Club members aim to break Ayrshire Alps record

Toni McIntosh SW District Champion on The Dundonald Hill Climb.
Toni McIntosh SW District Champion on The Dundonald Hill Climb.

Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn cycling club members competed in two events last week, where John Gemmell and Toni McIntosh repeated their successes from the week before.

In the 10 mile time trial, held over the Eglinton course at Irvine, promoted by the Velo Vitesse CC, Toni took the second prize in the ladies event and first Ayrshire lady, in a time of 24:04 while John was first in his category in 26:42. Blustery conditions prevented good times.

The fastest on the night of the Ayr Roads contingent was Michael Curran in a time of 22:34. Little separated the other Roads riders, with Calum MacDonald on 22:57, Alastair McGibbon on 22:57 and Craig Allison on 23:44.

Toni McIntosh also received belatedly the South West Ladies BAR Championship trophy she won last season with Fiona Walker of Scottish Cycling presenting the award.

The overall winners of the event were: Douglas Watson of Icarus Racing in a time of 20:15 and Lynsey Curran of Dooley’s RT in 22:56.

The fastest Ayrshire rider was Kenny Armstrong of Carrick CC in 21:04. Kenny took a fine 6th place.

In the club’s evening 10 mile TT, eleven riders took part in another somewhat windy night.

The times were: M. Curran 22:29 C. MacDonald 23:11 A. McGibbon 23:14 J. Gerrard 23:52 C. Allison 23:57 T. McIntosh 25:00 D. Macarthur 25:06 R. Kelly 25:39 M. McClelland 25:55 J. Gemmell 27:18 A. Fisher 29:20

Meanwhile, Ayr Roads members’ attention will be focused on a very special event this Saturday.

The Roads club’s association with the renowned climbs of the South Ayrshire hills, stretches back many years. The club was the first ever to take bicycles to the top of The Merrick, the highest mountain in South West Scotland. It was befitting that a memorial to the club’s founder lies on the eastern slopes of the famous Nic o’ Balloch climb, that looks across the Minnoch Valley to The Merrick and its neighbouring hills. That epic day involved a round trip from Ayr to Glen Trool and an ascent of the Merrick forbye!

The Merrick is rightfully now off bounds for cyclists given its special environmental status , but the club continues to feature almost weekly in the ascents of the South Ayrshire hills. Now labelled as The Ayrshire Alps; South Ayrshire Council has its own cycling route which is amongst the best in the U.K.

No Roads club member has ever taken on board the challenge of climbing all sixteen summits in one day. Indeed, there appears to be no record of anyone attempting the journey, which involves 129 miles and an overall ascent of 10,000 feet crossing all of South Ayrshire’s highest roads and the watersheds of the Stinchar, Girvan, Minnoch and Doon Valleys.

That will hopefully change on Saturday, when an attempt will be made to set a new record of completing the route.

Club member Scott Knox has arranged the challenge, which will coincide with the start date of The Tour de France. The route will start from the village of Barr, at 8 am. Scott has wisely arranged a route that will allow club members, to opt for a shorter route. Lunch breaks have also been accommodated at Dailly and Straiton.

Full details have been posted on the club’s web site,

The club has recently enjoyed a new influx of members, who will be participating in part of the challenge. An open invite is extended to all cyclists who would like to join Ayr Roads on this epic day. The full route is not for the faint hearted and anyone wishing to take part should be capable of tackling such a distance. They can however opt for the shorter route.

Club members also enjoyed mid week and week end runs throughout the county. Sunday saw the largest group of thirteen take to the Sorn roads. Mileages for the top ten mile eaters last week averaged 130 miles each, with others clocking up some good solo runs.

This Thursday will see the club promote a confined evening 25 mile time trial, which will be run alongside the evening 10 mile TT for two weeks. Prospective members are invited to come along.