A NEW cycling team which combines competitive, leisure and social cycling with a strong safety message has been launched in Inveruirie.
Team Ecosse Northboats (T-E-N) aims to combine campaigning on safe cycling while supporting selected charities, including multiple sclerosis and cancer groups, through a range of cycling events.
T-E-N was set up by Inverurie-based Pete Lowson, 32, a keen amateur cyclist in both commuting and competing. His experience has given him serious concerns over the road craft of some cyclists.
Pete said: “We acknowledge that some problems on our roads are caused by poor cycling which gives the rest of us a bad name and can put our lives in unnecessary danger. Through our campaign, and people cycling sensibly, we hope roads will become safer for cyclists.
“All T-E-N members have safety as a priority and undertake always to be aware and responsible while on the road.”
Pete added: “Our riders range from leisure cyclists to commuters, from mountain to road, and from occasional riders to seasoned competitors. Already we have received interest from potential team members across Scotland and as far south as Cambridge and Cheshire.”
A key feature of the new team’s distinctive kit is the word SPACE printed across the lower back. This prompts motorists to give cyclists space when overtaking them and is also an acronym for the team’s keystones of cycling safety – Surroundings; Preparation; Awareness; Code and Emergency. Full details are on the team’s website.
T-E-N members have competed in a number of events this year, including major Scottish events such as the Caledonia and Loch Ness Etapes, the Cairngorm Classic and triathlons in the UK and Austria. Others recently completed a Lands End to John o’Groats ride and one team member is also a two-time winner of the Scottish Coal Race.
Multiple Olympic and world champion Sir Chris Hoy is among those to congratulate the new initiative on its launch. He said: “I just wanted to wish you all the very best with your team. I’ll be keeping an eye out for you. Good luck.”
The new team’s principal sponsor is traditional boatbuilding business Northboats, based at Old Leslie, near Insch. Owner Mike Lowson, father of team founder Pete, said: “Sailing and cycling are two ‘green’ and healthy sports at which British athletes excel and they fit well together. I’m delighted to support Team Ecosse Northboats’ efforts to raise the profile of cycling safety and to encourage cyclists of all styles and abilities to become involved.”
One of the charity events currently being organised by the team is the Boat/Bike/Ben Challenge. Carrying a specially-made commemorative baton, T-E-N members will row and sail a Northboats-built boat along the Caledonian Canal from Fort William to Inverness before cycling back down the Great Glen and finishing by scaling Ben Nevis.
Plans are also under way for a 1,000-kilometre charity cycle trip next summer from Northboats’ premises to Paris timed to coincide with the arrival of the Tour de France in the French capital.
Full details of Team Ecosse Northboats and its activities can be found at its website tencycling.co.uk.