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.

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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.

Phew!

 

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!

Braving the ice on our November ride

We were a little worried overnight about today’s planned jaunt to Ae – not only was the Met Office issuing dire warnings of ice, but there were also reports coming in of frozen roads around Ae yesterday. But that didn’t seem to put off the 11 riders (include one 11-year-old) who assembled at Devorgilla Bridge in the winter sunshine.

Winter ride group photo
Gathering at the start of the ride

It seems it takes a little more than some ice to put off your Dumfries cyclist when there is the Ae Cafe hot chocolate as a draw.

group at Quarry Road
Setting off along Quarry Road

As it was, the Caledonian cycleway was pretty clear (someone seems to have sorted out the leaves for a start …) and we soon reached Quarry Road ready for the pull up to Ae. The winter sunshine was very welcome after the rain and sleet we’ve been having and people were soon warming up that every stop at the top of each climb (to ‘admire the view’, or possibly catch our breath …) was accompanied by some rearranging of various winter layers. There were a few icy spots still on the last mile before the village but nothing too difficult for anyone to handle.

road to Ae
Clouds looming – but they fortunately passed us by

There were  also a few threatening clouds, but they passed us by and we soon made it to the welcome embrace of Ae Cafe where we promptly finished the lentil soup and then proceeded to make inroads into the hot chocolate …

At Ae Cafe
Refuelling (and apologies to Steve for lining up that shot so he has apparently grown a fine set of antlers …)

It took a bit of effort to lever ourselves out of the cafe and back onto the bikes but at least it was mostly downhill home (even if that meant it was a bit chillier than the ride in!). Two of our number took advantage of their mountain bikes and set off on an off-road cross-country route, but for the rest of us, it was a simple question of retracing our route back to Dumfries, with much anticipation of warming baths, hot drinks and fires for when we got home!

This will be our last ride of 2017 so thank you to everyone who made it such a nice day out. Our next ride will be on New Year’s Day – starting as we mean to go on with a run out to Caerlaverock WWT.

Last of the summer cake – I mean rides

After a delayed start due to a flat tyre (well it wouldn’t be a summer ride without one!) we were off and battling the strong wind round the Maxwelltown Cyclepath. As we headed out of Cargenbridge there was  bit of dodging to be done on the shared use path alongside the Dalbeattie Road – a route obviously popular with horse riders too!

We then made our way along the Mabie Farm Park road before heading past the giant pink marshmallow hay bales to Mabie Farm Park.  From here we cycled up a little known track to bring us out at the sawmill in Mabie Forest.

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The proof is in the pudding! Here we enjoyed the final cake offering of the last summer ride before heading back the way we’d come and this time with the wind behind us – weeeeee!

It’s not over yet. The night’s may be shortening and the brambles ready for picking but there’s no need to put the bike in  the shed. Our annual Bike Breakfast is coming up in September and Beat the Street starts next week, which sees Dumfries turned in to a town size game. We’re hoping to form a team so please let us know if you’d like to be part of it! Either email us cyclingdumfries@gmail.com or message us on facebook.