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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Could you go car free? Would a free breakfast help?

Friday 22nd September is World Car Free Day and we’ll be kicking it off by holding our annual Bike Breakfast at the Council HQ in English Street.

Whether you already cycle regularly or not, why not take the opportunity to hop on your bike – and swing by for a free hot roll and drink on your way to work, school or college?

We would love to see a Dumfries which is less dependent on cars not just on one day of the year but every day – but that its going to take time and a lot of investment in alternatives such as more bike paths and better public transport.

However, for one day only, at least we might manage a few less cars on the roads – and a few more bacon rolls and happy well-fed cyclists.

tandem trike

Come along – and bring a friend

If you’re coming – you can let us know on Facebook so we know how many rolls to order!

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Paths to Freedom

Paths to Freedom event poster

Paths to Freedom

Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival means that there are lots of bike-related events popping up – and we’re happy to be joining forces for a couple of them. Coming up in July is Buddies’ bike barbecue – of which more later – but first, on the 24th June Dumfries and Galloway LGBT Plus will be holding a bike day. We’ll be helping out with a led ride up to Heathhall to play on the skills track and we’ll also be talking about the benefits of cycling for health, happiness and getting about.

This is an event aimed at LGBT people across the region and their friends, families and carers. There’s a Facebook event if you want to come or to spread the word to people who might be interested. No need to have your own bike as there will be some to borrow – but do let the organisers know if you are coming.

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Do you wanna be in our gang? Guid Nychburris participants wanted!

Our Hell’s Bells logo, courtesy of Craig Logie


Who wants to join us in a biker gang!? No – it’s not a belated April Fool’s – we’re joining Buddies for the Good Nychburris parade this year and we’ll be cycling behind their float to help them spread the word about their Biker Buddies programme. Buddies have adopted a Sons of Anarchy theme – they will be the Buds of Anarchy and we will be joining them as the Hell’s Bells …

If you can join us on Saturday 17th June then please let us know – and come along in character! Anything vaguely biker-gang will do – think black or white t-shirts, jeans, boots, leather jackets or black hoodies with the sleeves cut off, sunglasses, beanie hats and stick-on tattoos.

We’ve even got a logo, thanks to volunteer Craig Logie, which we’ll have available for adding on to jackets or t-shirts just to give it that finishing touch. If you can think of a way of making your bike look more like a Harley Davidson, then do that too.

It should be a bit of fun, a chance to spread the word about Cycling Dumfries, and also to support the Buddies in their biking activities, so do come along if you can. We’ll be meeting up at the car park at Newall Terrace at 3pm ready for judging at 3:30 so come in costume.

To sustain you, and to further support Buddies, there will be a fundraising tea on the same day, 12-3 at St George’s Hall

pirate beard

Cycling Dumfries members do love a chance to dress up, so here’s hoping for a good showing

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