Cycling in East Ayrshire guide

Cycling in East Ayrshire guide
“I thought of that while riding my bike.”
Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity
It’s only a few tubes and a couple
of wheels put together in a clever
way, but the bicycle is superbly
practical, human-scale and great
fun. That’s why it can make big
changes to your daily life, keep you
healthy and save you money. For
the price of a few tankfuls of petrol
you can own something so refined
and mechanically efficient that you’ll
become one of the most beautiful
movers in the known universe.
“My whole day is built around meetings that can be achieved around bike rides. My
contract actually offers me a free car from my home to my office and back, but I suppose I
am addicted to cycling.” ~ Newscaster Jon Snow
“It’s easily the quickest way around central London,
faster than bus, Tube or taxi. You can predict precisely
how long every journey will take, regardless of traffic
jams, Tube strikes or leaves on the line. It provides
excellent exercise. It does not pollute the atmosphere.
It does not clog up the streets.”
~ Newscaster Jeremy Paxman
“Nothing compares to the simple
pleasure of a bike ride.”
John F. Kennedy
“Marriage is a wonderful invention;
but then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.”
~ Billy Connolly
“Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.”
Bob Weir, Grateful Dead
“[Commuting by bicycle is] an absolutely essential part of my day. It’s mind-clearing,
invigorating. I get to go out and pedal through the countryside in the early morning hours, and
see life come back and rejuvenate every day as the sun is coming out.”
General James L. Jones, US Supreme Allied Commander Europe
“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not
despair for the future of the human race.”
“Bicycling is a big part of the
future. It has to be. There’s
something wrong with a
society that drives a car to
workout in a gym.”
Bill Nye
“Think of bicycles
as rideable art that
can just about save
the world.”
Grant Peterson
“Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.”
H.G. Wells
On a bicycle you’ll feel and function
so much better. What else gives
you so much fun while doing you
so much good?
40 to 50s:
Cycling becomes an intrinsic
part of your life. You know
your bikes and you know
yourself. Regular cycling
is part of your measured,
healthy lifestyle, keeping
down your blood pressure.
Older cyclists’ health levels
are comparable with
someone ten years younger.
On a bicycle you can travel up to
1037 kilometres on the energy
equivalent of a single litre of petrol.
On a bicycle you weigh about six times
more than your vehicle. In a car your vehicle
weighs around 20 times more than you do.
On a bicycle you protect yourself
against heart disease, high blood
pressure, obesity and stress.
On a bicycle you provide a motor - your heart - which
improves its own strength and efficiency, and even
lengthens its working life, the more it is used.
Riding a bicycle you use less energy
than a car uses to power its headlights.
On a bicycle you can travel four
times faster than you can walk,
for the same amount of energy.
UNDER 10s:
The opportunity to cycle
should be the birthright
of every child. You can
start with your little one(s)
pedalling on the same
bikes as you, and they
will build up stamina and
confidence for when they
go solo: perhaps down your
local stretch of the off-road
cyclepath network.
On a bicycle you can have your cake and eat it.
A moderate half-hour each-way commute will burn 8
calories a minute, or the equivalent of 11kg of fat in a year.
by bike in the UK. Compare
this with 18% in Denmark
and 27% in the Netherlands!
Cycling is about being
yourself, being free to move
where you want and when
you want, and it’s a favourite
form of transport for growing
numbers of business leaders
and media celebrities. There’s
nothing fashionable about
sitting in traffic jams for hours,
then having nowhere to park!
For the price of a few
tankfuls of petrol you can
buy a machine so refined
and mechanically efficient,
so in tune with the potential
of your body, that it will
make you one of the most
beautiful movers in the
known universe.
This guide is for anyone in
East Ayrshire who wants
to try cycling, whatever
their budget.
20 to 30s:
Cycling gets more serious,
but is still lots of fun. Cycling
to work, bringing home the
family shop, getting out in
the countryside with young
kids, possibly on specialised
machines. Maybe joining a
local bike club. It’s an age
when you perhaps want to
think about owning several
bikes for different purposes.
Everyone should own at
least three!
On a bicycle you can expect to be
as fit as an average person ten years
younger, if you use it regularly.
Pedal-power is only part of
the solution. We can’t always
decide for ourselves where
we live, work and shop. Most
cyclists also use cars, buses,
trains and go walking at other
times in their lives – but find
that their bicycle is the most
intelligent transport for many
journeys. Nearly half of all
journeys are under two miles
– ideal for cycling. But only
2% of all journeys are made
Your bikes and your
cycling styles can
change with time.
UNDER 20s:
Your lifestyle is complex and
demanding. Your bike gives
you immediate door to door
mobility and helps you pack
so much more in. Cycling
is part of a modern urban
lifestyle, and it won’t be
long before we’re on a par
with Holland, where young
people go clubbing by bike!
OVER 60s:
Thanks to a lifetime of
cycling you can still
maintain long-distance rides.
People in their seventies
and eighties commonly
cycle 70 to 80 miles, using
the greatly improved bike
technology available to us
all. Others invest in trikes,
semi-recumbent bikes and
Health Walks
Bike Buddies
Our fully qualified and
experienced cycle ride leaders
can offer community groups,
businesses and individuals the
opportunity to participate in led
cycle rides that make use of the
many dedicated off road cycle
routes that Ayrshire has to offer.
Health walks are recognised
as an ideal way to encourage
individuals and groups to
become more physically
active. Lasting no more than
20 minutes, health walks can
easily be incorporated into
the daily lunch break. Our
team can also offer the same
to community groups with
each walk tailored to meet
individual needs.
We can offer assistance to
those that want to try
commuting to their place
of work by bike as an
alternative to using their own
car. A member of our team
will cycle with them to ease
their concerns and offer tips
on safe cycling.
We have a range of bikes
available including standard
gents and ladies bikes and
Motus E-bikes. The E-bikes
are suitable for most people
including those that have not
cycled for a while or for
anyone that feels’ that they
need the extra assistance
that an E-bike can offer.
All you need to do is give
us a bell or check for ride
details on our websites
or social media pages.
