Recognition for cycling club could mean tourism boost

Riders take a well earned break at Barr village
Riders take a well earned break at Barr village

South Ayrshire tourism received an unexpected boost on Sunday, courtesy of Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club and the UKs leading cycling magazine, Cycling Weekly.

When the magazine became aware of Ayr Roads recent and past achievements at Scottish and international level and its long history, the club was invited to feature in the magazine’s Club Profile section. Ironically, it tied in with CWs 125th anniversary and the founding of the first Ayr Cycling Club in the early 1890s. Very few Scottish Clubs have been awarded this honour.

So what better way to reward this accolade than by showing CWs team of cycling correspondent and photographer around the roads of South Ayrshire.

Sunday saw one of the biggest club runs this year with 30 members out in force, resplendent in club colours. The group, included club juniors, four ladies and mother and son pairing of Aileen and Ian Fisher. Not forgetting the elder statesmen of the club.

Truly a day to remember and one thoroughly enjoyed by club members and guests alike, and with a nice Sunday mileage of sixty logged. Hopefully through the efforts of the Roads club, more cyclists will be attracted to the county.

Alloway, Burns’ Cottage, its auld haunted kirk and the Brig o’ Doon were first on the itinerary. A recitation of Tam o’ Shanter had the CW team in hysterics!

It was then by the Carrick Hills, to Kirkmichael, Cloncaird and Blairquhan Castles and Straiton, where the first photo call was taken at the club’s favourite tearoom. The picturesque setting of Straiton on the young Water of Girvan was commented upon.

Now onto the climb over Glenalla Fell and the descent into the Stinchar Valley to North Balloch before taking the banks of the Stinchar and a tea stop at Barr. Again the guests were awestruck by one of South Ayrshire’s hidden beauty spots. The weather was so fine that it was an alfresco coffee break before taking the homeward leg.

Home was by The Screws into the Girvan Valley and the coast road. Much to the delight of the club’s guests, they passed Culzean, stopped at the Electric Brae, before taking in the stunning coastal views of Ailsa Craig, Arran and finally Dunure Castle.

John Mason, honorary life member of Ayr Roads, achieved a lifetime ambition on Saturday night, when he took the Bronze medal in the Pursuit race at the World’s Masters Track Championships in Manchester. Club members were delighted with the news that was conveyed to them on the Sunday run.

Next Sunday will see Toni McIntosh competing in the Scottish National Hill Climb Championships, which will be her last competivve race this year. All Ayrshire hopes are on her bringing a medal home.

With the road racing scene almost over, some club members are turning their attention to cyclo cross events, that are gaining in popularity, whilst others will keep themselves fit with gym, road and track work, under the watchful eye of club coach Scott Maclean. Others will continue riding in the club’s popular mid week and weekend runs.

Anyone wishing to join the club or seeking information on its activities should contact ayrroadscc.co.uk. All are welcome.

Insert Photo of Ayr Roads Cycling Club Alfresco Coffee break at Barr Village