The County You Live, Work And Play
CamGlen Bike Town initiative gathers momentum
Run by the Healthy ‘n’ Happy community development trust, in July 2014, CamGlen Bike Town celebrated its official launch with its Bike Tower event in Cambuslang Park. Cyclists came from far and wide to hang their bikes on the five metre sculpture, created by Scottish artist Rob Mulholland.
Since then the initiative has developed and grown, offering a range of activities and services in support of ‘everybody cycling’ in Rutherglen and Cambuslang.
Guided rides are weekly easy-paced rides for adults new to cycling, returning to cycling or people who want to cycle with a group at a leisurely pace.
As the temperatures have risen so have the numbers attending these and a warm welcome is given to all new participants. Every Wednesday a growing pack of cyclists gather at the meeting point on Cambuslang Road, some eager to build their skills and confidence on a bike, some to enjoy the social nature of the activity and some to enjoy guilt-free cake during the rest-stop as a reward.
Bike Town also provide guided rides suitable for adults with children, although those interested in attending don’t need to bring a child to participate. To date there have been 10 family-friendly rides organised, two more on offer in May and June and further dates will be organised for the school summer holidays.
Dr Bike events provide cyclists with the opportunity of a free ‘check-up’ for their bike and Bike Town’s resident mechanic has been busy attending a range of events and locations, including schools, fairs and commuter routes.
Dr Bike has so-far examined an impressive 228 bikes, providing essential safety checks and basic maintenance helping local people to continue to benefit from the joys of cycling.
A recent programme of free bicycle maintenance classes have sold out and will be back by popular demand in the autumn.
In the meantime Fix Your Own Bike workshops will be offered throughout the summer, offering workshop space, tools and guidance from a trained mechanic to enable people to fix their bikes themselves, reducing the cost of bicycle repairs.
Bike Town now have their own premises, a converted shipping container, on Cambuslang Road, which is open two days a week for bicycle repairs and servicing, bicycle donations and sales. For sale are refurbished donated bikes, for all ages and sizes, with stock continually evolving, and cycling essentials, spare and replacement parts. The Bike Shop in a Box also provides the meeting point for most of the guided rides, at which loan bikes are available to people living or working in Cambuslang or Rutherglen.
Healthy ‘n’ Happy’s radio station, CamGlen Radio is now live on air at 107.9FM and Bike Town have their very own show every Wednesday 1-2pm.
Listen in for live chat, interviews, all the latest local and national cycling news, as well as funky beats that are not all cycling-themed!
Send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, plans to create a new Clyde Walkway and Cycle Path were recently looked at in a feasibility study, funded by Transport Scotland. This was carried out on the potential of a cycle path on the south side of the river Clyde from Cambuslang Bridge to Dalmarnock Bridge and is in its final draft stage.
Healthy ‘n’ Happy has been successful in securing £51,500 in funding in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council to deliver a behaviour change campaign called “I walk and cycle because…”
Bike Town’s involvement will include: community consultation, pop up events with a cargo bike and a marketing campaign. Pop up events will take place between June and October.
Meanwhile, Bike Week will run from Saturday, June 13 - Sunday, June 21. ‘Everyday cycling for everyone’ is the theme of this year’s Bike Week, a national initiative promoting cycling as an activity for everybody, be it for fun, fitness, transport or health.
CamGlen also want to get everybody cycling and have a range of cycling activities on offer during Bike Week to suit everyone, young and old, beginners and seasoned cyclists.
Bike Town’s programme begins on Friday, June 12, with a guided ride around the ancient boundary of Rutherglen, in celebration of Landemar Day taking place the next day. The Bike Town team have been working hard with Rutherglen Heritage Society to identify the route, which was previously ridden on horseback for the Redding of the Marches.
This year, instead of horses, participants will travel by bicycle in pursuit of sightings of the remaining boundary stones which at one time numbered around 300.
Dr Bike will be out and about doing bicycle safety checks and minor repairs. Pupils of St Brides primary school can get a Dr Bike consultation at their fun day on June 15.
Meanwhile cycle commuters can get their bikes treated by Dr Bike, and a free breakfast, from 7.30 - 9.30am on June 16 and 17 at Bike Breakfast events in Rutherglen and Cambuslang.
If you’d prefer to fix your bike yourself there is a Fix Your Own Bike Workshop at 6pm on June 15 at Rutherglen West and Wardlawhill Church.
Alternatively, you can brush up on your on-road cycling skills on a Cycle Skills Guided Ride, leaving from West and Wardlawhill Church at 6.30pm on the same date. Spaces are limited on both activities so contact the Bike Town team to book your place.
Sculpture by artist Rob Mulholland
Guided rides will also take place on Wednesday, June 17, and Friday, June 19. Both meet at 10am at Bike Town’s Shop in a Box at 78 Cambuslang Road.
The weekly Wednesday event is an easy-paced cycle ride suitable for new and returning cyclists.
The Friday ride aims to go a bit further and faster to stretch the legs and stamina. Both include a rest stop, with time for tea/coffee and every cyclist’s favourite - cake!
The Bike Town team will also be promoting cycling at various locations during Bike week, including Landemer Day on June 13, Burnside Primary School on June 18th and Summerfest on June 20.
The Bike Town show on CamGlen Radio, 107.9FM, on Wednesday, June 17, featuring local and national cycling news, information on events, interviews and funky music.
Jim Ewing, the Bike Town development worker and resident radio presenter, also makes an appearance in a new video from Cycling Scotland promoting Bike Week 2015. This video can be viewed on the Cycling Scotland website.
Bike Town continue their recently reported new venture supporting Pedal for Scotland. The yearly event takes place this year on Sunday, September 6. Bike Town are offering monthly guided training rides to help people build up their miles on their bike in preparation of the main event, the Classic Challenge’ a 47mile cycle ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh.
The next guided training ride is a 30 mile route on Sunday, June 7, meeting at the Bike Shop in a Box at 9am. The routes will include on-road cycling, so you should be prepared for some cycling on the roads. Hills are to be expected, but there is no need to sprint up them, they can be tackled at your own pace. Overall average pace will be around 10-12 mph. Each training ride is led by qualified and experienced ride leaders.
Healthy ‘n’ Happy and Bike Town continue to work closely with Cambuslang Community Council, East Kilbride Road Club, South Lanarkshire Leisure and South Lanarkshire Council to bring Scotland’s first Cycle Racing Track to Cambuslang.
Early signs are the site identified is looking feasible and work is currently underway to identify funding to pay for a full feasibility study.
Jane Churchill, Healthy ‘n’ Happy assistant director, added: “Healthy ‘n’ Happy is very pleased to be working alongside Cambuslang Community Council, local cycling clubs and wider partners to bring this wonderful opportunity to Cambuslang.
“It will be a long journey and lots of hard work for all those involved but we have a strong, committed partnership and I am sure that will enable us to bring this development to the area, along with the jobs, opportunities and wide range of other economic benefits.”
CamGlen Bike Town is funded by the Climate Challenge Fund, Clyde Gateway and Cycling Scotland.