Ayrshire now benefits from two
Active Travel Hubs situated at Ayr
and Kilmarnock. This initiative
is a partnership between South
and East Ayrshire Councils and
the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and
funded by Transport Scotland
via the Smarter Choices Smarter
Places programme.
Both Hubs have dedicated Active
Travel Hub Officers and volunteers
who are on hand to deliver a range
of cycling and walking activities
as well as offering advice in
relation to sustainable travel.
Both Hubs are working to enable
people in Ayrshire to travel by foot,
bike or public transport for more
of their everyday journeys.
The Active Travel Hub Officers
are keen to assist both public
and private sector organisations
and businesses in Ayrshire to
embed Active Travel into their
key strategies with a view
to promoting a healthier
and greener business
Led Bike Rides
We will be attending a range
of Community and Corporate
events during the year details
of which can be found on our
websites and social media
pages. If you would like our
support for an event you are
organising then please get
in touch.
Personal Travel Advice
The Active Travel Hub
Active Travel Hub Ayr
Tel: 07717868731
We are really keen to promote
active travel to commuters who
are travelling short distances
by car on a daily basis. We
can deliver one to one Personal
Travel Advice sessions, aimed
at providing information on
alternative modes of travel
which can offer them time,
money and even benefit their
Social Bike Rides
Going on social rides is a great
way to enjoy cycling. You’re
in good company, everyone is
welcome and you will enjoy
the comfort of road riding with
a group. If you are new to
cycling, these group rides are
the perfect place for you to
start to learn from others.
Register your Workplace Social
Ride team on the website,
record your rides, earn points
and go into the prize draw.
For more information visit:
Active Travel Hub Kilmarnock
Tel: 07802947648
Bike rides keep you fit,
when they are part of
your everyday life.
Ride to work, or even
part-way to work, and you’ll
arrive feeling happy, awake
and ready for anything.
Those endorphins kick in,
and the ride often acts as
a welcome barrier between
home life and work. On top
of all that you can often
get there faster and more
punctually than you can in
a car, and have no parking
“It’s too dangerous”
“I’ve got too much to carry”
“It’s too far”
“I need to drop the kids off
at school”
“I can’t arrive looking hot
and sweaty”
“I’ll get soaked if it rains”
“There’s nowhere safe to
leave my bike”
hatever your previous
mode of transport, there
will be a short period of
adjustment as you adapt to life
with a bike. For your body it’s all
good news: no matter how hard
it seems at first, it gets easier.
Most people become aware after
about three weeks of regular
cycling that they feel noticeably
fitter. Your cardiovascular system
will have adapted. You will
probably sleep better and be
more mentally alert during the
day. The enhanced sense of
“It’s not good for my image”
ycling is an excellent
way to fit exercise into a
busy life. You have fun,
while getting to where you want
to be anyway! It’s the ultimate
independent transport, taking
you door to door, leaving traffic
behind. Cycling is regularly
proven to be the quickest way to
get from A to B in town. Along
with walking it offers the most
predictable journey times, but
gives you five times the range,
and much greater luggage
carrying capacity.
If you’re riding to work you get
there on time, feeling good,
with your brain alert.If you’re on
a shopping trip you can park
easily, next to your destination.
Any bike you choose will go from
A to B but there’s the question
of comfort, convenience, and
speed to consider, so it’s worth
weighing up the options. While
mountain bikes are in many
ways better suited to potholed
urban roads than road racing
bikes they’re far from perfect. The
commuter rarely needs knobbly
tyres, dozens of gears, heavy
suspension, and a look that
attracts thieves. It’s often
best to choose something
designed to be ridden around
town, such as a hybrid or new
generation roadster.
If you’re concerned mainly with
getting to your destination on
time in all weathers, you want
a bike that’s reliable, robust
and simple to maintain, ideally
complete with mudguards, racks,
lights and perhaps even the new
generation of hub gears. There
are now some superb city bikes
available.Lightweight frames and
parts give you good acceleration
along with swift, reliable gear
changes and brakes that inspire
confidence,which all help you
integrate well with traffic and
stay safe.
Reasons abound for not
cycling around town.
We won’t go in to all of
the detailed counter
arguments here,
but here are some facts:
• It doesn’t rain heavily
that often! In many parts
of the UK only fourteen or
so days in the year, and
no-one says you have to
ride your bike every day.
wellbeing and improved muscle
tone are all part of the package.
You’re bound to make a few
errors in the first few months:
under or over-dressing for the
conditions, forgetting to pack
your lights, putting your helmet
on back to front. Don’t panic.
In no time at all it’ll all become
second nature. Instead of puffing
and panting up the slightest
inclines you’ll zoom up them in
the perfect gear, with no sweat.
You’ll have become a cyclist.
he British Medical
Association has calculated
that the health benefits
of cycling outweigh the
road accident danger by
a factor of 20 to 1.
ou may already have
a portion of road sense
and be quite a confident
cyclist. Don’t let that put you
off getting some adult cycle
training. The Cycling Proficiency
Test of old has been well and
truly overhauled for the 21st
century with the new National
Standards for Cycle Training.
As an example, modern cycle
training stresses the importance of
good road positioning: not riding
in the gutter but holding position
assertively. Courses are available
through East Ayrshire Council.
There may already be a ‘cycling
• In Switzerland, not noted
for its flat terrain, 15%
of all journeys are by
bicycle: only slightly less
than the Danish level.
8% of car trips are under
5 miles and 25% are less
than 2 miles.
champion’ at your place of work,
or someone already cycling to
work, who can be your cycling
buddy for a while, at least for
some of the way. And finally,
gears! Gear one is low. Try to
always be in a gear that feels
too low/ easy/soft. Spinning
fast in a low gear reduces
strain on your joints and on
your bike, allows you to
accelerate quicker and allows
quicker gear changes.
Cyclists travel differently to
cars (and buses and trains).
