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New circuit in Fife

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Arellcat View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 October 2018 at 10:18pm
Already posted on FB, but not everyone is on there.  I wish I weren't, but needs must.

On Saturday I took a trip to the Fife Cycle Park – https://cyclepark.fife.scot/ – which is between Lochgelly and Lochore. It's the first purpose-built road cycling circuit in Scotland and it opened in May this year. The Park was holding an open day, mainly for children, as evidenced by the generous amounts of fruit juice, colouring in pads, and traffic cones and marshalls/helpers on the track.

Between the open day finishing and the circuit moving to a booked group session, I did a lap of the full circuit to find out what it was like, just in case we (that is, you) ever fancied an expedition to the wilds of northern Britain. The track has a few variations with different names – The Hairdryer, The Jelly Bean, The Gellydrome and The Wiggle – though the full lap is perhaps on the twisty side for going fast on three wheels. The two main straights are good fun, because the land dips gently towards the north (good for picking up a mile or two an hour as you dash for the line).

The main building is staffed. There are generous changing rooms with showers and lockers, a kitchen (but unfortunately no café), and a 60-odd capacity mess hall that opens trackside. I had a chat with the team and they have a timing system on site as well. Plenty of car parking is available. Less than a mile down the road is Lochore Meadows Country Park that does have a café (and a sandy beach and an adventure playground should you bring your little ones with you). A mile back up the (steep!) road is Lochgelly railway station, which is on the Fife Circle line.

On Flickr I've posted a few photographs (including track layouts and pricing).  I've no idea if the prices are good value or not.

I also made a short video so you can see what a lap looks like.  I didn't go all out as I still had to cycle home.  The one thing you'll notice is the plethora of lighting columns, which would be a good incentive to not deck your streamliner.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woolly Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2018 at 8:23am
That looks a great track. Hopefully we'll see it in the schedule at some point. Not sure about the health and safety aspect of all those lights at the edge of the track. Handy for dark days or early evenings but could do with some padding just in case anyone has an issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2018 at 5:10pm
Anti clockwise I only saw a couple of lampposts that could be an issue but the bends looked safe enough. Most lampposts were on the opposite side of the track to the way you would be turning. Nice circuit.
Thanks.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fitzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2018 at 9:16am
Hi all, there is also a brand new closed circuit track in S Wales at Pembrey country park
https://vimeo.com/263499332

I contacted the local BCF rep and he provided the following details;
£60 ph
£300 full day
liability insurance required if not an affilated BC club/member.

seems a bit steep, but then again I have no idea what the club usually pays for circuit hire?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote atlas_shrugged Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2018 at 2:11pm
The Fife track looks really nice. Hopefully we can get an event organised there.
 
Postcode for the track is: KY5 8AA
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote HeatherF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2018 at 5:25pm
In terms of the cost:
The full circuit allows for the most variation in race formats but it is £75 per hour. We normally hire a track for 4 hours so we're looking at £300 which is at the very top end of what we have paid in the past (excluding the Olympic park at £500). We would need 30 to 40 riders to make this break even. Hiring less than the full track is cheaper but perhaps not so interesting.
 
(We have the required public liability insurance.)
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2018 at 6:08pm
If we are struggling to find hireable circuits, why not increase the club's race fee? Compared to all the other costs involved in racing something over £7 is not going to be an issue I would have thought. I had an idea it cost more than that 25 years ago. If it can be done for Derby Velodrome as proposed.....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote HeatherF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2018 at 7:08pm
Derby Velodrome is a one-off. It costs £750 so we charge racers £25 and it isn't included in the championship points. It would become increasingly complicated if we did this for many other tracks.
 
We have not increased the race fees recently as there are many tracks which are affordable and which attract a significant number of racers, thus making them viable. We are not struggling to find hireable, affordable circuits. Also we have reserves which we could use to subsidise racing if we wanted to.
 
The argument has also been made before that £7 is a very small part of what people spend to get to races and hence a small increase would not be too much of a burden. I proposed at the AGM that we didn't increase race fees and that was supported so, at least for the next year, they remain at £7 and £10
 
Hiring of circuits is the (pretty thankless!) job of the competition secretary so whether or not we add Fife to the calendar will be Chris's decision.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2018 at 9:50pm
Given the distance that most active members would have to travel to Fife, it would seem to be worth making a weekend of it, somehow. Perhaps by combining it with some sort of social ride?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote atlas_shrugged Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2018 at 6:42pm
Would support the idea of Kim. Other possibilities would be to piggyback it on to something like the Edinburgh festival.
 
Other ideas would be to find some form of sponsorship for the days event from some Scottish organisation / company / individual.
 
Finally we could try and negotiate with the track for a reduced price based on the fact we are a smaller club.
 
 
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