Highwayman Heroes


Would you have got out your bed this morning, pulled on a pair of shorts and set off for an epic 200km ride at 8am this morning in those conditions?

Can you believe 29 brave hardy souls did?


The weather was so grim that unfortunately our pics are somewhat poor…

Less than half the field turned out to ride, and every single one of those who completed the full course including the Raiders and Carrick Forest sections deserves a long lie tomorrow and their randonneur title!

And huge thanks to our catering dream team, Catherine and Niamh Fulton who were serving our gladiators right up until half eight this evening!

200km Highwaymen

Michael Allan Troon 10hrs
Harry Brawley 11hrs 50
Edward Clifton Ayr 9hrs 30
Campbell Crombie Johnstone 10hrs 45
Will Davenhill Lanark 9hrs 15
Steven Devlin Kilmarnock 9hrs 15
Alan Fox Erskine 10hrs 45
John Gemmell Cumnock 5hrs 30
Simon Hall Paisley 11hrs 20
Rod Henderson Ayr 11hrs
Robin Jamieson Glasgow 11hrs
David Kaminski Troon 11hrs 20
Jason Kean Ayr 11hrs
David Know Stewarton 11hrs 20
Duncan MacArthur Maybole 11hrs
Kevin McBride Dalrymple 9hrs 30
Len McDonald Lochwinnoch 10hrs 45
Billy McDowall Ayr 11hrs
Bobby McGhee Prestwick 11hrs 50
William McGhee 11hrs 50
Alastair McGibbon Prestwick 9hrs 30
Allan McGibbon Prestwick 9hrs 30
Gordon Pettigrew Largs 11hrs 20
Keith Hood Ochiltree 9hrs 30
Paul McGhee Ayr 9hrs 30
Ronnid Chard 11hrs
Chris McFadden 10hrs

Congratulations to father and son team Allan and Alistair McGibbon – Allan completing 129 miles on his birthday too!

100km Highwaymen

The weather had lifted slightly for the 100km starters, but even so the wind was howling around the start and blowing down the barriers.

There was some great sights to be seen though, such as another father-son pairing, Alan and Arnie Thomson.

100km gets underway

100km gets underway

Brilliant courage shown by all – fantastic

Ian Anderson Glasgow 5hrs
Brian Armour Ayr 4hrs 5
Bryan Baker Glasgow 4hrs 15
Alan Broadfoot Troon 4hrs 50
Corrie Cuthbertson Falkirk 4hrs 30
Grant Cuthbertson Falkirk 4hrs 30
Allan Dewar Maidens 4hrs 50
Carl Fuge Perth 6hrs
Greame Guthrie Glasgow 4hrs 15
Brian Hickey Glasgow 5hrs 15
Euan Lothian Girvan 4hrs 55
Robert Love Girvan 4hrs 55
Fred MacPherson Stranraer 4hrs 40
Michael McLelland Ayr 5hrs 20
Peter Buchan Linlithgow 4hrs 30
Robert Spark Hillhead 6hrs
Gordon Hay 5hrs 50
Douglas Wellan 4hrs 25
Stuart McGlynn Ayr 4hrs 25
Alex McLean Ayr 4hrs 25
Stewart McLean Cambuslang 4hrs 55
Alastair Milne Troon 4hrs 50
Andy Mitchell Stewarton 5hrs 20
Jason Simpson Girvan 5hrs 05
Martin Smith East Kilbride 4hrs 15
Alan Thomson Belfast 5hrs 50
Arnold Thomson Ayr 5hrs 50
Alan Waddington Kilmarnock 4hrs 35
Euan Wilson Kilmarnock 4hrs
Neil Munro Linlithgow 4hrs 40
Mike Munro Bonnyrigg 4hrs 40
Ewan Latimer 4hrs 45
Paul Ross 5hrs
Peter Connelly 3hrs 55
Thomas Connelly 3hrs 55

The Retro Bike?

We didn’t get the chance to award Bobby McGhee of Prestwick who presented his beautiful Holdsworth machine.  But we’ll sort that out soon and take a proper look at his bonnie beast.