We can use more direct routes,
dedicated cycle paths where
available and, if we need to,
simply get off and push. Our
route planning should reflect this
difference. Incorporate parks,
canal towpaths or river-side
paths into your journeys. Quiet
leafy residential roads often run
parallel to busy roads. Vary
your route. Explore your world,
you may be surprised at what
you find. Your local council
produces cycling maps showing
dedicated cycle facilities and
recommended quiet routes.
For lots more information and advice on cycling to work visit
You can borrow electrireic’s
bikes from East Ayrsh part
Travel Hubs, to take
in led bike rides.
Bikes are practical:
door to door transport
at the drop of a hat.
omen tend to have
longer legs and a
shorter torso than
a man of equal height. They
also tend to have shorter arms
than their male counterparts.
This in turn tends to mean that
for a given bike, the reach
(distance between saddle and
handlebars) is too great for a
woman. As you can imagine,
shorter arms and a shorter torso
mean that a woman would
have to stretch further to reach
the handlebars of a given bike
than a man would. Even ‘ladies’
bikes with dropped top-tubes
can be wrongly designed.
If you want to get serious
about cycling you should
specifically ask your retailer for
a woman’s geometry bike. The
choice isn’t huge yet, but it is
growing, and there are bikes
available at many different
price points that will meet
your needs. They may appear
to be identical to the ‘male’
versions, but close inspection
of the two bikes side by side
will show up the differences.
Most of all, shop around for a
retailer who understands your
needs as a woman cyclist.
Some retailers are unaware of
the existence of these bikes.
If possible, find a shop that
employs a woman cyclist. You
can also improve the comfort
and fit of your existing bike by
making adjustments to saddle or
handlebars set up, or replacing
them altogether. Ladies’ saddles
are now available, some with
a hole in the middle to reduce
rubbing against sensitive areas
and to keep you aerated and
cooler. Cycle clothing designed
for women is now also widely
lectric bike sales in
Europe have sky-rocketed
in recent years. The
technology has finally caught
up with the promise: electric
bikes are here to stay.
The term ‘pedalec’ says it all: a
pedal cycle which has electric
power assistance. Sensors know
how hard you are pedalling
and add electric support when
you need it. If you don’t pedal,
or don’t pedal very hard, you
get no help because you don’t
need it. The idea is not to make
a faster, more powerful vehicle,
but simply to help you flatten
the hills and shorten the miles.
The end product is essentially
a fairly conventional bike, but
one that lends a hand when
required. Most pedalecs have
multiple gears and all the other
components you’d expect,
but with the bonus of a motor,
which is often so small, light
and quiet you don’t know
it’s there – unless you begin
wondering why a cyclist is
going so fast without pedalling.
They are classed as a normal
bicycle so there is no legal
requirement for a helmet, or
any kind of special licence. If
the transmission ensures that
the machine behaves like a
normal bicycle (but one that
makes the rider’s legs get bigger
old age, not everyone can ride
a bike, and in hilly or spreadout districts, only the fittest
can rely on their own power.
Power-assist makes riding
uphill, cycling into a headwind
on hills), then it will be seen as
a bicycle by the authorities.
Whether it’s because of a minor
disability, poor fitness or just
or carrying heavy loads a lot
easier. The motor and battery
technology generally comes
from electronics giants, and are
now fully developed in terms
of efficiency and reliability.
A few hours charge can give
you 40 kilometres of assisted
riding, and the electricity costs
precious little.
Pedalecs are a new form of
transport, taking pedal-power
further across the transport
spectrum, but they remain
bicycles. As a general guide,
if you can lift it off the ground
yourself, it’s still a bike. If you
can’t it’s a motorbike!
Bikes are sociable:
stop any time for a chat
with friends.
On a tandem or trailer-bike
children experience the
exhilaration of combined
power. Childback tandems are
made with a much smaller
rear frame size so as to suit
a child. Tandems can also
take a child-seat and tow
trailers. They are an excellent
investment, and resale values
remain high.
If there are two of you
transporting the children you
can mix and match your
cycles and trailers: two trailer
bikes, tandem plus childseat
plus trailer bike, etc. There are
all kinds of tandems for all
There are many front and
rear-mounted childseats to
choose from, and they vary
enormously in quality and
age-suitability. The seat back
and sides must support the
child’s head and a decent fivepoint harness is also vital. Take
the bike and child with you
when you buy your childseat
to make sure it’s suitable.
(A bike with a step through
frame might be easier for you
both when your child is on
board). If you have two small
children, consider having two
childseats behind you on a
small-wheeled tricycle.
From the age of about four
children can start to pedal,
but not very far. They can still
fit in childseats or trailers, but
are getting too heavy. This is
where trailer bikes come in.
Your child pedals on a device
attached to your bike, until he
or she can go it alone.
Trailer bikes come in various
designs. A well designed
trailer bike should have plenty
of adjustment both in saddle
height and handlebar position
to give you several years of
use. With trailer bikes you get
what you pay for. Cheaper
ones are heavier, less reliable,
and have more flop at the
connection point.
Cycling en famille
is possible with
children of all
ages, and there
are lots of
practical options to
make it easy.
For children, cycling is freedom
and adventure. They feel
good on their bikes, and are
beginning to develop the
skills needed to make safe
decisions consistently when
they are on the road. Look
for quality components and
a design which allows the
bike to ‘grow’ with your child
through handlebar and saddle
adjustments. Most bikes sold
to children force them to reach
too far forwards. You may
come under pressure from your
kids to buy a bike which looks
cool, but it could be a pain to
ride and maintain. A luggage
rack and mudguards may be
uncool for an older child but
they can carry light loads in a
back pack, and road-splash on
clothing is not the end of the
world. The bike must not be
too big. A child should have
both feet flat on the ground
when standing straddling the
top tube, and should be able to
touch the ground with the toes
of one foot while sitting on the
seat without leaning the bike.
A good child’s bike can be as
expensive to manufacture as
an adult’s. Buy well, or you
could put your children off
cycling for life.
