Ayr Burners Cycling

Sportive, Cyclocross, Youth, Adventure

Farewell Rozelle, and thanks for all the mud!

It is with sadness that Ayr Burners Cycling confirm that the Doonbank Trofee cyclocross will no longer go forward at Rozelle Park.

Rozelle Park, in the heart of Ayr, has been the host venue for the last eight seasons, as well as the venue for Ayr Burners’ inaugural Summer Cross in 2022. The course is probably best remembered for the fearsome ‘rope run’ (named after the rope left for riders to haul themselves up the hill) and the sloppy mud that met riders at the bottom of the fast, slippy, hedgerow descent.

Since 2016, almost 2,000 riders have participated in the Doonbank Trofee cyclocross event at Rozelle – including national champions and Commonwealth Games athletes. Current international professional Cameron Mason rode the circuit as a junior, along with local rider Harry McGarvie who would go onto win the Scottish Super Quaich Series in 2019. Recent editions have incorporated Scottish Disability Sport riders, including athletes who have represented the UK at the Special Olympics.

Perhaps the best accolade is the 400 children, some as young as 3 years old, who have enjoyed their first experience of cycle events at the free-to-enter Fun Ride that the Burners organised for local families.

Despite the recent challenges of hosting an event against the backdrop of the pandemic, this year marked a return to form with a day of exciting racing. However, organisers were left with little choice but to call time on the event at its current location following issues relating to car parking.

Parking within Rozelle estate is limited – especially during winter – which has always been a significant factor on the event’s maximum capacity. With careful consideration of parking during the planning process, there have been no reported issues before this year. Unfortunately, both Ayr Burners Cycling and South Ayrshire Council have received complaints from local residents about antisocial parking on neighbouring streets. To manage the event going forward, professional traffic management appears the only solution – beyond the capacity and budget of a local, volunteer-run event.

The organisers note that one complaint provided specific detail of vehicle owners obstructing pavements, creating problems for vulnerable users including people walking and wheeling. This is completely contrary to the aims of a local cycling event aimed at promoting participation – and highlights the impact that individual actions can have.

Ayr Burners Cycling would like to thank South Ayrshire Council for their support over the years in hosting the event at Rozelle Park. Staff have always been helpful and encouraging and this decision in no way reflects the support they have demonstrated for our cyclocross events. John-Paul Baxter, Ayr Burners’ Chair, said:

With the help of South Ayrshire Council we’ve managed to bring some fantastic cycling experiences to thousands of participants, young and old alike, with lasting positive outcomes.

“These events showed what volunteers with a passion for their community can deliver.

“It’s with immense sadness that we say goodbye to Rozelle, but we can be very proud and satisfied of what we’ve achieved.”

No decision on the future of the Doonbank Trofee has been taken for now while other venue options are assessed.

We will miss you Rozelle!

CJG14 • February 20, 2023

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