Arran Sportive Attracts Cyclists from Across the Globe!

Robert Anderson from Perth, Australia, has decided to travel the nine and a half thousand mile journey from Australia to Scotland to take part in Ocean Youth Trust Scotland’s “Arran Sportive”. Robert, originally born and raised in Dundee, tells us why he chooses to cycle in Scotland.

Are you visiting Scotland purely to cycle?

I tie in an annual trip to Scotland at this time of year to visit my parents, other relatives and friends mixed in with some cycling, golf and the Edinburgh Festival. I bring my bike and try and fit in a couple of events. This time I have pencilled in a trip through Glencoe, the Bealach Mor Sportive on the Applecross peninsula and the Arran Sportive.

What are the main differences cycling in Australia compared to Scotland?

The motorists in Australia tend to be less tolerant of cyclists but the quality of the roads is much better because we don’t get the cold weather. In Scotland I’m always on the lookout out for potholes or cracks in the road but I don’t need to worry about being on the road by 6am to avoid the worst of the Australian summer heat.

Unfortunately where I live in Perth we don’t have any decent hills, which is what I miss the most. Cycling was never on my radar when I lived in Scotland, but the scenery around the country really is stunning.

What part of the Arran Sportive are you most looking forward to?

It’s my last weekend in Scotland and I’m heading across for four nights with my parents to stay at Auchrannie Resort. Weather permitting I will get in the Sportive, some golf, a hike up Goat Fell……. and lots of good food and drink. Forty odd years ago we used to go there for our family summer holidays and I have very fond memories of the island.

Have you ever cycled on Arran before?

A couple of years ago a friend and I did the ‘Five Ferries” cycle ride starting with the ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick and using 5 ferries to do a clockwise circular tour of the Kyles of Bute, and the Firth of Clyde finishing with the ferry from Rothesay back to Weymss Bay.  It’s a fantastic day out, and plenty of time if you start early.

How did you get into cycling?

Too many aches and pains from other sports meant I was looking for a low impact way to stay fit. Cycling fits the bill and is very social if you cycle with a regular group of friends.


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