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Entertaining Ghana!

On Saturday night (19th September) the Savoy Park Hotel in Ayr hosted an evening reception for Ayr Roads Cycling Club and the Ghana’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Cycling Team.

coach to coach, Scott McLean of ARCC hands across the ceremonial plaque

coach to coach, Scott McLean of ARCC hands across the ceremonial plaque

The four team Ghana riders (Samuel, Antony, Razak and Aminu) had been staying in Ayr along as part of an acclimatization camp with the rest of the Commonwealth Team.  This was arranged through South Ayrshire Council with John MacMillan providing active support throughout their stay.

Team Ghana and Ayr Roads CC's Clydesiders

Team Ghana and Ayr Roads CC’s Clydesiders

Ayr Roads CC’s coach Scott McLean volunteered his services during their stay and worked with team Ghana officials to develop a training plan for the riders.  In the last few weeks they have been regular attendees at Ayr Roads CC training events, giving lots of local cyclists the chance to ride with a Commonwealth Games athletes.

Team Ghana’s leading rider Samuel Anim was awarded the prestigious SWAG (Sports Writers Association of Ghana) Cyclist of the Year Award in 2013 for being “most sensational and best fighter”.  During the reception Ayr Roads members got the chance to learn more about riding and racing in Ghana, including an 11 stage national road race.

Ayr Roads CC's 12yr old Harry with Team Ghana

Ayr Roads CC’s 12yr old Harry with Team Ghana

Ayr Roads CC Chairman Blair Wyllie presented Team Ghana with a special plaque commissioned for the occassion, and provided all the riders with Ayr Roads CC club kit to wear and remember their stay.

Coach Scott McLean in turn thanked the riders for their contribution to the club over the past weeks and stated what an inspiration it was to other club members to turn out and ride with them.

There was laughter and tall tales throughout the reception sponsored by Savoy Park Hotel

There was laughter and tall tales throughout the reception sponsored by Savoy Park Hotel

In return the Ghana team spoke warmly of the hospitality they had received in Ayrshire and of their hope for a continued and cooperative relationship with Ayr Roads Cycling Club.  They thanked both John MacMillan and Scott McLean for their big contribution to the stay, and noted that Samuel had complained that local rider Kenny Armstrong had “made my legs hurt!” during training rides across the Ayrshire Alps.

Also in attendance from Ayr Roads were three members volunteering as Clydesiders during the games; Alex McAllister, Christopher Johnson and Ed Clifton.


Ayr Roads CC will out in force to cheer on Team Ghana during the Commonwealth Games road race on Sunday 3rd August.  Flags and banners will be hung out on the corner of Blythswood Street and West George Street from the start of the race so come along and make some noise!

2014 Club League

A 2014 club league has been proposed – more info can be seen here.

The league will feature a total of 15 ‘events’ spread around the calendar, including two Strava Challenges.

Comments are welcome from club members – please join the discussion on the forum.

Club AGM – changes afoot!

Sigh of relief – Club Captain Mark Skilling is your new webmaster.  He takes over the controls pretty much now… or as soon as I log off.  Ciao!

Road School Week 1: A great success!

Ayr Roads Cycling Club / Harry Fairbairn BMW’s new ‘Road School’ initiative got off to a great start last Saturday when 15 junior and novice cyclists turned out despite the miserable weather.  ‘Road School’ is a six week programme aimed at equipping novice and junior riders with the skills and experience to develop as road cyclists.

Think it looks easy? Come along this Saturday to find out…

Week 1 was split between a session of introductory games and exercises that tested riders bike handling skills and a led ride out to Dalrymple and back.  The new recruits were quick to show off their balance and cornering, and proved themselves more than capable of dragging a partner round a tight slalom course with only one arm!

Ayr Roads are keen to welcome over 12s and novice riders along to the sessions which take place each Saturday starting from the Burn’s Centre Car Park at 0930.

Club Chairman Blair Wyllie was delighted by the new initiative:

“The club is going from strength to strength;  we were fifth best club at the Scottish championships, we hosted the biggest day race in Scotland at the Davie Bell Memorial, and our riders have been breaking club records all year.  With Road School we can welcome and encourage the next generation and ensure Ayrshire cycling continues to grow.”

