Ayr Burners Celebrate 1st Birthday
The members of Ayr Burners Cycling QTS enjoyed a big weekend to celebrate the first birthday of the community cycling group.
Despite the wild weather, five riders braved the scheduled ‘Trans-Alps Adventure Cross’, using the network of off-road paths that cross the Ayrshire Alps Park Area. The wild weather meant that the ‘sparks’ balance bike session was postponed, but there was still a chance for the younger members to come together as part of the Prize Presentation and Birthday Buffet at the Savoy Park Hotel.
Since establishing in December 2014, Ayr Burners Cycling has grown to 139 members, including 40 women and 39 youth riders. Throughout the year the group has focussed on its two priorities: promoting new cycling opportunities in Ayrshire, and encouraging cyclists to visit Ayrshire. This has meant more than 60 rides and activities, including balance bike sessions, family rides, social evenings, group rides, instruction, cycle jumbles, off-road adventures and even grassroots racing through the summer league.
Ayr Burners Cycling manage the development of the Ayrshire Alps Cycle Park, and have been busy submitting funding applications to see the project through to completion. The Burners hosted the Ayrshire Alps Friendly rides in August that attracted 92 participants including youths to ride around a fantastic local route in glorious sunshine. National UK media coverage for the Park was gained in an extensive feature within Cyclist Magazine, while the Burners also featured in a case study for Scotland Outdoors Magazine.
In addition to rides, the Burners have supported 11 members to certify as Cycle Ride Leaders, and also organised a maintenance evening with ACS Prestwick Ltd, helping upskill and build confidence for volunteers and leaders.
Throughout the year the Burners promoted a number of competitions, including a Summer League and season long series of Challenges. These encouraged members to try a variety of cycling disciplines, and provide encouragement to get out on the bikes more often. Through participation in various events, members raised £310 for the MS Society Scotland. On hand to receive the cheque at the Presentation dinner was Catriona Johnson, representing the MS Society Scotland Council.
Perhaps the greatest success of the Burners has been the introduction of monthly balance bikes sessions for under 5s. Each of these sessions has been fully booked, and it has been amazing to see the confidence grow for the young participants, many of whom have moved onto pedal cycles.
For 2016 the group has even more ambitious plans and will deliver a series of events to encourage new cyclists in partnership with the Active Travel Hub initiative in Ayr. The Burners will promote the Ayrshire Alps Friendly as a summer sportive, and have also announced that the January ‘Doonbank Trofee’ Cyclocross race at Rozelle will be part of the prestigious Super Quaich series.
2015 prize winners include:
- Summer League: Scott Knox
- Challenge Series: Duncan Macarthur
- Ronde van Ayrlaanderen: Scott Knox
- Photo Competition: Marie Gobert (Burners Abroad), Gavin McKellar (Burners’Family), Lindsay McGarvie (Burners’ Adventure)