Archive | February 2012

Breaking Ice in 2012

Our pals up the road at the Fullarton once again opened up the Scottish racing season with the Icebreaker TT on Sunday.  Sixty pairs of two signed up for the 1o mile event at Eggy park.  It was cold, but the wind was barely rustling.  And ice on the roads meant everyone was happy including the trade description act enforcers.

What happened then?

Well, some dudes from some new outfit called Paisley Velo RT went really quick.  Chris Smart and Ben Peacock’s time of 20:18 was more than a minute faster than second place.  Good going them we say.

Second place went to another WoSCA club so no point dwelling on it…

Third place went to our other buddies at Walkers Cycling – whoopee for Neil Walker and Charles Vincent, who presumably collected enough cash to start paying off those stunning new Giant TT rigs they were on!

Neil and Charles giving it some welly. I stole this photo from Neil's mummy, I hope she doesn't mind.

So thats great.  1, 2, 3.  Instead of grudging the fact we didn’t place first Ayrshire team lets put some magic spin on it and shout hooray that Ayrshire cyclists can go really quick.  Neil and Charles rode a stunning 22:02.  Of course they would have been pleased for a few minutes, but you know they went to bed ruing those two important seconds

Enough.  What are we waiting for…  We have to keep scanning down the results until we find our fastest Ayr Roads pairing in…. eighth place.  A Dales CRT Scotland PODIUM no less! (read “top 10″).  But who?  Step up Neil Campbell and Virtual Reality star Ed Clifton, whose 22:42  was TWO SECONDS faster than the Fullarton Wheelers’ top pairing of Gordon and Jim.

Neil and Ed on the start line. Note the glamour and allure of the Scottish testing scene...

So ayes, we might not be the fastest club in Ayrshire right now, but we will be the only club who didn’t go to bed fretting over two seconds.

We have to scroll down to 11th to find our next intrepid warriors.  Captain Skilling and the Mick known as BIG.  23:07 was the time on the clock when they stopped.  Poor wee Mark’s excuse was that Mick was too quick.  Vrooom Vrooom all the same, a great showing for a pair of thoroughbred road racers.

Off we go, to the deafening roar of the fans

Back to the result sheet then and a hunt for the men of Ayr Roads Cycling Club / Harry Fairbairn BMW.  None.  But some cowboys by the name of Dave and Owen are riding for some outfit simply called ‘Ayr Roads’.  Fortunately their riding skills are better than their media etiquette – 24:12 is the time on the clock and its good enough to warrant 18th place.  Not bad for two men on regular road machines!  You can find a souvenir photo of this momentous ride here.

So far so good, but we are a little bit light on prize money to pay for the 2012 christmas buffet…  Bring on the Bill.  John Escourt teamed up with the pensioner to deliver a 25:13.  Good enough for 24th place, and scraping into top half of the field.  More importantly, it gave them third placed vet team!  How much in the brown envelope Alex?

But c’mon, 3rd place?  We expect more from our only full time athlete McAllister, surely…  We were offered a paltry excuse about John’s continuing knee injury, but eye-witnesses noted the obvious disappointment that Higgy had failed to hang out the “Go Lexy!” bedsheet on the A79 flyovers.  To add insult to injury, one-time-member-of-this-parish McKinlay finished a whole second faster.

I don’t care what anyone says, its time to celebrate John and Alec’s achievement for their £5 winnings open our buffet account with some roasted peanuts!


We hacked this from a member's facebook account. See - protect your identity online - your information IS NOT SAFE! Toni and Lynne at the start.

We do however have something genuine to celebrate.  On regular road machines, and in their first open time trial, our dynamic duo of Lynne and Toni finished second womens team!  28:21 said the watches, 45th out of 60 pairs.  Whoopee.

The committee also noted Toni’s magnanimous gesture in offering the last piece of Fruit Loaf (from an awesome spread) to our pensioner.  We won’t mention his huffy refusal.