Quality varies. The worst ones do their jobs but have heavy
steel frames and the fabric does not last long. The best ones
have alloy frames, quality fabric, and lots of extras. Normal
advice is to use them only when your child can support his/her
own head. With a little ingenuity however, the combination of
a child trailer and a baby’s car seat can have you all cycling
long before then. Most trailers will accommodate two children
up to about six years of age (or a combined weight of around
40-45kg) and will have space for luggage, nappy changing
stuff, food, toys, etc. Most will quickly pack flat for storage and
for getting through the front door. Other than extra drag, trailers
have negligible effect on the handling of the lead bike, and
stay upright if your bike falls over.
The Flying Scotsman Sportive
20 August 2016
The Marmotte Écosse
29 & 30 April 2017
The Marmotte Écosse is a
prestigious cycling festival
event which takes place over
closed roads, attracting around
3000 cyclists of all abilities.
cycling events
in East Ayrshire
The Flying Scotsman Sportive
The Flying Scotsman event is delivered
annually under the brand of Graeme
Obree. This event starts and finishes at
Loudoun Leisure Centre and offers 2 routes:
• Old Faithful - a 42 mile blast out to
the scenic village of Sorn and back.
• The Beastie - which takes in 77 miles
of spectacular scenic roads.
Tour of Britain: Stage 1
Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Tour of Britain: Stage 1
Glasgow to Castle Douglas
4 September 2016
National 25 Time Trial
Kilmarnock Criterium
Braveheart Cycling Events
The Marmotte Écosse
The Tour of Britain, supported by
EventScotland, will provide a once in a
life time opportunity for spectators to see
some of the best cycling teams in the
world including Team Sky and Team
Wiggins race across the UK in an eight
day Stage Race.
The majority of the first leg of the 2016
Tour of Britain will be held in East
Ayrshire. The event will commence
in Glasgow and touch on East
Renfrewshire then arrive just after lunch
time in East Ayrshire at Stewarton,
travelling across most of the authority
including Kilmarnock, Galston,
Auchinleck, Dalmellington and many
smaller settlements in between before
moving on to Dumfries and Galloway.
East Ayrshire will host the longest
stretch of this stage of the Tour along
with two of the classified sprint sections
plus all three King of the Mountain
stretches. There will be spectator
areas at each location and a range of
activities planned around these.
Between them the routes
take in Darvel, Catrine,
Galston, Mauchline, and
Sorn. The races take place
on open roads with some
traffic management in
place, but limited disruption.
In 2017 the event is coming to
East Ayrshire. This is the first
time it has been held outside
mainland Europe. The event
includes 20km time trials and
a Gran Fondo event covering
137kms featuring 1535m of
demanding climbs.
The races between them cover
virtually all towns and villages
in East Ayrshire - Auchinleck,
Cumnock, Dalmellington,
Kilmarnock, Newmilns, and
Stewarton, amongst many
smaller areas - maximising the
opportunities for tourists and
participants to view our breathtaking scenery.
The whole event is a first for
Scotland and includes:
• Mass participation time
trial over closed roads open
to anyone who wants to
experience what it’s like to
be a professional cyclist.
This takes the form of a
Chrono covering 20km.
• The first Marmotte Gran
Fondo ever to be held
outside of mainland Europe.
This event is held over 76
miles/138km featuring
1535m of demanding climbs
with up to 3000 participants.
East Ayrshire Council is also
working closely with Scottish
Cycling and member clubs
in the area to develop the
sport and host a range of
other events throughout the
year including the National
25 Time Trial (Saturday
10 September 2016) and
the Kilmarnock Criterium,
at Howard Park Kilmarnock
(Sunday 25 September
For information visit:
Sprint 2 of the Tour –
London Road, Kilmarnock:
Expected between 12:30 and 12:45
Cycling Activities at the Ayrshire
Athletics Arena (13:00 - 15:00hrs)
Sprint 2 of the Tour –
Ayr Road, Dalmellington:
Expected between 13:45 and 14:10
Cycling Activities at Doon Valley
Leisure Centre (12 noon - 13:45)
King of the Mountains
KOM 1 of the Tour – Skares (B7046):
Expected between 13:16 and 13:36
Cycling Activities in Broomfield,
Cumnock between 14:00 and 16:00hrs
KOM 2 of the Tour –
Kerse/Polnessan (B730):
Expected between 13:30 and 13:56
Cycling Activities in Patna between
12 noon and 13.30hrs.
KOM 3 of the Tour – By Dalmellington:
Expected between 13:46 and 14:20
Cycling Activities at Doon Valley Leisure
Centre (12 noon and 13:35 hrs)
Braveheart Cycling Event
29 October 2016
The Braveheart Cycling Event
has been taking place in East
Ayrshire for over 10 years.
Braveheart is a charity which
supports up and coming
Scottish cyclists, all profits from
Braveheart events go directly
back into the charity.
Braveheart is led by local
businessman and cycling
enthusiast Alan Miller. This
year’s Braveheart Cycle will
operate over 2 distances,
24 and 52 miles. This event
operates on open roads using
a basic traffic management
plan with rolling road blocks
and thereby limiting
For exact locations visit:
Scooter training is delivered
to Early Childhood Centres
and Primary 1 pupils.
We have 12 scooters, 10 for
pupils and 2 for adults and
helmets, knee and elbow
pads which schools can
borrow for up to two weeks.
School staff are trained by
the Roads Safety Team.
Five schools in East Ayrshire
have achieved Cycling
Scotland’s Cycle Friendly
School Award. The award aims
to promote cycling to school
as a pleasant, healthy and
economical travel choice.
To achieve the award, schools
must show a commitment to
cycling by providing facilities
such as bicycle parking,
changing facilities and
Bikeability Scotland cycle
training. Cycling Scotland offers
guidance on travel planning
and providing cycling facilities
and helps to create a culture
of cycling within the school
The East Ayrshire schools cycle
training programme is delivered
to pupils in 3 stages:
Bikeability Level 1
Bikeability Level 3
Delivered by Active Schools to
pupils by the end of Primary 5.
Basic competencies on a bike
such as balance, control skills
and making turns. Delivered
off- road in the playground.
Delivered by Active Schools, by
the end of Primary 7 or during
early secondary school. On
road training which teaches
children how to deal with more
challenging junctions and plan
and make journeys effectively.