Still ridden as a main bike, Bobby's Holdsworth is already on its third recoat and is graced with all the Campagnolo and Mavic you could ask for

Still ridden as a main bike, Bobby’s Holdsworth is already on its third recoat and is graced with all the Campagnolo and Mavic you could ask for


Highwayman Challenge info

It is almost here… as nervous as we are?  Relax, it will all be fine.

What to expect?


Our let of Girvan Academy starts at 0730.  We’ll move in quickly, set up the tables, and start handing out the Brevet Cards from 07:45.

Riders will be set off at 08:00 as a group from the lower car park at the Academy.

The Raiders Road is the first off-road section.  10miles long, mostly downhill, it should be good fun.  We recommend tyres at least 25mm wide, and inflated to at least 100psi.  If you do get into difficulties, keep going until you hit the control at Loch Stroan.  Our controller will have a track pump and tool kit with him including puncture repair kits if needed.

After the Raiders Road you go cross country to Moniaive.  There are several roads you could use to do this, so pay attention to your route card to follow the official event route.  Part of the Audax challenge is to navigate between controls so there will not be signs out.Carrick Forest Drive

The next excitment comes on the Carrick Forest Drive.  At ‘just’ 6 miles this is shorter than the Raiders Road, and mostly uphill so with lower speed it is easier to pick a line.  BEWARE though, at Loch Braden the CFD has a junction and you will turn left.  For 200m the path is littered with some quite large chuckies.  You might prefer to walk this section but can ride with care.  At just 200m long it is not good enough reason to omit this fantastic passage from the 2013 Highwayman.

Back down to Straiton and flat roads back to Girvan.  If you are expecting to be travelling close to the minimum 15km/h speed you should expect to be riding in darkness from 2030.  You must carry lights with you if this is the case.



Riders will be able to collect Brevet Cards from 08:30 and will be set off as a group at 09:00.  No off-roading on our 100km, but the section after the Knowe control to Bargrennan will give you a flavour of what you are missing!

The Academy has changing facilities and showers.  We have use of the school until 10pm so even if you are running to a slow schedule the changing rooms will be open when you return.


The final control will be under the Railway Bridge on Coalpots Road – this is to prevent audax riders finishing in the afternoon coming into contact with the Youth Criteriums we have at the same time.  A marshal will help you cross safely and please give the kids a big cheer!

NOTE: the roads around the school will be closed between 1400 and 18:00 for the SCCL Youth Criteriums.  If you need away before then please do not park on the Victory Park circuit.  We recommend parking at the car park marked B in the map below:

alt parking

When you are moving please respect the highway code and remember this is NOT a race.  If you go faster than the 30km/h speed you will just need to wait at the control until it opens to get your Brevet card stamped.


Drew Agnew, winner of the Highwayman Challenge Retro Bike Competition is awarded his trophy by Brian Nicol of race sponsor Spirit AeroSystems

Drew Agnew, winner of the Highwayman Challenge Retro Bike Competition is awarded his trophy by Brian Nicol of race sponsor Spirit AeroSystems

Our RetroBike spotters will be out with cameras when you start.  If your bike looks ‘suitably-retro-to-a-fifteen-year-old’ you will be automatically entered into the competion!  Last year Drew Agnew picked up a stunning trophy commissioned specially for the event, and a fine bottle of spirits from sponsors Wm Grants and Sons.  Could this be you on Saturday?


Grant Young

We are helping Grant Young raise funds for the Ayrshire Hospice by supporting his ride across Europe along the Rhien and Danube rivers to Romania.  A fantastic journey, but an even more fantastic cause.  There will be no obligation to contribute, but donation buckets will be at the strip and every spare penny will be helping Grant reach his £2,000 fundraising target.

Have a great Highwayman, enjoy the ride and don’t let the forecast get you down!

Oh, and come back for more cycling on Sunday and cheer on the racers in the 48th David Bell Memorial.