Week 2 will see participants practice riding in a bunch, using a short 1 mile circuit to master chain gangs and echelons before putting the theory to practice on a group ride out to Dunure and back.

Participants should have a road worthy bicycle and clothes appropriate for the weather.  Ride leaders stress that the focus is on fun and participation rather than speed and performance.  For more information on the programme go here.

New ‘Road School’ for Juniors and Novices

A six week Saturday club to try road cycling. 

25th August to 6th October – 09:30 to 12:00 from Burns Museum Car Park, Alloway

  • Learn how to ride in a bunch, form a chain gang, through and off.
  • Try a time trial
  • Increase your speed and mileage
  • Learn basic cycle maintenance and roadside repairs
  • Graduate to the Ayr Roads Cycling Club Sunday Run

“I wish i’d been to Road School”, thought Kenny Armstrong – pipped to the line again by his shadow, Trevor Wilson

These sessions are run by Ayr Roads Cycling Club and led by a trained ride leader and cycle instructor.

Participants must:

  • be 12 and over;
  • have a road worthy bicycle;
  • and wear clothing appropriate for the weather.

It is recommended that riders carry a spare inner tube, pump and tyre levers.  A flap jack always provides a tasty treat too.

Under 18s should complete and bring a Parental Disclaimer  and emergency contact details

Session details including routes will be posted in advance at  These may be subject to change depending on weather conditions and road conditions.

All rides will start at 0930 and aim to return to the start point by 1200 (give or take 15mins).

Club representatives prioritise safety and safe riding skills.  However, road cycling is not without its risks and all participants take part understanding this.


Week 1: 25th August 2012

Level 1 cycling skills

1hr  Led Ride

Week 2: 1st September 2012

90min group ride practicing through and off, chain gang, and echelons

Road side repair

Week 3: 8th September 2012

Group ride with hill climb (Carrick Hill)

Route planning

Week 4: 15th September 2012

Mini Time Trial and Australian Pursuit Race

Break – Bank Holiday Weekend

 Week 5: 29th September 2012

Group ride with interval sessions:

Sprints and hill reps

 Week 6: 6th October 2012

2.5 hr group ride – prepare to join main club run

If you would like to take part in Road School, please email

Overdue Update

Woah!  What has been going on?  Where have the mighty ARCC been?  Who knows and who cares you might ask, shrugging your shoulder nonchalantly.

Well more fool you!

Some of the team were involved in a wee bike event last week named after a bandit or something or other.

Its over now so back to business.  Kenny, Mark and Mick set a new team record over 10 miles on the Eglinton course.  It was a good event masterminded by our fiendish nemesis the Fullarton Wheelers.  Neil Walker threatened to spoil our parade by riding a 21:03, but thank goodness Kenny Armstrong drew even with him to ensure all was not lost in the Ayrshire top dog contest.  (or should we fess up and admit that thank goodness it was an Ayr Roads man holding the watches…  shock, horror, of course not.)

This post will benefit from a picture.  So lets see what we can find.

A present for Higgi. Lexi on his ‘November/February’ machine


This blog now has a new editor, young Gavin Kerr of Trabboch.  We implore you to blame him for all rogue postings.

What else might be happening in the land of Ayr Roads CC?  Some wannabee’s attended the 4th Cat Lothian Flyer today.  Big Bernie was in a break, but it didn’t work out and some minor placings in the top 20 were all we had to show for a day of hard work in the pissing rain.  John-Paul Baxter once again shirked any sense of responsibility and failed to attack on his own and win.  Even though he could of done.  Take note other Scottish club teams: we might have very few points on our collective licences, but we could if we wanted.

There is a 50 on soon, promoted by Gentleman Jim Cusick.  And the pressure is on for a new 50 record according to vice-president Arnie Thomson.  But who is going to break it to the old man that we currently don’t have any documented record?  Not us, thats for sure.

And how about these damned Garmin devices.  If one more clown wants to tell us that they actually rode a 19:21 on our regular mid week blast around the Loans circuit, despite our watches shouting a high 24 we’ll be damned.

Another picture needed.

Lynne and Toni have been riding very well.  New PBs and grand performances in road racing.  And while Jo continues to flirt with the idea of moving to the mainland, rumours that ARCC have engaged in attempts to poach Jennifer Nicol from the evil throes of the Fullarton might or might not be true.

