Club juniors on the up

Former Carrick Academy Pupil Iain Fisher. Picture by Iona Fisher
Former Carrick Academy Pupil Iain Fisher. Picture by Iona Fisher

Lurking behind the main square in Rothesay town centre lies one of Scotland’s most technical hill climbs.

With 14 hairpin bends to negotiate this category 2 hill climb is not for the faint hearted. The Serpentine hill twists and turns and at just under half a mile in length, it may not seem long but your legs and lungs will think it is never ending. Any time under 3 minutes for the climb is considered good (and that’s for senior riders).

Iain Fisher, club junior, recorded an excellent time of 3 mins 01 secs, when along with club colleagues he took part in the Bute Festival of Cycling recently.

His best performance of the season however was in taking fifth place in the 20 Mile Road Race on the island. Iain was also the first placed Ayrshire rider. In the same event the Ayr club’s other junior Beth Macrae finished in the top half of the field and was also first placed Ayrshire lady.

Iain remains in contention of securing the Junior Trophy in the Club’s League Championship and with only two events remaining, including the club’s Hill Climb over Carwinshoch next Sunday, he will certainly put to good use his exploits on The Serpentine.

Iain, a former pupil of Carrick Academy, took up cycling less than a year ago. Before that he pottered around on a mountain bike on his parents farm. A new road bike for a Xmas present him prompted him to join Ayr Roads, where he fitted in to the club scene.

Iain said: “I really enjoy my cycling and Ayr Roads has been a great help to me, especially coach Scott Maclean and the other friendly faces. I took part in the club’s weekly winter circuit training sessions, circuit criterium training in Alloway, club runs and the summer time trials and league events. I had a fantastic time with the club at the Bute Festival of Cycling and was really pleased when I finished in fifth place in the Novice Road Race.”

Young Iain is soon to leave for Newcastle, where he will take up a marine engineering apprenticeship with BP. He will remain an Ayr Roads member and will undoubtedly make new cycling friends in Geordie Land where there is a healthy club scene.

The Roads club was well represented at the Festival, with seven members competed in various events. Undoubtedly the best performances came from Janet Erskine. Janet was 2nd in the 10 mile Time Trial. 2nd in the two-up Mixed 20 mile Time Trial with team mate Scott Knox. 4th in the Road Race and 4th and 1st lady vet in the Cyclo Cross event. She also took 5th place in the hill climb.

Iona Fisher, the sister of Iain and a pupil of Carrick Academy and a keen photographer took some classic action photographs of club members from various Ayrshire Cycling Clubs. These can be found on the Ayr Road web site, and anyone wishing a copy should contact the club.

Cycling Weekly is a British cycling magazine and is devoted to the sport and pastime of cycling. Now celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn CC is delighted to have been approached by Cycling Weekly to feature in the magazine’s club profile section. Only a handful of Scottish club’s have had the privilege of selection to this ‘hall of fame’. CW has arranged to join the club run on 9th October with their cycling co-respondent and photographer. As always the delights of South Ayrshire and Carrick roads will feature on the day’s run. Given the circulation of CW this will undoubtedly attract cycle tourists to the area. The club run will be reported in the The Gazette.

The Roads club is indebted to the excellent coverage given to cycling by The Gazette, which has contributed to wider recognition of cycling in Ayrshire in the press media.

The Roads was also delighted to sponsor the visit of Mark Beaumont the renowned record-breaking long distance cycling adventurer and documentary maker, when he attended the Tidelines Book Festival at the Magnum Centre, Irvine on Friday 23rd September. Mark gave an amazing talk about his epic 10000km solo ride from Cairo to Cape Town, cycling up to 340km a day, and setting a new world record by completing this in less than 50 days.

The special relationship with Harry Fairbairn ( and Irvine ) was highlighted by the presenter, who was delighted to don Ayr Roads colours.

The mid week randoneurs headed for Bonnie Gallowa’ where a group of five took in the scenic route from Lauriston to Gatehouse of Fleet. By way of Cally Palace. It was then by Borgue, Kirkcudbright and Tongland, before taking the delightful quiet road through Glenlochar to New Galloway. A nice distance of 60 autumn miles.

Sunday saw fourteen club members taking to the Carrick Fells via Alloway, Dalrymple, Kirkmichael and Straiton before heading back on home roads via The Black Cock climb over to Kirkoswald, Culzean, and home via the coast road. A distance of over fifty miles clocked.

On the racing scene, Sunday saw the club represented in the Kilmarnock Criterium, promoted by Walkers CC of Kilmaurs.

Young Ollie Kelly from Ayr continued in his winnings way in the Under 10 race beating a very strong team of youngsters.

In the senior Category 4 Race, Paul Rodwell of the Roads club finished 6th just behind the winning time, with young Ollie’s dad Robert claiming 11th place. Iain Fisher, Martin Lindsay and Rory Webster were riding their first crit. All put up fine performances in a fast and furious race. Martin suffered a mechanical and yet had a great race, whilst Rory crashed out.

In the ladies race Janet Erskine finished in 9th position and will now enjoy a well earned rest from the racing scene.