Start Sheet – 48th Davie Bell

Meet the riders lining up in Victory Park this Sunday:

No. Forename Surname Club / Team Name Cat
1 Gary Maher Ayr Roads Cycling Club 2nd
2 Collin Humphrey Achieve-Skinnergate Racing 1st
3 Ian Taylor Ciclocostablanca.com 1st
5 David Reed Deeside Thistle CC 3rd
6 Stephen Russell East Kilbride Road Club 2nd
7 Gary Jeffers East Tyrone Cycling Club  A1
8 Kieran Montgomery Edinburgh RC 3rd
9 Ayrton Pellet Edinburgh RC 2nd
10 Richard McDonald Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers 2nd
11 Andrew Whitehall Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers 1st
12 Finlay Young Equipe Velo Ecosse/Montpeliers 2nd
13 Ryan Fenwick Gala Cycling Club 2nd
15 Ross Clark Glasgow Ivy CC 3rd
16 Daniel McShane Glasgow Road Club 3rd
17 Alex Coutts Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com 2nd
18 Giles Drake Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com 1st
19 Gary Hand Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com Elite
20 Andrew Hawdon Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes.com Elite
21 Marc Anderson Loudoun RC 3rd
22 David Lines MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling 1st
23 Marc Mclean Out Of The Saddle 3rd
24 Jamie Kennedy Paisley Velo Race Team 1st
25 Peter Murdoch Paisley Velo Race Team Elite
26 Chris Smart Paisley Velo Race Team 3rd
27 Bradley Stokes Pedal Power RT 2nd
28 Alastair McCauley Phoenix CC  A1
29 Paul McInally Rock And Road Cycles 3rd
30 Scott McCrossan Rock to Roll Cycles Ltd Elite
31 Mark Stewart Team ASL360 1st
32 Ben Greenwood Team IG Sigma Sport Elite
33 Andrew Hale Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique 2nd
34 Evan Oliphant Team Raleigh Elite
35 Sean Gordon Team Thomsons Cycles 3rd
36 Keith Laird Team Thomsons Cycles 3rd
37 Andrew Cox TheBicycleWorks.com 2nd
38 Steven Lawley TheBicycleWorks.com 2nd
39 Gary Davidson VC Astar Anderside 2nd
40 Lewis Oliphant Velo Club Edinburgh 2nd
41 Peter Ward Velo Club Edinburgh 3rd
42 Jack Barrett Velocity 44 Stirling 2nd
43 Greig Brown www. Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 2nd
44 Arthur Doyle www. Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 2nd
45 Stuart MacGregor www. Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 2nd
46 Stuart McCluskey www. Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 2nd
47 Alastair McNicol www. Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk 2nd
48 John Brown Private 2nd
49 Robert Friel Private 2nd

1 week to go – race preview

This time next week we will know who the winner of the 48th David Bell Memorial is!

We’ve attracted a top quality field including all the best riders in Scotland and a team from Northern Ireland.

The Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes team are returning direct from a team training camp in Leadville USA, and will be looking to secure a good result for reigning Scottish champion Gary Hand.

Team Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes.com sign on in 2012

Team Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes.com sign on in 2012

Ben Greenwood of IG Sigma Sport is unlikely to go down without a fight.  Second last year to South African Christopher Jennings, Greenwood knows the disappointment of missing out on the top spot and will be looking to make amends.

Team Raleigh’s Evan Oliphant should still be in jubilant mood after his magnificent overall victory in the Premier Calendar.  Already a two-time winner of the event, a third would edge him ever close to David Millars record four.

2010 victor Evan Oliphant enjoys a tow from then teammate David Lines.

2010 victor Evan Oliphant enjoys a tow from then teammate David Lines.

Collin Humphrey of Achieve – Skinnergate Racing is yet another strong man, taking a very impressive solo win in the Billy Warnock Memorial race just a week ahead of the race.

Collin Humphrey (yellow) bridges across to the leaders in 2009 Davie Bell

Collin Humphrey (yellow) bridges across to the leaders in 2009 Davie Bell

And the list goes on…

Two Cycling Ireland Cat A1 riders are sailing across the sea for their piece of the £1,500 prize fund – Alastair McCauley and Gary Jeffers were both prominent in the Irish National championships back in June.

