Have you been thinking about getting back on the saddle? Is watching neighbours and colleagues switch their cars for two wheels giving you inspiration? Well, Dundee Is Cycling aims to get city residents on bicycles.
Launched by Dundee Green Health Partnership, Dundee Is Cycling provides information on everything from the health benefits to where to go on your first ride to accessing mobility cycling gear.
And if you are thinking about starting cycling, either for the first time or once again, here’s some ways you can make moves.
Take the Green Circular
The Green Circular has become a regular route in the lives of many of Dundee’s citizens, who depend upon it for exercise or a commute, safely tucked away from traffic.
Visitors to Dundee can also use the circular for sightseeing. Users can enjoy the city’s most famous landmarks – HMS Unicorn, Tay Road Bridge, V&A, RRS Discovery and Tay Rail Bridge.
The circuit was mapped out with safety and enjoyment in mind, so users can walk or ride through some of Dundee’s exceptional green spaces, including Camperdown Park, Templeton Woods, Clatto, Finlathen and Drumgeith Parks and along the Dighty and River Tay.
Historic buildings such as 7 Arches Viaduct, Finlathen Aquaduct, Claypotts Castle, Broughty Ferry Castle, and Camperdown House also feature along the way.
Try a mobility bike
Cycling isn’t just for the able-bodied – it’s for everyone.
Dundee offers community groups which enable those with barriers to cycling to cycle! ReDiscover Dundee has a fleet of eTrikes and eBikes and takes people out on Dundee’s Green Circular every week.
Lindsey Eppy, suffers from a genetic degeneration of the lower spine, resulting in her inability to walk unassisted. As a former carer, however, Linsey understands better than anyone the importance of exercise to keep fit and stay ahead of her condition.
When she was first diagnosed, Lindsey assumed that she would have to limit her exercise to swimming, which is widely accepted as the most effective physiotherapy for her condition. But when she was given the opportunity to get out on a trike on her own, she gladly seized it. Her GP referred her to ReDiscover Dundee, who help people who find cycling difficult. She now rides a standard electric trike every week on the Green Circular with a ReDiscover leader and is looking forward to being able to ride with more people when their group sessions start again.
ReDiscover Dundee is free to join, no referral is needed.
Get the kids involved
Kids in the city have been taking part in Bikeability since 2016 and through the Dundee Schools Active Travel Project the aim is that P7 pupils from each of Dundee’s primary schools gets their level 2 on-road Bikeability certificate.
Bikeability is the new and improved version of the Cycling Proficiency Test many of us remember from school days. The programme features three modules designed to teach safe and confident cycling on three different road types, from off-road to busy junctions, even above 30 mph.
As part of the Bikeability training programme, the kids receive free bike camps over two days, developing their riding and maintenance skills, complete with a led ride on Dundee’s Green Circular.
Out of school, the Discovery Junior Cycling Club has been helping kids further develop cycling skills since 2005 with centres at Caird Park and Clatto Park. The club welcomes riders aged 8-16 to the Caird Park outdoor velodrome to hone their track skills in a safely enclosed environment. The mountain bike section has moved to more rugged terrain at Clatto Park and Templeton Woods and takes full advantage of the Tangle MTB Skills Trail.
Join a cycle club
The Wheelers Club has close to 80 members. Some were avid cyclists in their youth but took time out to bring up their families or concentrate on their careers and others are new to the sport. No matter the level of skill on a bike, it’s mandatory (and eminently sensible) to have a certain degree of fitness prior to becoming a Wheeler. But that’s the only condition: there are additional meetings set up for novices to learn how to ride in a club situation, useful both for safety and practicality.
Membership costs just £15 per year, not including tea and cakes at break time.
Dundee’s Thistle Club has been active since 1929. Runs take place several times a week, but on the weekend members will meet at Camperdown Country Park or the Millenium Hall, Muirhead before heading off for a breezy 60-to-80-mile ride.
The club is open to individuals of all fitness levels, but prospects are invited to try before they spend their £20 fee, to ensure their expectations will be met. It’s a fair assumption that if one isn’t particularly fit prior to joining, that will soon change.
Do the Cyclathon
For 17 years, the Rotary Club of Claverhouse has organised the Dundee Cyclathon. Before the pandemic, the event was held over one day, during which participants would cycle a certain distance on Dundee’s Green Circular, sponsored by their friends and family.
Now the event is held with social distancing measures in place. While the big event day has gone, participants can follow the route of their choice, at any time between 9am on September 5th and 5pm on September 19th, 2021.
The new Cyclathon allows participants much greater freedom to choose from a selection of cycle routes which can each be tackled when and how often cyclists want.
Participation comes at the modest price of £6, and although riders are strongly encouraged to direct their donations to the STV Children’s Appeal, they can also contribute to another charity close to their heart.
To find out more about getting on your bike, or to download your FREE Dundee Cycle Map, visit the Dundee Green Health Partnership website.