A few Saturdays ago I had the opportunity to spend time with Sara Cairns who is a British Cycling Breeze Champion who facilitates bike rides locally. We did a cycle from Dunoon’s West Bay to the Lido Shop, with the goal of sampling the tea, coffee and cake offer at the shop and to talk more about the work she does around engaging women and wider audiences with cycling.
As well as being a cycling instructor, Sara is also a member of the Dunoon Bike Bothy steering group. The group is developing an active travel hub for Dunoon with the support of Cycling UK, Argyll and Bute Council (supported by Paths for All) and the Dunoon Area Alliance. South Cowal Community Enterprises is working with this group to improve the cycling facilities at the Lido Shop. This project, which will result in accessible bike storage at the shop is funded by Cycling Scotland.
Before the cycle, Sara carried out a safety check on my much loved, but slightly worn mountain bike. Sara took me through the ‘M check’ looking at tyres, chain, frame and brakes to make sure everything was in working order. She also adjusted my helmet, which was on the loose side and politely suggested that a trip to Heal and Glen could be useful, as my helmet was out of date – meaning it offered a reduced level of protection in the event of an accident. Yikes!
Although it wasn’t a sunny morning it wasn’t raining and the breeze was fairly gentle. We were able to safely cycle at a steady pace. We stopped off at Cluniter Point to take in the views and to look at the work being done by Inspiring Innellan to improve planting and signage at this beautiful spot.
Within 20 minutes we had made it to Innellan and sat in the Secret Bay for a bit to enjoy the shore and views out over the Clyde.
We then headed to the Lido to choose from some of the many snacks and drinks on offer. I had a cup of tea and Sara had Argyll Coffee (served in compostable cup). I also got a free water bottle refill.
We also tried some cool Gigha Milk and had really nice flapjack. As we were cyclists Carli gave us a discount, so we’ll be back!
The return leg of the journey back to Dunoon was even easier as the breeze was behind us.
This gentle cycle was the perfect way to start a Saturday. It was also really lovely to talk to Sara about her work as self employed dog walker and pet carer and learn more about the local groups she is involved including the Cowal Mountain Bike Club.
The ride Sara and I did is on the South Cowal Green Map. The Green Map is being developed as a community resource and to inform the development of improved signage at the Lido for walkers and cyclists.
If you are interested in joining a local Breeze Cycle then go here> https://www.letsride.co.uk/breeze
Find out more about Dunoon Cycle Bothy and their Let’s Ride program here> https://www.facebook.com/TheDunoonBothy/