The young cyclists of Ayr Roads’ CC’s youth section ‘Ayr Burners’ enjoyed a busy week with racing at Bellahouston Park on Thursday and a well attended ride on Saturday, June 8.
Here Queen Margaret Academy pupil Stuart Campbell describes the racing.
Thursday 6 June, and a sunshine covered Bellahouston Park was a full squad of Ayr Burners lads ready to race other teams from across the nation in the glorious Scottish weather . The Burners range of age is 12-16, so there were team members competing in both the Youth A and Youth B categories. The list of riders were as follows - Youth A; Stuart Campbell, Greg Henderson, Christopher Scott and Youth B - Camie Black, Jack Cassidy, Douglas Glendinning, Paul McGuinness, Jack Meddings, Sean Morrison.
The Youth B race began with all six Burners trying to keep up with the leaders on the front. As each lap went in the pace became slightly slower, all Burners keeping up with the speed in the bunch, working together to help guard each other from the wind using the famous through and off technique.
The final three laps rocketed in with countless attacks and an extremely fast pace. All six Burners were unlucky to keep up with the front group, but all did very well in which was only the second or first race of their cycling careers. Camie was the first burner to finish in 14th place, with a strong looking Sean finishing a close 15th. Jack Meddings, jack Cassidy, Paul McGuinness and Douglas Glendinning finished in the respectable positions of 19th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th.
In the Youth A race all three of us racing in the A race put on confident faces ahead of the race. There was a far greater number of racers at this event than there had been back in May. The race began with Chris and Greg keeping with the main group for a few laps.
I made the mistake of turning on the inside of the corners, allowing many riders to overtake me. Much like the B race, the trio of Burners found their own group, while Greg skipped from group to group, wisely using his talents as the club sprinter to move up the places. Christopher held on to a place in the second group after the leaders and worked tirelessly to keep his position. I was leading the final group who were reluctant to take a turn, having to work with just one other Johnstone Jets rider. As the final lap came up the pace was extraordinarily fast, Chris managed to hold onto his position and glide to a cool 15th place, with Greg and Stuart finishing in 16th and 17th places, just 50 yards or so off Chris’ tail.
The riders enjoyed a relaxed 30 mile ride in beautiful sunshine on Saturday, crossing Carrick Hill before heading on to Crosshill and Kirkmichael. Marr College pupil Greg Henderson reports from the ride:
The weekly burners ride left the Burns Centre in Alloway along the cycle path to the Dunure Road. As the group joined the road the pace setting at the front was taken up by some of the older riders. After about 1.6 miles the bunch took a left turn onto the Carrick Hills and that’s when Stuart Campbell and Douglas Glendinning disappeared off the front. The group regrouped at the top in the 26 degree heat and so after a quick team photo the riders commenced onto the descent. One rider was a bit too eager as he ended up sprinting on the grass verge as he had slightly overlooked the previous corner.
There was an inter-family battle going on between Sue and son Jonathan Holland and Scott and son Jack Cassidy.
At yet another T-junction ride leader Chris called the bunch to a halt to enjoy some neutralized miles through Maybole, Crosshill and just past Kirkmichael. The following 12 miles were a good chance to have a chat, enjoy the cycle and most of all get a tan (or sunburn in some riders case). The speed upped on the return from Culroy as three riders formed a habble and rolled back into the Burns Centre content with the easy finish.
Unaware to the rest of the group until Sue and Chris rolled in side by side was the fact that Coach Andy McKinlay had punctured to which the news was met with very loud cheers and laughter. Around five minutes later in rolled McKinlay who looked exhausted having had to blow up his inner tube with a pump that blows it up at 0.1 PSI at a time.
Ayr Burners now have a new website at www.ayrburners.org