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Cycling in North Ayrshire

The editor and family are happy leisure cyclists, and want to see FAR MORE cycle-tracks and facilities around. It's practically unsupported in North Ayrshire, with the exception of a small stretch of cycle track along the prom in Largs, and unconnected stretches to the south. But you can cycle, on and off, from Largs North Prom down to the marina, along by the railway embankment to Fairlie, and make your way down to Ardrossan with difficulty, though there is a beautiful track from South of Fairlie, past Hunterston Castle and around. Cycling needs money, it needs Council interest, it needs pressure; it needs funds to become one of the greatest hidden assets for tourism in North Ayrshire. In Holland where we bought our bikes years ago, you can ride for miles along the coast, stopping here and there at cafes for a little "light refreshment". Here? Well, we hope it will come. With a little vision and planning, there is no reason why there should not be a coastal route from Girvan to Greenock to Glasgow.

For the present around here, Millport is a great place to go and there are 3 cycle hire shops, all of which (not just Mapes) appear to be busy over the weekends. It's 10 peaceful miles around the island, and there are far more bikes on the road than cars! Hasties in Largs has a massive collection of bikes and parts, which used to be hidden away in the back of their emporium in the Main Street. They have now opened a new shop just for bikes next door "The Bike Box". Good Luck. We've noticed a big increase in cyclists in and around Largs, and as regular visitors to Cumbrae and Millport. Don't forget that the 5 journey tickets to the Cumbrae Slip entitle you to take your bike FREE, in the same way that the island hopscotch tickets do. With Scotrail you can always take your bikes free, though subject to advance booking on busy routes such as the beautiful and scenic West Highland route. The good news is it's getting better for cyclists.

Here's some URLs meanwhile, mostly nicked from or on:
David Marsh's excellent resource website

1000 miles of cycle tracks in Scotland WHERE ARE OURS???
Lobbying - please do - we want cycle paths
Get Empowered - Get something done about cycle ways
Leaflets - none at all for North Ayrshire What a surprise? No, but what a disgrace.
On-line egroups forum (subscribe only)
David Marsh's links pages

Sustrans is a UK-wide charity which is constructing a 10,000 mile National Cycle Network of mainly leisure cycle routes, using disused railway trackbeds, canal towpaths, countryside paths, minor roads and traffic-calmed streets. The first 5000 miles (1000 of which are in Scotland) were formally opened on Wednesday 21 June 2000. Sustrans also has many years' experience of researching and developing Safe Routes to School and are the acknowledged experts in this field in the UK.

If you're interested in lobbying for better cycle tracks in North Ayrshire, please contact the webmaster and editor, writer of this article. We will be more than happy to give you web-space and internet help to Pressurise any appropriate bodies. And if you've the energy, pester the Cooncil.

Cycling is fun, healthy, and for all ages - and even all weather. Get On Yer Bike!

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