Last winter ride – and a spring networking day!

A quick reminder that this Sunday we’re heading out for the last of our scheduled winter rides – this time to New Abbey. This is a little longer than our other rides (about 25 miles in total) but a nice introduction to the delights of the countryside west of Dumfries (and an excellent cafe stop in the shape of the Abbey Cottage tearoom).

group photo
Last year’s New Abbey ride – hopefully we’ll get as much sunshine but without the biting wind!

Join us for an 11 am start on the Whitesands, appropriately enough at Devorgilla Bridge.

With the winter rides ending, we’re starting to think about Spring – and the first event on our radar is Cycling UK’s community group networking day in Dalbeattie on Saturday 16th March. This will be a great opportunity for anyone who is involved in cycling in the region – or who thinks cycling might be helpful as part of what they do.  It will also be a chance to hear from Scotland’s newly appointed Active Nation Commissioner, Lee Craigie. The event is free, but please do sign up if you’re planning to attend, to help with planning the catering.

As it’s on in the afternoon, and with no ride scheduled for March, we thought we might make a day of it with a ride from Dumfries that morning. It’s about 18 miles, mostly along NCN 7, and will be at our usual gentle pace, but will involve some ups and downs (the Old Military Road does tend to go up and over the hills instead of around them). For those not wishing to do the full round trip, the X500 coach takes bikes so you could ride to Castle Douglas and pick it up from there for the return leg. Details to be confirmed but we’re planning to start from the station at about 10:30 am, arriving in Dalbeattie shortly before 12:30

At the top of the hill
On the road to Dalbeattie … Slow is the way we like it!

Happy Christmas – and an even happier New Year!

We wish all our supporters and members a very happy Christmas – with plenty of bike-related goodies under the tree (if that’s what floats your boat).

Although the dark and cold in December can be challenging, we know that getting out on our bikes can be one of the best ways to counter the winter blues (and possibly help counteract some of the excesses of the season). That’s why we run our Seasonal Rides – to celebrate the joys of autumn and winter cycling – and to get together and enjoy  the simple pleasures of the bike, the quiet road, good chat, and a cafe stop.

At the start of our new years day ride
Gathering at the start of our New Year’s Ride in January

Biggest and best of all of these is our New Year’s Resolution Ride. Join us on New Year’s day to start 2019 as you mean to go on, with a run down to Caerlaverock WWT and back.

Meet at 11 am on the Whitesands, at Devorgilla Bridge. We’ll be stopping at the cafe at the Wetland Centre for lunch so come prepared, and dressed for whatever the weather may bring!

Seasonal Cycle rides

With the shorter days it’s even more satisfying to make the most of the daylight hours. So come along and explore the region, and its cafes, by bike.

All rides are free and lycra is not a necessity. The routes range from 20 to 25 miles and include a café stop at about the half way point, so think of it as two rides of 10 or 12 miles. We will cycle at the speed of chat and never leave anyone behind.

Meet on the Whitesands at Devorgilla Bridge for 11am. Rides will be cancelled in the event of really diabolical weather – check the facebook page or twitter for updates on  the day. All the route information for individual rides can be found here.

seasonal cycles 2018If you can, please print a copy of the seasonal cycles 2018 poster and stick it up on your local noticeboard or at work.

Meetings, Meetings

Just a quick reminder (for those who don’t keep an eye on our little sidebar thingy) that we will have our last scheduled monthly meeting of the year on Monday – 6pm at the Riverside Bar, Dock Park.

And a reminder of our AGM – for all new, old, lapsed and wannabe members on Saturday 20th October. We’ll be at Buddies’ Biker Barn at the Vennel from 3pm for anyone who wants to learn more about this fabulous new facility for cycling in Dumfries – and the meeting proper starts at 4. Tea, coffee and – inevitably – home baking will be provided.

Schedule for September

Bike Breakfast Poster
Poster for our Big Bike Breakfast – click on the image for a printable version, to share at your workplace or with friends

After a busy summer of family rides, we’re not letting up in September! This is a quick reminder of everything that’s going on, so get your diaries out and make sure you don’t miss out!

  • For those who want to get more involved in campaigning, on Saturday 8th September, join We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote and the South Ayrshire Paths Initiative for a campaigners’ workshop and networking day. This is free, but if you’re planning on attending please book to reserve a place as spaces are filling up.
  • On Sunday 9th September, Buddies will be opening their Buddies Bike Barn with a ‘come and try’ session from 1-4 pm. This isn’t just for people with additional needs – apart from anything else, some of these bikes are tons of fun, so come along to their new site in the Friars Vennel to see what they’ve been up to and discover their range of new bikes, trikes and other pedal-powered contraptions.
  • On Monday 10th September it’s our monthly meeting so if you’re interested in getting involved in what we do or just finding out more, then come along to the Riverside Bar in Dock Park at 6pm.
  • On Saturday 15th September, for those who fancy a longer ride than our summer jaunts (or indeed our winter rides), why not join us on a Cake Raid on Penpont? This is a 40 mile round trip, so it’s possibly for the more committed among us, but it will include a slap up meal. Meet us at Devorgilla Bridge on the Whitesands at 11 am if you’re up for it.
  • Finally, on Friday 21st September, we’re holding our annual Big Bike Breakfast – this time at its new home on the Whitesands (outside the Coach and Horses pub). Whether you’re riding to work, school, college or just for a bit of fun, join us for a free breakfast, hot drink, and a chance to (politely!) tell the council what you think of cycling in Dumfries.



Celebrate birds and Bike Week with the WWT

As part of Bike Week this year, the Wetland Centre at Caerlaverock are running a birdwatching bike ride on Sunday June 17th

post lunch group shot
Our first New Year’s run to Caerlaverock – hopefully we’ll get similar sunshine

Meet at Dock Park at 10am and bring binoculars if you have them to get the best out of it. The route will likely be similar to our New Year’s Day ride, but significantly warmer and with more stops on the way to spot wildlife – and not just birds. Last time we did one of these rides, we spotted an otter and her kit before we’d barely got out of Dock Park, and there were plenty of other great spots too. Because there will be plenty of stops, you might want to wear or bring an extra layer – we hope it will be fine June weather but you never know!

The ride will be led by WWT staff, with help from Cycling Dumfries, so there will be plenty of expertise on hand. There will also be a cake stop at the Wetland Centre, naturally!

Bonus February Meeting!

We don’t normally meet in the winter time – preferring to wait until the clocks go forward in Spring – but there’s a few things in the offing that could do with some planning. So we’ll be holding an extra bonus meeting on Wednesday 7th February at 6pm in the Coach and Horses to plan for the Environment Fair and other events coming up.

As always, it will be a very casual affair – you don’t have to be a member to attend. We’re always happy to welcome new faces and old ones.

And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t forget this weekend’s ride is on Sunday (11 am at the Whitesands) and the Bicycle Thieves at the Robert Burns Centre on Thursday 13th February.

Hope to see you one way or another in the next few weeks!