You heard nothing here first.

We’ll be running a 4th cat event named the Straiton Struggle in just over a month.  Officially its sold out, but if you speak to our ticket touts we might have some availability.  Amex not accepted.  Sorry.

Pennyglen Hilly TT 2012

Big thanks to the Chairman for another fun night of suffering on the Pennyglen Circuit last Thursday.  30 foolish souls signed up to spoil their evening with a 15mile (or is it 17? – c’mon Google, we like consistency) charge along the coast and back.

First man off was our own veteran TT stalwart Grant Young.  But first man home was Stephen Couper of some foreign glasgow club.  39:46 said the clock.  Thats fast we thought.

A professional, well drilled bunch who would never miss a start slot…

Riders kept appearing from the comforts of our strip at Wellington’s playing fields.  Thanks to them for the use.  Robert Kelly is our next man off in 14th, with Neil Campbell chasing at a minute.  A battle royale?  Its hardly worth speaking of, for by now rider now 10 was already on the home straight.  Jamie Kennedy of the Kooriers clocks 35:36.  My goodness.  We must have recorded it wrong.  Nope.  All four watches say the same.

Neil comes home before Rab.

Craig Gilmour is the first Ayr Roads man to make a mess of things.  At least he looks contrite.  A last minute puncture and followed by a sprint to the start arn’t enough.  He’s missed his slot.  Nevermind, he still produces a respectable 40:17

Brian Nicol sets off without drama.  His experience at the Fullarton shows.  He’s well prepared, no fiasco, and sets off with no drama.  His reward is a 41:24, up on last year’s time.

Kenny Armstrong…  Where to start.  More to the point, where is he?  KENNY ARMSTRONG GET ON THE START LINE THIS INSTANT.  Ah there he is, slowly strolling down the slip road in his warm up.  He appears on the line still in his warm up gear with half a second to spare.  He’ll lose another 12 at least faffing to take his coat off before he gets down to business.

Then there is Toni.  The pusher-offerers ears were bleeding.  Should you not be concentrating on the task at hand Toni?  No no, she’s not taking it seriously.  Then neither are the watches.  Out of the gate in completely the wrong gear.  Tsk… hopefully a lesson learned.

Fortunately Lynne Wardrop is ready for action.  I don’t know what partner Mark Skilling has done to deserve this, but she is clearly out to catch him.  A fine ride tonight will earn her a 45:56, a good warm up for a wonderful ride at the Scottish Road Championships, and to rip the legs off group 1 on the Tuesday chain gang.  Watch out everyone, Lynne’s gone and got fast.

Mark Skilling on the line.  Good, all correct and present.  He’s away without a fuss.  Can he beat Mick Robb on his shiny Trek machine?

Then its Gentleman Jim.  “Thanks for coming out boys” he says.  Thank you for your presence we reply.  Clocks ticking, is this our winner?

Last off from the ARCC machine are Paul McGhee and Gavin Kerr.  Another battle royale?  Apparently not.  Vodka and Borsht are no substitute for a training regime Gav.  However, all is forgiven as your Dad’s pictures are ace.  See here now:


1st.  Jamie Kennedy Glasgow Cooriers 35:36

2nd Jim Cusick Glasgow Couriers 35:40

3rd Gordon Murdoch Glasgow Couriers 36:37

4th Kenny Armstrong Ayr Roads 37:04 (could have been a 36 kenny!)

5th Neil Walker Walkers Cycling 37:28


1st. Catherine Logan Walkers Cyclking 45:10

2nd. Lynne Wardrop Ayr Roads 45:56

3rd Toni McIntosh 46:01

Other Ayr Roads CC/Harry Fairbairn BMW

Grant Young 42:44

Neil Campbell 39:03

Robert Kelly 40:51

Craig Gilmour 40:17

Michael Robb 38:15

Kenny Armstrong 37:04

Brian Nicol 41:24

Mark Skilling 38:01

Gav Kerr 34:05

Paul McGhee 43:55

Thats all folks.  Thanks again to Blair Wyllie and Mark Parlour.  To Andy McKinlay for commissaire duties.  And to Andrew Wilson of St Christopher’s for hogging the Lanterne Rouge for a successive year!  Cheers.


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