The Galloway Hillbillies Bike Club has secured funding to lead an innovative new initiative to get more young people into cycling.
The Club has been selected by Scottish Cycling to lead the ‘Rock Up & Ride’ project in Dumfries & Galloway.
‘Rock Up & Ride’ which is funded by Transport Scotland provides cycle training and bikes for children aged between 5 and 12, to ensure equal access to cycling for all.
The Club will support up to 80 young people with four hours of rider coaching to develop skills and confidence which includes and basic maintenance checks. The young people who participate will then be eligible to receive a bicycle, with the intention that they can enjoy and benefit from cycling throughout their childhood.
Club Chair Person, Secretary, Gavin McHallum said:
“Galloway Hillbillies Bike Club is delighted to be working in partnership with Scottish Cycling and Transport Scotland to deliver Rock Up & Ride. The main aim of our club is to get as many people on bikes as possible whether mountain bikes, gravel riding or road cycling.
This project will allow us to introduce cycling in fun way to young people who might never have had the opportunity to own a bike and the pleasure that this can bring.
The project was launched with the help of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Chair and Vice Chair of its Communities Committee.
Chair of the Communities Committee, Councillor Ian Blake said:
“The Galloway Hillbillies is a club right at the heart of the community and is an ideal partner to deliver this initiative across the area. I’m sure it will be the start of a lifelong love of cycling for dozens of young people who otherwise may have missed out.”
The Council has supported the Hillbillies to part-fund and deliver three Summer of Cycling events this summer and is prioritising promotion of the region as a cycling destination.
Vice Chair of Committee, Councillor Jackie McCamon said:
“Hosting the UCI Paracycling World Championship will give a huge international profile for Dumfries & Galloway as a superb cycling venue and destination. We have hundreds of miles of gravel tracks, first class mountain bike trails and unspoilt quiet roads that cyclists love. We are keen to do all we can to put the area on the international cycling tourism map.”
Young people must meet certain criteria before being eligible for help through Rock Up and Ride. Anyone interested in finding out more about the project and how it works should check out Galloway Hillbillies Bike Club Facebook page or their website Gallowayhillbillies.org
Dumfries and Galloway Council has provided £40,000 to the Summer of Cycling programme. The Summer of Cycling Events Calendar can be found at www.dgwgo.com