Cycling weekend is an absolute Bute

Walkers Cycling Club were well represented in the annual Bute Cycling Festival last weekend.

Held over both the Saturday and Sunday, this event attracts riders from Scotland and beyond with its “something for everyone” approach.

First up on the Saturday morning was the hill climb. Not for the faint hearted, this involves a 0.7km ascent of the iconic Serpentine which gains nearly 100metres in height over its distance. And if that wasn’t enough, riders have to negotiate a daunting 13 hairpin bends along the way.

Leading the charge for Walkers was Ian Anderson who made it up the slope in a breathtaking 2 minutes 44 seconds.  Coming up hard on his heels were Russell Mowatt on 3.07 and Laura McFarlane on 3:23.  Lorna Sloan and Catherine Logan, who are dual members with Fullarton Wheelers, managed 3:14 and 3:33 respectively.

The riders just had time to grab a quick refreshment before many of them had to head off to the first of the afternoon’s events – the 2-Up TT.

Off first for Walkers were Ian Anderson and Laura McFarlane.  Despite the teeming rain, the pairing managed to notch up a time of just under 59 minutes over the 20 mile course.  Coming in close on their heels were John Lumley and partner Lorna Sloan with a time of 61 minutes.

Frazer Bell and Jim Goldie had a more adventurous race with Frazer puncturing at the half way stage.  However a momentous effort saw them finish with a time of 63 minutes.

The last event of the Saturday was the now firmly established cyclocross event. Scott Kerr rode well to gain 18th place overall and 6th in his age category, with Brian Mccutcheon coming in at 28th overall and 4th in his category.

Russell Mowatt came in 41st overall and just three places behind Brian in the M50+ category.  Ian Anderson, in his first competitive cyclocross event, came in a creditable 57th.   Also in her first competitive CX event was Laura McFarlane who came in 9th senior female.

The Sunday saw a change in fortune with the weather with warm sunshine and a drop in the wind of the day before.  As several Walkers riders were planning on racing in later events, only two riders competed in the first event of the day – the 10 mile TT.  Ian Anderson posted a creditable time of 24:46  while Russell Mowatt did the distance in 31:31.

The main event of the day was the APR race run over two laps of the island – a whopping 40 miles. Against a very strong field, Ian Anderson hung on to take 34th place.

The last event of the weekend was the Novice race. Riding for Walkers were Frazer Bell, Laura McFarlane, Jim Goldie and Bill Gerrie.   Frazer, Jim and Laura drove the pace until the last climb,  where Frazer led the front group of riders out until the final 300m when he was overtaken by the strong sprint finishers. He still managed to end up among the prize-winners, with Jim and Laura not far behind in 11th and 13th places.  Bill Gerrie took 20th place.

This event continues to bring riders from as far afield as Birkenhead and provides not only a great weekend’s cycling but also a fantastic opportunity to promote cycling and cycling fellowship in general.

Said Walkers past-chairman Jim Goldie:  “This is a fantastic event. Walkers Cycling Club hopes to field a bigger team next year with more members competing across the various events.  And if other members came along to lend their support, it would be a a brilliant weekend both for cycling and for the social side.”