Ten riders at a 10 hanging around a hall, ten riders at a 10 hanging around a hall, and if one ten rider should accidentally stall...

All in all, a super way to kick off the season.  All credit to Ayr Roads, to Walkers CC for their great third place, and most importantly to the Fullarton Wheeler’s who taught us all a lesson in how to promote an ace TT.  Incidentally, they will be putting on a TTT3 on the 8th July,  just two weeks before the Scottish Team champs.  Start training soonish.

ARCC call for volunteers

Of course, when you signed up for your year’s ARCC membership at bargain basement prices, you did read all the small print, demanding you attend and support at our open events…  Good.

We will promote four open events this year, of various magnitude.

May 17th – Pennyglen Hill Time Trial – Organiser:  Blair Wyllie.  Volunteer Rating: 2.5star

June 9th – The Highwayman Challenge - Organiser: Christopher Johnson. Volunteer Rating: 2.5star

June 10th – 47th South Carrick David Bell Memorial – Organiser: Christopher Johnson.  Volunteer Rating: 5 star

July 22nd – Straiton 4th Cat Road Race – Organiser Mark Skilling.  Volunteer Rating 3.5 star

So its going to be a busy summer….  but a quiet winter.  Please make sure these events are in your diary and organisers would be grateful for any assistance you can offer.

Introducing your committee!

Ayr Roads Cycling Club / Harry Fairbairn BMW is run by a crack team of bureaucrats who YOU helped elect at the last AGM!  Who are they, and what do they do?  Perhaps we could do with a wee refresher…

The Chairman: Blair Wyllie

As well as dominating the board room and demanding a huge bonus on top of his outlandish salary, our Chairman volunteers for some sort of full time position with the Council.  Blair is a life long member of the club  and has held a number of other committee posts including treasurer.  He oversees the development of the club, everything from engaging with sponsors to completing risk assessments for our open events.  We don’t often see Blair at our training sessions cos he is stuck behind a computer screen managing our affairs.  As he should be, perhaps, as he should be….

Despite their best attempts, Wyllie, Baxter and Johnson failed to address the disgraceful lack of women on the ARCC Committee. Jo was having none of it

The Vice -Chairman: Christopher Johnson

Having served a rather ineffectual term as club secretary, there was little option but to ‘promote’ Christopher out of harms way.  Like Chairman Wyllie, our Vice-Chairman has a spare time hobby somewhere up in Glasgow which has been known to distract him from his club servitude.  As useless as LBJ was to Kennedy, Christopher currently organises the David Bell Memorial Race and edits the club website…

The Secretary: David Clifford

Before introducing David, a quick teaser:  What do Fidel Castro, Josep Tito and Leonid Brezhnev all have in common?  Thats right, all held the post of Secretary during their leadership.  Voila.  The Secretary is the most important member of our club.  Everything goes through Dave, from race licences to SC registration forms, to cheques requiring his signature (that awful Trek he rides should reassure you on this one).  Rumour has it, David works somewhere out behind Prestwick Airport for an organisation that might, or might not, have at some point made some interesting trade deals with interesting peoples.  If you have a question relating to BC membership, club membership, or other stuff, he is the man to ask.

The Treasurer: Robert Bernard Kelly

The whole premise of this post has been a front – of course we just wanted to confirm Robert’s middle name.  Poor Robert has to continue to find creative ways to cook our books in time for each AGM.  And its no easy task – just ask his predecessor Mr McAllister who had to flea to France to avoid the scrutiny.  When Robert is not at work slaving over our hard-earned pennies, he can be found in a 19th Century-themed park just off Wellington Square, doing some sort of legal stuff.  Like Blair, we do not often get to see Robert on club runs.  His fiscal training policy has kept him at level 1 over the winter as some sort of package of austerity measures.  If you have cash, want cash, or something to do with cash, Robert is your man.

