Cycling – 2 – The Cyclajets

Group Leader:        Jean Lockley     01292 570858
Location:            Refer to leader
Day & Time:          Friday Weekly    Refer to leader for timings

We are currently looking to recruit new members to swell the ranks, please contact Jean or the office on 01292 260086

Our activities during the pandemia have been severely curtailed.
Now we look forward to be out on our bikes, enjoying the weekly run and adventuring to far away places….when we are allowed.

We are a well established group, very much enjoying each other’s company.We have even given ourselves a name:
                                                                                      THE CYCLAJETS

You will find the group on the local cycle tracks and on the minor roads radiating out from the promenade in Prestwick or from the River Ayr near the Carnegie Library — our two favoured meeting places.

While we enjoy coastal runs, we like to venture in to the depths of the Ayrshire countryside, and in to the back of beyond, always preferring the minor roads.

We catch a train to begin a half- day or a full day’s run further afield. Indeed, we like an adventure and a challenge.

While we maintain an acceptably speedy progress along the route of the day, there is always time to take in the views, get out the camera, or exchange a comment;  and especially, we share a chat and a laugh over light refreshments.

As far as possible we eschew the major roads and daunting hills. We hope we are always careful and considerate cyclists.

Our cycles are in good order and of course we wear all the necessary gear.

Posted: 31st July 2018
Cycle trip to Falkirk Area

“THE CYCLAJETS’ decided to return to the Falkirk area for their annual “Tour”. It had proved such a rich and varied source of routes, history and plenty of cycling. 

From Falkirk High Station our first day gave us that sense of freedom, exhilaration, and the excitement of being in the saddle . We cycled through the green world alongside the Union Canal, down to the Forth/Clyde Canal, the Wheel to The Kelpies and on through the lovely, isolated flat lands alongside the Forth. What more could we want.

Our first full day gave us more than we anticipated. Cycling over the Clackmanan Bridge, we visited the ancient small town of Clackmanan, a town of stone houses, a Tolbooth Tower and a pagan “clack’ “( the stone of Manan in Gaelic). Alloa another ancient burgh with a church with an ornate steeple and an even grander Tower,the medieval residence of the Erskine family, the Earls of Mar, was another delightful find. Each burgh has an interesting industrial history.
Continuing westward through a green flat countryside, we lunched at Cambus, a pretty village where we found a swing park for lunch and had a “go’ on the swings.

On our return journey it was decided to cycle the disused , newly tarmacked railway line, now a superb cycle track which extended all the way to Dunfermline. I made the unwarranted supposition that there would be exits down to The Forth, but that was not the case. We were several miles north in the hills away from the Forth. Hence began the adventure of the day.

I made the decision to head off piste on a rough track through the Devilla Forest, heading all the time for The Forth. We emerged almost unscathed, with over 50 km under our belts.
(Some minor details are better left unsaid!)

Culross and its history is a favourite destination of the group, so we had a short ride the next day, a rather fine lunch and a delightful reconnection with the town.

But enough of our annual trip.

Making use of the long spell of fine weather, we have been enjoying long day runs, using the trains to access our starting points.
We have become quite competent at helping railway personnel meet our requirements, rather than the usual other way round. After a cancellation of our train, we were allowed to stay on the platform and even to board our new train while the rest of the travelling public was shooed off behind the ticket barriers.

Another occasion we cycled to Largs, arriving in time for lunch which we ate beside the shore and the Pencil, with magnificent views of The Cumbrae and the Arran hills. There was still left an afternoon of cycling. Three of us headed off for the ferry over to The Cumbrae after an ice cream and a coffee. Off clock-wise round the island, we were starting out while everyone else was heading for the ferry. A grand cycle, great views and a big pot of tea at Fintry Bay and then to the ferry.

What a superb day! A long wait in the evening for the train allowed us to sit alfresco in the “square” in Largs to eat the “de rigeur” fish n’chips.

We were highly amused by the “sculptures” along the route from Glengarnock to Bridge of Weir, Kilmacolm and all places west. 
We were delighted to discover the long lost 9th Roman Legion.
Here are the photos to prove it. (Above: top and bottom right).

Safe to say “The Cyclajets” go from strength to strength. Their leader has had her old bike ‘modernized’ with a finely-tuned service so that she can continue to head the pack.
Jean Lockley

Posted 25.09.17

The Isle of Bute with its population of 7,000 folk had enough roads for the Cyclajets’ visit in June.

We did have the roads to ourselves: undulating at times and definitely steep in places. I huffed and puffed from the rear of the “Peleton”.

One morning we enjoyed a free run through the grounds of Mount Stuart; there to retrieve a Sir Harry Lauder look-a-like walking stick.  It had been helping to entertain a Russian oligarch. After the stick was strapped to my bike, we all sailed along a woodland road pursued by midges.

We met 2 elegant, elderly ladies who told us that they had been drop-handle bar cyclists in their day. Their heroines were Janet Sutherland from Fife and Beryl Burton from Yorkshire, great cyclists of the 1950’s.

Mrs Fairburn and her husband are featured in Davie Bell’s articles printed in “The Ayrshire Post” long years ago under the title of “The Highwayman”.

Mrs F’s husband’s nickname was “The Roadside Engineer”.  The couple ran a cycle shop which soon became a motor-cycle shop. This burgeoned into a top-of-the-range car sale room in Irvine. You know the shop I mean!

An onslaught of midges forced us on to our bikes for a rapid exit, so cutting short our animated and interesting conversation. Reluctantly, we made our farewells.

Each of the island’s roads had its own delights and discoveries.  On the coastal road to the east, we found Ascog Hall, its Fernery and garden.  The road alongside the Kyle gave us close-upviews of the shoreline and the birdlife.  We even discovered the former holiday home of Sir Richard Attenborough and his family. It had an unpronounceable Gaelic name which equated to “Rubberduck”.

Our most favourite cycle run was on the road out west. The road drew us over the rise to the magic of the green hills, with plantations of trees and bushes. Rhododendrons were still in bloom.  Cascades of May blossom and beech hedges, with their translucent shimmering leaves, lined our route.  The road opened out to reveal patterns of large fields and browsing cattle. The larger landscape contained the distant blurred Arran hills, headlands, deep inlets, islands, stretches of pale gold sands at Ettrick and Scalpsie Bays.   This scene gave us a sense of time standing still.

Back in Rothesay we paid Pauline’s fee to look around The Victorian Toilets on the pier, opened by Lucinda Lambton in 1994 and recently featured by her article in “The Oldie” magazine.  The banter was endless, coming fast and furious.

Our trip culminated in an evening on board “Pizzazz”, our friends’ yacht, for a wonderful and hilarious end to our trip to the Isle of Bute.

Jean Lockley

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