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Old 04-06-09, 01:03 PM   #1
opie-gone-road
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Calling all you Scots!

Hello! I'm a very avid cyclist from the U.S. who's moving to Glasgow this coming Autumn to pursue a postgraduate degree in Scottish History. I studied in Glasgow my 3rd year at University, but I didn't have a bike for the entire 4 months (these days, I really have no idea how I managed the lack of velo back then). Right now I live in the glorious bicycling Mecca of Portland, OR. I was hoping that I could get some advice for my cycling arrival, as it were, to the land of the Rampant Lion. I'm most likely going to do a bit of inner-city riding and hoping to get out to the countryside (Perthshire, Galloway, Ayrshire) and up to the high-country on the weekends. And just because I am curious, are there any sort of Spring Classics commemoration rides held in country? Reason I ask is that in Portland (which often times gets the title 'Belgium on the Willamette') we just had the Ronde van Oeste Portlandia in honor of the REAL Ronde.
If your interested, check it out:

http://bikeportland.org/2009/04/04/m...t-at-de-ronde/

Anyways, please let me know what's what in my soon-to-be adopted home. Looking forward to getting to know the cycling community, not just in Scotland, but the borderlands and UK in general.

~opie
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Old 04-27-09, 03:00 AM   #2
bendembroski
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Hi Opie,

Not sure what kind of info you are looking for, but here are a few general pointers / observations.

It rains a lot. If you don't like riding in the wet, you aren't going to like riding here.

The roads here are full of potholes. Look out! This is my biggest complaint / issue with riding around here.

For the most part, cars here are used to seeing cyclists and behave themselves reasonably well. (This is based on personal experience only. A couple of close calls, the occasional jerk, but nowhere near as bad other places I've ridden)

If you are looking for a good climb, check out crow road out of lennoxtown. While you are out there, stop by Wheelcraft at Clachan of Campsie. Alistair is an amazing wheel builder. Just don't expect to pop in and pop out. Most transactions there take place over tea or coffee.

The A82 near loch lomond is a death trap.

Bike theft is an issue particularly around the Uni.

Gear bikes on Gibson street seems to be the de-facto LBS for university students. Great service, but somewhat limited stock. They are happy to order pretty much anything in though, and tend to give sound advice.

I pretty much ride on my own, so can't offer much insight in clubs, etc. out here, but I know they are around and very active.

Go-bike http://www.gobike.org/ is the local advocacy group.

Pedestrians here tend not to look for bikes when crossing the road. I've had way more close calls with peds in the road than I have with cars, buses or taxis. Particularly in the city centre.

Plenty of hipsters riding fixed about (not me.)

Hope that helps a little, and welcome to Glasgow!
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Old 04-27-09, 04:30 AM   #3
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this should help - http://www.scuonline.org/
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Old 04-28-09, 12:31 PM   #4
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I'm assuming you mean glasgow uni?

If so: gucc.co.uk is the cycling clubs web address (we've just started up this year) and we'll be around during freshers week if you fancy saying hello - the clubs quite MTB centric just now, but there's are quite a few dedicated roadies kicking about.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:55 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I will indeed be studying at Glasgow Uni. and will most definitely look for the Cycling Club guys during freshers week.

I'm happy to say that I don't mind riding in the rain the least bit. Rain makes for good hard-man training; very Belgian.

Looking forward to cutting my roadie/cross teeth in Caledonia.

Oh, is there a better forum to hit up for Scotland specific cycling queries?
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Old 05-02-09, 04:14 PM   #6
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I'm Michael, i'm the treasuer and resident fat *******. So say hi

Sadly i don't really know many touring clubs / road clubs round these parts. But there's plenty and there's various websites (that i've forgot the name of) that index them all.
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Old 05-04-09, 05:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by opie-gone-road View Post
Thanks for the info. I will indeed be studying at Glasgow Uni. and will most definitely look for the Cycling Club guys during freshers week.

I'm happy to say that I don't mind riding in the rain the least bit.
Rain makes for good hard-man training; very Belgian.

Looking forward to cutting my roadie/cross teeth in Caledonia.

Oh, is there a better forum to hit up for Scotland specific cycling queries?
not really. besides, the roads are better in scotland.
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Old 05-04-09, 07:19 PM   #8
opie-gone-road
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Maybe i left out the other part of that statement? head winds. rain + head winds = good hard-man training, which would lead me to believe that the act of riding in said conditions is very belgian. If it is not belgian, it is most definitely very Portlandish, which is known to the American cycling community as THE Belgium on the Willamette. Whether or not there is a lot of truth to this statement is hard for me to entirely confirm as the only time i was in Belgium, it was sunny, and I was in Wallonia. But the plethora of Micro-brews here, the absolutely rabid cross-scene and rolling terrain and general cycling-crazed culture helps the comparison.
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Old 05-05-09, 04:07 PM   #9
bendembroski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opie-gone-road View Post
Thanks for the info. I will indeed be studying at Glasgow Uni. and will most definitely look for the Cycling Club guys during freshers week.

I'm happy to say that I don't mind riding in the rain the least bit. Rain makes for good hard-man training; very Belgian.

Looking forward to cutting my roadie/cross teeth in Caledonia.

Oh, is there a better forum to hit up for Scotland specific cycling queries?
The forums over at bike radar are more UK specific. Lots o' Scots.
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Old 05-06-09, 03:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by opie-gone-road View Post
Hello! I'm a very avid cyclist from the U.S. who's moving to Glasgow this coming Autumn to pursue a postgraduate degree in Scottish History. I studied in Glasgow my 3rd year at University, but I didn't have a bike for the entire 4 months (these days, I really have no idea how I managed the lack of velo back then). Right now I live in the glorious bicycling Mecca of Portland, OR. I was hoping that I could get some advice for my cycling arrival, as it were, to the land of the Rampant Lion. I'm most likely going to do a bit of inner-city riding and hoping to get out to the countryside (Perthshire, Galloway, Ayrshire) and up to the high-country on the weekends. And just because I am curious, are there any sort of Spring Classics commemoration rides held in country? Reason I ask is that in Portland (which often times gets the title 'Belgium on the Willamette') we just had the Ronde van Oeste Portlandia in honor of the REAL Ronde.
If your interested, check it out:

http://bikeportland.org/2009/04/04/m...t-at-de-ronde/

Anyways, please let me know what's what in my soon-to-be adopted home. Looking forward to getting to know the cycling community, not just in Scotland, but the borderlands and UK in general.

~opie
Not sure about "spring classics", but there are a growing number of sportif events. Some very good. Two major ones are the Etape Caledonia (a very sociable day out in Pitlochry ~ 83 miles, closed roads but lots of cyclists) and Southern Upland Sportif (long and some great/brutal climbs, especially the 5 km climb to get to the finish summit). You can Google these and you'll probably find the website which details all such events in the UK. There are numerous within a relatively short distance of Glasgow. Good luck.

PS. You can get a very useful map from Glasgow City Council (free) on bicycle routes within Glasgow. I got one when I started working there recently ... v.good.
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