fifteen.

In the ladies race Janet Erskine finished in the same position, against the elite of Scottish ladies road racers.

Robert’s son, Ollie finished in second place in the under ten year old event. Ollie an Alloway school boy, races in the colours of Johnstone Jets, but is also a member of Ayr Roads CC.

All in all a very successful and eventful week for Ayr Roads.