Bikeability Level 2
Delivered using iCycle by the
end of Primary 6.
ICycle training takes place
on and off road with children
learning basic manoeuvres –
starting, stopping, left and right
turn, overtaking and emergency
stops. Training lasts between 6-8
weeks, reinforced by classroom
work. At the end of the training
the children sit a practical cycle
test and a written Highway Code
test. Online resources include
cycling workbooks, assessments,
activities, games and news.
Prim ward
Balance bike training
is delivered to Early
childhood Centres through
the Balanceability scheme.
We have balance bikes,
helmets and an activity kit
available for loan.
Are you passionate
about cycling?
We are looking to recruit
volunteers to help develop
a junior cycling club in
East Ayrshire. No cycling
experience is necessary.
What’s in it for you?
career opportunities
All training and support
required for developing a
junior cycling club will be
provided by Scottish Cycling
and East Ayrshire Council’s
Vibrant Communities.
If you are interested in
volunteering and feel
you have something to
offer to improve junior
cycling opportunities
in East Ayrshire please
contact Fiona Walker.
Office: 0141 554 6021
Mobile: 07538 083 999
Bikes are
independent mobwo
and gi
Bikes are planet - friendly:
they bring you closer to
nature, harmlessly
or most people a
‘mountain bike’ (aka
MTB or ATB) is anything
with fat knobbly tyres,
suspension forks, wide
bars, lots of gears, and no
mudguards or carrier-rack.
Originally designed purely for
off-road use their toughness
and confidence-inspiring
handling made them perfect
for city use. Most are used as
urban workhorses, exclusively
on tarmac.
Basic mountain bikes can
be ‘citified’, with slick tyres,
mudguards, a luggage rack
and lights for commuting,
for example. But this can all
cost as much as the bike,
so unless you really need a
genuine mountain bike, go
for a regular city bike which
has many MTB qualities, but
has all the commuter-friendly
bits already attached. Higher
up the quality range are
high performance machines
designed for riding on actual
mountains! Front and rear
suspension lets the wheels
absorb small bumps while
keeping the tyres in contact
with the ground for better
control, and also helps absorb
large impact forces when
landing from jumps.
Mountain bikes have
revolutionised cycle design
and can be enormous fun, as
long as you go for what you
really need. With so many
different types now available
All Ability Cycles offer
children and adults who
have a physical or learning
disability or have impaired
balance the chance to fully
participate in the fun and
freedom of cycling.
4T Custom
For some it’s a means to
independent mobility; for others
it’s just the joy of physical
movement, with wind in the
hair. There are cycles for every
purpose: tricycles for all ages,
hand-cranked cycles, rearsteering tandems, tandems with
advice from a good bike shop
is essential. Now we a have
a broad spectrum of types to
fill every imaginable niche:
from indestructible twelve-inch
travel Free-Ride to superlight
cross-country (XC) Race Bikes.
Fully rigid single-speed, 4X,
All-Mountain, Back Country,
Hard-Core Hard-Tail, Soft-Tail,
Dirt-Jump or fully-loaded
Expedition Mountain Bike. Trail
Bikes, Trials Bikes, Mud Bikes,
even dedicated Snow Bikes!
But watch out - if you get
bitten by the bug you’ll find
that one mountain bike is
never enough!
wheelchairs on the side or front,
and side-by-side ‘companion’
cycles. The choice is growing
all the time.
For information on
all disability cycles visit:
Inclusive bikes, hand cycles
and RaceRunners are
available for hire.
Booking is essential as bikes
are limited. Cycles are booked
for 1 hour slots, including
15 minutes set up time.
Wednesday: 1pm – 4pm
10am – 1pm
The All Ability Cycles are
available to hire for individual
and group bookings as well
as events.
Ayrshire Athletics Arena
Queens Drive
T: 01563 555226/555227
ven though we don’t
have huge networks of
segregated cyclepaths,
as in Holland or Denmark,
statistics for cycling safety are
not what you might expect. In
Britain there is a fatal cycling
accident for every 31 million
miles cycled. This equates to
over 21,000 years for someone
cycling an average of four
miles each and every day of
the week. Only around one in
every 28 deaths on the road
involves a cyclist, and for
every cyclist who dies on the
road, around 400 UK citizens
die of illnesses related to lack
of exercise.
It is much safer to cycle than
not to cycle! Research is now
showing that if you cycle
regularly you can expect to
be as fit as someone ten years
younger, and that regular
cycling adds an average of
two and a half years to your
life, a figure which takes into
account the relatively small
number of fatalities each year.
Here’s how to cut the
chances of an accident
even further:
• Keep your bike in good
order: many cycle accidents
have nothing to do with
other traffic.
• Know your bike well, so that
you ride intuitively.
• Know your Highway Code:
it applies to cyclists
• If possible, position yourself to
be visible to other road-users,
especially at junctions and
• Be aware and think
ahead in traffic.
• Wear bright clothing
incorporating reflective
• Move smoothly and
predictably. Speed and
acceleration can give extra
safety; so a good quality
bike helps.
• Keep your brakes well
adjusted; you need them a
lot in traffic.
• Shout ‘Room!’ if a driver
comes too close. It’s fast
and effective.
• Don’t cower in the gutter.
Keep a metre’s space free
to your left in case you need
to move into it, or if a cardoor opens suddenly.
• At advanced stop lines wait
in a central position, even if
turning left.
• Hold your lane for periods
if it’s safer for you, but don’t
cause frustration behind you.
• Use your eyes and ears to be
aware of what’s happening.
• Learn to look behind with
confidence, or use a mirror.
Signal and move out
smoothly to pass parked cars
and buses.
• Watch out for pedestrians
stepping out: they can’t
hear your engine!
• Wear a helmet for protection
against low-impact
collisions and don’t expect it
to do much more than that.
If you have not
cycled since your
younger days, you’ll
be surprised at just
how light, efficient
and comfortable
modern bicycles can
be. Compared to
your heavy old allsteel roadster, today’s
lightweight bikes are
easy to lift and agile
in hilly terrain.