Local attention focuses on Gary Maher of Prestwick.  Assuming he gets round the course Gary will lift the ‘David Bell Trophy’ as first rider from the host club, Ayr Roads CC.  However, with a super run of form earlier in the year Gary is the club’s best hope of a top ten result since Gavin McDonald in the 1990s.

The fifty strong field will depart Girvan at 11am for the 81 mile race featuring the climbs of Carleton, Screws and Byne.  Spectators should gather in South Park Avenue for the finish at 14:20.

For full information including up to date start list, race schedule and maps see the 2013 Event Handbook.

Supporting Grant’s ride for the Ayrshire Hospice

A great many friends and families of Ayr Roads CC have benefited from the services of the Ayrshire Hospice, which is why we are announcing our support for Grant Young as he raises money by cycling the length of the Rhine and Danube Rivers as he pedals from Scotland to Romania.

Grant YoungWe’ll be collecting money over the Ayrshire Alps weekend for Grant’s challenge, with profits from the catering going to the hospice.

Grant tells us more:

I will leave to begin my journey on August 27th sailing from Newcastle to Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, so the very first leg of my trip will be from my daughter’s flat beside the “squinty bridge” to the ferry terminal, making the whole thing I suppose “Tyne, Rhine, Danube” which has a ring about it.
The bit of the whole trip I am most concerned about at present is the very first part, ie finding the bike trail in Rotterdam, and getting out of the urban area, as the river seems to split and change its name several times.
I reckon to clear Holland in a couple of days or so at roughly 80 miles a day, my target pace.  We have german friends in Emmerich on the Rhine just into Germany and I hope to stay there overnight.  Then it is on down the Rhine through Germany, towards the Rhinefalls at Shaffhausen in the Black Forest.  Thats the first 800 plus miles accounted for…
Donnaueschingen is about 35 kms from Shaffhausen and that is where I head to the source of the River Danube next.  From here there is, I understand a fairly well marked bike trail of different surfaces, all the way through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania to the Danube Delta on the Black Sea. I hope my tyre choice of Schwalbe Marathon Plus 28 s can cope with all the variations of surface.
I am looking forward to seeing Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Belgrade, and many other cultural and historical centres on the way.
I plan only to take two 28 .litre panniers on the back and a bike bag on the front.  I have no back up team, so I need to travel light.  With the tourist season beginning to drop away, I hope to be pretty much able to stop wherever I want and find B&B or similar.  It worked well when I cycled Barcelona to Paris a year or two back.
Overall, and all going well I hope to take about 40 days with 35 of these cycling days and 5 rest days built in.
Once I complete the trip at the Danube Delta, I need to extract myself from Romania, and all going well I have a further day’s cycle to Constanta on the Black Sea, where I will have booked a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul then Manchester.  Getting the timing of this right will be interesting!
Following the trip, I plan to put an illustrated presentation together and offer it to a wide variety of clubs and organisations who need speakers during the winter.  I will come and perform, sharing my experiences in return for donations to the Hospice, which should keep things going.
Good luck to Grant on his voyage, and more importantly, good luck to Grant in reaching his target fundraising amount of £2,000.  You can pledge your support now on Grant’s just giving page – don’t forget to mention the Ayrshire Alps or Highwayman Challenge when you donate!
If you are on facebook you can follow Grant on his challenge here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/493320867414431/

The 48th Edition is ON!

Riders have responded to the rallying call and we are pleased to confirm that the 48th David Bell Memorial Race will go ahead!

Entry is still open and the final start sheet will not be published before the 14th August.  However, we can confirm there will be at least two riders from UCI Continental teams, some top Irish amatuers, and the great and good of Scottish road racing.

Local attention will focus of Gary Maher of Ayr Roads CC.  Having recently acquired his 2nd cat licence, he will seek to make use of home roads.

Preparations are well under way and we thank everyone who involved in planning and supporting what should be an amazing race.  More to come…