Golden handshakes from the treasurer. Super Sluth reporter Kerr turns a blind eye

The Championship Secretary: John Mason

Unique among your committee, John has nothing better to do with his time than serve the mighty Ayr Roads CC.  After forty years he quit his job to dedicate more time to us, and complete his life long dream of cracking the points system set by our club forbears.  Notifying the polis that we are using the roads, keeping tabs on our silverware, and ensuring that the club ten calculations remain a closely guarded secret, are all part of John’s job.

The Captain: Mark Skilling

When not goading everyone into the scratch group, Mark can be found doing some sort of IT based thing with schools.  But don’t ask him anything about computers, cos that is apparently a mystery.  Mark came to us from a brief but spellbinding career as a Kilmarnock midfielder.  Don’t be surprised when members of other clubs approach him to autograph their 1996 Panini sticker books.  Want to know which bunch to go in, where its going, when its going, why its going that way, why no one is listening to your request to go via Carlisle and back over that broken bridge up some road way out yonder, direct your question to Mark.  Also, if you want to know about what races to target, how to survive in the bunch etc, try asking Skilling.  Should you find the answer’s to your liking, you can reward him with a Guinness.  Mark has also been responsible for ensuring that we’ll all be taking delivery of our snot green and blue fake Movistar kits very soon.

Other notable talents:

The Social Secretary:  Michael Robb.

Mick’s having a party, and if you’re nice, you might be invited!

Michael Robb - the man knows how to have fun!

The Club Hut Convenor: John-Paul Baxter

JP says remember to turn the Jacuzzi off when you leave.  If you want a key to this fine hostelry, this is the man to ask.

The Club Press Officers: Gavin Kerr & Paul Gibson

Why didn’t your 22nd place in the TLI 10 on the westferry get a mention in last week’s Carrick Gazette?  Possibly cos these two have not yet perfected the art of mindreading.  Pray tell, and they will work up some spin to sell to their media contacts.

JP working hard to keep the riff raff in order

Hopefully that has cleared up who does what.  You will of course have more questions, and perhaps some ideas and suggestions on how our post-holders could conduct their jobs even more efficiently.  You can send these to ayrroads AT gmail DOT com.  Your feedback is important to the committee, who will do their utmost to see you co opted onto the committee at next year’s agm.


Well actually, given that this was the second time Ayr Roads CC had lined up a team against our neighbours at the Fullarton Wheelers, the score is probably now one all…

ARCC are delighted to report that after a thrilling contest on the virtual reality trainers at the Fullarton Wheelers base in Kilwinning we came away with our pride restored!

The format is simple – two teams of four riders.  Two riders from each team are pitted against each other in the first half, and then the remaining four tackle the second.

In the first half Ed Clifton and Mark Skilling went up against Jim Ryland and Brian Loye over an undulating 8.4mile course.

And they're off. Ed Clifton's coming up the inside....

Some foul play was suspected when Big Ed’s machine kept slipping and biting into his tyre.  Fear not, our arbitrators observed the massive power coming from his legs and ruled play on…  Three miles in and he was off on his own, forging a trail into that Spanish desert.  Meanwhile Skilling was locked in his own battle with Brian…

Skilling pulls back his 5 second deficit to become a 1 second advantage over Brian Loye

The away crowd had to cheer and cajole as bike lengths became football fields and the captain was down five seconds.  But fear not, the road was yet to rise, and when it did our hero stamped on those poor pedals and the finishing result – 1 second up.  Poor Jim wrestled with his machine and dug deep to limit our host’s loses.

Big Ed – what can you say?  We salute you!  Awesome, from the shy unassuming boy who pretends he has never ridden a turbo before….  as if!

The score at half time: 2mins 24 seconds to Ayr Roads favour.