There is no age at which cycling
stops being an option, and
anyone cycling regularly into
older age adds years to their life
expectancy. Research shows
that regular cyclists have, on
average, the health of someone
ten years younger. Cycling
four miles daily reduces the risk
of coronary heart disease by
50 per cent. It’s good aerobic
exercise AND involves smooth,
regular movement, putting no
load-bearing strain on joints or
muscles – good news if you are
arthritic, overweight or generally
unfit. Regular cycling improves
lung function: useful if you suffer
from bronchitis or asthma.
Manufacturers are now thinking
beyond youth culture
cycle fashion, realising
that in most industrialised
countries there will soon
be many more active
55 to 70 year olds than
there are teenagers.
And young
people can be a
difficult market,
with fashion
changing like
the shifting
sands. For older
people image is
important, but
so is quality,
and anyone
getting into
active cycling at
the age of fifty-five
may well cycle for twenty years
or more yet. Take up cycling now
and you can enjoy expanding
networks of cyclepaths and
other facilities. But there is still
much work to be done. Millions
of cyclists with decades of
experience to call on, and the
leisure time to apply it, can put
further pressure on the authorities
for ever better facilities. Older
people, with a lifetime of
knowledge and experience can
be a highly effective campaign
group, mindful of the power of
their vote and the authority of
their voice.
• Be assertive, and proud to be
pedalling, but also polite.
Look carefully at the tubes. Are there dents,
creases or wrinkles in the paint which may
indicate crash damage? Similarly inspect from
the front, squatting to get down to the same
level as the bike. Look to see if the frame twists
between head tube and seat tube. Check
that the forks are symmetrical, and not bent
backward from a crash. Be very careful here,
and if in doubt reject the bike.
hink about what you want
from a used bike, and
how much work you are
prepared to put into it. You’ll
have all the hassle of tracking
down bikes for sale, visiting the
various sellers, then fixing any
problems. The benefit of buying
from a dealer is that you have
bikes of a guaranteed quality,
all in one place, with expert
advice on hand. On the other
hand it can be very satisfying
to get a used bargain and
work on it.
What to look for
Is the bike looked after or rusty?
Are the tyres bald and cracked
or in good condition? Is the
paint scuffed and the frame
dented, or are there just the one
or two honourable scars of a
hard worked but looked-after
Are they well inflated? Are they
bald? Are the sidewalls cracked
and perished? Do the valve
types match? Does a pump
come with the bike? Why not?
All tyres should be inflated hard
– they should barely give when
you squeeze them.
Are the rims steel or alloy?
Alloy is good. Are steel rims
rusty? Do the wheels run true?
Gripping the top of the wheel,
can you wobble it from side to
side – yes? – possible bearing
damage. Are any of the spokes
broken? Check at the hub end.
If two or more have gone, then
more may be on the way out.
Are any spokes slack? – Bad!
Check the wheel for trueness.
Are the pads worn? Do they rub
the rim? Are they seized solid?
Are they scuffing the tyre? Do
the pads bite on the rim almost
as soon as you move the lever
on the bars? Are the cables
rusty and frayed, or looked after,
oiled, and finished with a ferrule?
Is it rusty? Taking the chain
at the frontmost point of the
chainring, (the cog by the
pedals), can the chain be pulled
nearly clear of the teeth? Yes?
- worn chain. If the chain has
rusted badly or has dry rust
on it, it may have worn the
sprockets down, too. Expensive
to replace.
If teeth have a sharks-fin
appearance, reject the bike,
as the whole drivetrain will be
much too worn. A worn chain,
if left too long, will devour all
the other components it comes
into contact with – leading
to an expensive repair bill.
Chains, like brake blocks, are
‘consumables’ which should be
replaced before they become
too worn.
(The bearing in the frame
between the pedals). Grip the
cranks and try to rock the axle
up and down and side to side.
Play and a clicking noise? –
bearing needs adjustment or
replacement. Check that the
cranks rotate smoothly.
Do they spin smoothly? Are the
ends battered? Do they rattle
loose on their spindles? When
you ride the bike you may
feel a rolling sensation in the
ankles caused by either bent
pedal spindles or bent cranks.
Riding with misaligned pedals
can damage ankles and knees
(which are really expensive
to repair...)
(Where the forks & bars swivel in
the frame). Do the forks revolve
smoothly? When the front brake
is applied, can the bike be
rocked forward and backward,
because the fork is rocking
within the frame?
Buy cheap and you
buy twice. Go for a qualit
bike if you can.
Modern bikes use metric nuts and bolts and
plenty of Allen keys for fixings and adjustments.
An Allen key ‘nest’ (with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6mm keys)
should be in every cyclists backpack. Purchase
quality tools individually as you need them and
you’ll eventually have a complete kit which suits
your bike and your skill level. Similarly - learn
skills as you need them. Most maintenance and
repair tasks are very much easier to do than you
might imagine.
Are they bent? Rusty? Is everything attached to
them firmly? Look at the stem – can you see the
minimum insert mark? No? – Good. Stand in front
of the bike with your feet gripping the wheel. Try
to turn the bars. Do they move easily? – Bad. Lots
of resistance? – Good. Seized? – bad, and possibly
rusted solid.
Check everything is bolted on firmly. Distorted or
cracked plastic mudguards should be replaced
for safety. Racks should be firmly attached and
rigid. Racks attached at three points will carry
only moderate weights – four-point fixing is far
sturdier. If dynamo lights are fitted, check that
they work.
Budget to spend a bit more once you’ve got the
bike, replacing the safety-critical parts that are
subject to wear. Change rusty, sticky or frayed
brake cables. Basic replacement cables are fine
– run a little oil over them before installing. Make
sure you get the right cable type. Cable outers
need replacing if they are kinked or excessively
rusty. Fit new brake blocks if the old ones are
worn. Change the chain if it needs it (a bike shop
will advise if you’re unsure), and then keep the
new one oiled! Some modern ‘dry’ lubricants don’t
attract dirt, though they are more expensive and
not as waterproof.
hink carefully and realistically about
what you want from the bike you are
about to buy. No one bike can do
everything well. You may even need two
very different bikes!
Go to a good, well-established cycle dealer
for expert advice, a well set-up bike, and
some free after-sales service. Their bikes
may cost more, but it’s worth it. Ask to try
the bike out, offering a deposit if needed.
Bikes have never been better value. Go
for the best you can afford. Don’t risk the
inconvenience and cost of repair bills on
second rate machines.
Aluminium alloy (as opposed to steel)
components are lighter and are generally
a sign of a better bike.
Look for a bike already fitted with the
equipment you want. If you need extra
accessories have them fitted by the shop
as part of the purchase.
Avoid buying one of those cheap new
bikes that pop up in garages, car parts
stores and catalogues. They will come with
a poor guarantee, little or no
after sales service, and
their poor quality
will soon start to
show. You deserve
better than that.
Check for loose
or missing spokes
Check there’s plenty
of rubber on the brake
blocks and that they are
lined up with the rim.
Nuts and bolts can
work loose, especially
on new bikes.
If you can pull the brake levers
all the way to the handlebars
your brakes need adjusting.
Pull the brake lever a little and
check the cable hidden underneath.
Cables commonly fray at this point.
Squirt some oil down the cable.
Stand at right angles to the front
forks and check they have not
been bent back in an accident.
If in doubt, visit a bike shop.
If the gears
don’t change
smoothly it
could be a
bike shop job.
Spin the wheels.
If the wheel
wobbles from
side to side as it
passes through
the brake blocks
it needs truing.
Chain Wear
Indicators let you
know when a chain
is worn out. Your
local bike shop has
one and they’ll let
you borrow it for
free. Replace the
chain before it gets
so bad it wrecks
the sprockets and
Lubing your chain is one of the kindest things you can do to your bike. Bicycle
chain lube is cheap and a small bottle lasts for ages. Wipe the chain with a rag
then apply lube evenly and sparingly - spin the cranks backwards a few times
to get the lube inside the chain and then wipe, wipe, wipe, wipe until the chain
comes clean. It’s simple to do and prevents expensive repair bills!
Bikes are in fashion:
look how often you see
them in tv ads.
Grab both pedals and rock at right
angles to the bike. If there is any
movement your cranks or bottom
bracket need attention.
Check tyres are
good order and
well inflated.
Mountain bike
tyres may look
grippy but they
soak up your
energy on roads.
Slick road tyres
go faster. Consult
your bike shop.
National Cycle Network
Route 73
Galloway Forest Park
Route 73 on the National Cycle Network
provides a diversion between Kilmarnock and
Irvine from the Ayrshire Coastal Route. The route
mainly follows a disused railway line and is
predominantly traffic free. It is approximately
10 miles long and takes you from Kilmarnock to
Dreghorn, where you leave the disused railway
line and follow the River Irvine into Irvine Town
Centre. For a nice family day out, you can use
this route to connect Dean Castle Country Park
in Kilmarnock with Eglinton Country Park in
Kilwinning or for a greater challenge, you
can join NCN Route 7 at Kilwinning which
links Sunderland to Inverness.
East Ayrshire has some of the most
beautiful open spaces in south west
Scotland with a rich and varied
countryside offering a wealth of
opportunity for leisure activities
including walking and cycling.
The path network in East Ayrshire
extends to over 700km and provides
enough variety for hiking, long distance
walking, challenging bike rides and
low level family cycling days out.
The East Ayrshire Core Path Plan gives
a full breakdown of routes throughout
East Ayrshire, but the following routes
are some of the most popular.
Dean Castle
Country Park
Chris Hoy Cycle Way
The Chris Hoy Cycle Way follows the route of
a disused railway line between Hurlford and
Galston. This is a short, off road cycle path
which can be connected to quiet lanes and
roads between Galston and Kilmarnock to
provide an excellent day out exploring
The Irvine Valley. This route starts and
finishes at Dean Castle Country Park and
extends to 12.3 miles.
1 mile
Dean Castle Country Park
Cycle Route
Dean Castle Country Park is nestled on the
northern edge of Kilmarnock. It is a great place
for family days out and for cycling beginners.
Its 1.5 mile cycle route is traffic free and provides
easy cycling for younger cyclists. For those who
like a greater challenge, the Country Park cycle
route is a great starting point to explore some
of the quiet lanes in and around Kilmarnock,
providing links to the town centre, Craufurdland
Estate and the National Cycle Network.
The country Park has good parking and
toilet facilities.
The Galloway Forest Park extends to
Dalmellington in the southern edge of
East Ayrshire. Cycling has become a wellestablished pastime in the park due to its
abundance of rural country lanes and nearly
300 miles of forest road. Cycling is the ideal
way, in this safe environment, to enjoy the
breathtaking scenery of the area. The Loch
Doon area of the Park has a café, toilets,
camping and caravanning and a fantastic
opportunity to watch Ospreys. There is lots to
do in the area to enhance any cycling trip.
Whitelee Windfarm
If you love cycling, Whitelee Windfarm
is a perfect place to go. There’s more
than 130km of trails to explore for both
leisurely cycling and more adventurous
rides. The site also offers dedicated
mountain bike trails a short distance
from the Visitor Centre. The Visitor
Centre also provides cycle lockers,
shower facilities and a small café.
hoose a lock to match
the quality of your bike.
A bike you love requires
a top range, hardened D-lock or
high quality padlock and chain.
Cheap and expensive D locks
may look similar, but there’s
a big difference in security.
A £30 banger bike should be
reasonably safe with a cheaper
cable lock.
‘Sold Secure’ locks are
categorised into Bronze, Silver
and Gold ratings to offer at least
1, 3 and 5 minutes of resistance
to thieves. Further details at
Many bikes are secured with
only a combination lock or
a flimsy padlock and chain.
D-locks costing less than £20
are little more effective, but
a quality D-lock is a good
deterrent, especially in busy
cycle parking areas. It can
be cracked, with time and
special equipment, but Crime
Prevention Officers report that if
every cyclist used a high quality
D-Lock, cycle theft could be
reduced by up to 90 per cent.