Second half

“Aw naw” was the feeling in the away camp, as the Fullarton lined up their secret weapon ‘Big Nigel’.  Legend has it Big Nig has not seen daylight for the last 12 months, so fixated is he by his tacx machine.  Whispers of ‘The Turbo God’ when he entered the mixing room -we are, after all, in an old recording studio.  ‘Fear not’ calls our Captain, ‘We’ll record some new records tonight’.  (thats a pun – see? boom boom geddit?….)

Big Mick and your correspondent took to their machines sandwiched between Gordon and Nigel.  10miles of flat we are promised, around a nice wee Italian lake. and we’re off.

No wonder its fuzzy with the speed we are moving at...

The room is hot with frenzy.  Three miles in and something crazy is happening – your former 2007 club hill climb champion is up on big Gordon.  Its a slim second but its something!  Meanwhile Mick is holding Nigel in a yard by yard battle to the death…

There is a time and place for turbo trainers - this is it

But come on… what were you expecting?  By 3.1 miles your undisputed club freewheel champion is struggling.  No way can he compete with Gordon’s aerodynamic advantage.  Its ok though, Mick is in business and slugging away.

6miles in, and its still advantage ARCC, but we are loosing ground.  7.5 miles read everyone’s machines except yours trulys – 7.4.  Some words of encouragement from the captain “you’re beating rab, you’re beating rab”.  Its good stuff.  Not enough to claw time back, but enough to limit our losses.

Gordon’s the first to smash through the imaginary line and claim relief.  Nigel comes 10seconds later.  Remember, we have just 2mins 24 to loose.

And Mick’s home – phew, just 21sec’s back on Nigel.  The road is descending, the chains on the 11.  A final push… and 16 seconds later the 1997 A&DCA junior BAR champ is home!  YAAAAAASSSSSSSS -


The score at full time? We calculate it 54 seconds in our favour

Glory restored…  Big Ed churned 330 watts average to our mortal 300…  Lets build a bigger stronger team around him for round three.

A huge thank you to our hosts at the Fullarton.  Its a super set up, and they made us all really welcome and got a good crowd out to cheer us all on.  Ayrshire Cycling is on the up :)

Ayr Roads vs Fullarton Wheelers rnd 2

The Fullarton Wheelers have kindly asked us back for a rematch on their VR trainers. You may remember the humiliation of last time… less said the better and instead we can just take comfort in the outcome of last years TTT champs ;)

Anyway, the date:
Wednesday 8th February at 1900 to set up for a 1930 start.
‘The Barn’ by Kilwinning. Ask Chris for details.

JP concentrating hard at the task in hand...

The format will be two teams of 4 tackling a 7.5mile course.  Two riders from each club will battle at a time.

The Fullarton will field:

Gordon Stead, Jim Ryland, Brian Loye, A.N.Other

Ayr Roads will offer:

Big Mick, Cannibal Ed, Captain Skilling and chancer-Gobert.

Bring it on!

New Colours

Ayr Roads Cycling Club / Harry Fairbairn BMW will shortly be taking delivery of their new club kit from Carvalho Custom.  After 20 years in the navy, mid and light blue chevrons there’s a wee departure to tradition on the way…

Ayr Roads Cycling Club / Harry Fairbairn BMW 2013 kit

But panic not, you will still have another twelve months to enjoy the sight of the mighty blue and white ARCC machine at the front of a bunch near you…  Similar in design to the professional Mobistar team, the colours are being phased in gradually and will not be registered with Scottish Cycling until 2013.

Ayr Roads has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years and a soaring membership.  With new faces comes new ideas, and the change in colours reflects the club’s growing confidence.   A top 10 finish in the Scottish TTT champs, two victories in the lower divisions, medals at the British Track Championships and the growing status of the South Carrick David Bell Memorial all demonstrate the fantastic breadth and depth of our membership.

Kenny Armstrong's new emboldened ARCC logo

The club is also delighted to have confirmed the continued support of Harry Fairbairn BMW – an association now into its 23rd year!


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