Always lock your bike to an
immovable object, and don’t
just lock the front wheel, or the
rest of your bike may go. Many
cyclists carry a light additional
lock to fasten the front wheel to
an already secured frame, and
long cable locks will go round
frame, wheels, and immovable
object. Some cyclists lock their
bikes, then remove their quickrelease saddle and seat pin for
safe keeping, and even their
front wheel.
Where you lock your bike is
hardened but when positioned
carefully are very hard for
thieves to attack. Ask your
employer for a secure cycle
shed, fitted with well-designed
cycle racks and closed circuit
TV, to which only registered
cyclists can gain access
by swipe card or
There are simple ways of minimising the
risk of theft. It comes down to having
a good lock, using it effectively, and
choosing the right location.
critical. Best are Sheffield cycle
stands, now often seen in urban
areas placed in small groups.
Otherwise lock your bike to
secure railings or a post. Avoid
drainpipes, which are easily
Never hide your bike down a
dark alley - it gives the thief
an ideal opportunity to work
unnoticed. A well-lit, open space
means thieves are far more
conspicuous if they try to steal
a bike.
Garden sheds are vunerable
but you can fit purpose-made
anchor points in your shed,
or by your front door for short
term parking or use ring-ended
Rawlbolts from your local
hardware store. These are not
combination lock.
Owning more than one
bike gives you flexibility. You
can use your ‘hack’ bike for
town, and your expensive bike
for rides into the countryside,
where theft is less likely.
Planning for the worst
The police detection rate is only
about 5%, but taking a note
of your bike’s make, colour,
accessories and frame number
(usually under the bottom
bracket) improves their chances.
Take photos of your bike, and
record the lock key number for
future reference.
ou can usually find
cycling guidebooks,
which combine with
ordnance survey maps to help
you enjoy Britain’s delightful
network of quiet country lanes
and cyclepaths. Be realistic:
you can always put in an
extra loop if you’re doing well.
Take a small bag to hold some
lightweight waterproofs and
snacks. Water is better than
energy drinks, and fruit and
nut type bars are better than
sugary snacks. Take a few basic
tools and the means to repair a
puncture. If your first big cycle
outing is a charity ride, build up
to it carefully, and have your
bike serviced in good time. Your
local cycle campaign or section
of the Cyclists’ Touring Club
may offer suitable day rides in
good company.
allows you
to savour the
experiences and
share them with your
friends and family.
You can stop at any
time to look at a
fine view, visit an
interesting building,
smell roadside
flowers or chat to
people you meet.
Even the most basic
bike can make trips
of ten miles or so
in reasonably flat
An out-and-back ride with an
overnight stop requires very
little luggage. How about
putting the bikes on a train and
going to explore part of the
National Cycle Network or a
bikes can give you
great adventures!
only option: youth hostels can
be very friendly, comfortable,
and welcoming to cyclists of
any age. There is also now
a wide choice of good-value
cycling holidays in the UK.
As you gain fitness and confidence, you can consider
longer trips. This may be the time to become a two-bike
cyclist! One for round-town and commuting, and
a lighter, faster machine for longer leisure rides.
National Park? Check that the
train does, in fact, take bikes.
Or you can put a folding bike
on the bus to get you out of
town and on your way. Hotels
and guesthouses are not your
See if you can match these twenty descriptions to the 20 pictures.
Walker Cycling Club
Location: Kilmaurs
07708 823428
Walkers Cycling Club
Dunlop Cycle Club
07905 781072
Dunlop Cycle Club
Wallacehill Cycling Club
Anyone interested in finding
out details of organised runs
should contact Drew Agnew:
01563 543456
For General Information
David Miller: david@
Loudoun Road Club
Craufurdland Estate
Darvel Skate Park
KA17 0BT
Kay Park Kilmarnock
Mobile Skate Park
Available for hire
01563 576351
All Ability Cycling
01563 555226 / 555227
Eac Sport
Ayrshire Athletics Arena
Wednesdays 1pm-4pm
Sundays 10am-1pm
Kilmarnock Harriers
For children and adults with
disabilities. Email:
Newmilns Snow
& Sports Complex
Mini Downhill & Pump Track
Newmilns Snow & Sports
Complex are also looking
for volunteers interested in
bike track maintenance
and potentially creating a
new cycling club. If you are
interested in volunteering in
this exciting project area
please contact:
Stevi Campbell
01560 322320
Glen Afton
Mountain Bike Club
Campbell Gibson
Alan Cook
Glen Afton
Mountain Bike Club
(Answers on next page)
Muirkirk Skate Park
KA18 3RH
Time table posted weekly
on ‘EAC Sport’ Facebook page.
Bring your own Skateboard/
BMX/Scooter (These will be
checked for safety prior to
participation). Safety
equipment will be provided
on a first come first served
Interested in volunteering?
Contact David Ligat via:
01563 576348
Eac sport
© Get Cycling 2016
L Penny farthing from 130
years ago
P Touring bike for long
F Mountain bike for
O Tandem tricycle for all
the family
A Fast racing bike
R Dahon folding bike with
small wheels
J BMX for stunts
M Mountain bike for going
I Low recumbent racing bike
B Maximus pedicab trike
E Trishaw for carrying loads
Q Solo tricycle recumbent
K Seven seater CircleCycle
G Electric-assist bike
N Dutch-style town bike with
T Quadricycle
D American-style cruiser bike
S Wheelchair tandem
H Emergency paramedic’s
C Child’s bike with rack,
stand and light
Written and compiled by Get Cycling, a Community Interest Company, on behalf of East Ayrshire Council. Customised versions of this are
published on behalf of public sector clients. Pictures by Jim McGurn/Jason Patient/Sue Darlow/Get Cycling. Design: FrozenMarrow.
© Get Cycling 2016. Copying or any other form of unauthorised use of any part of this publication is strictly prohibited.
Published by Get Cycling, 22 Hospital Fields, Fulford, York, YO10 4DZ
Email: |
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