Scottish Cycling – Badge Of Honour – Sandy Lindsay

Sandy Lindsay, Mr Deeside Thistle:

Incredible and dedicated service to the whole cycling community for over 50 years; enthusiast; pioneer; communicator and role model.

Alexander J Lindsay joined Deeside Thistle Road Club (as it was then titled) as an 18 year old and became Treasurer in 1967 and Secretary in 1968. He has held both roles in the 53 years since then with distinction and shows no signs whatsoever of freewheeling. The Club had fewer than 20 members when he started; the majority were under 20 years old. The world was a different place and cycling had a different status and following; now Deeside Thistle Cycling Club has in excess of 600 members and has been the consistent winner of an annual award for the largest club in Scottish Cycling. But it’s not just about numbers.

Sandy has been the consistent and motivating factor. He has committed enormous amounts of time and energy to running the club, keeping in touch with members, inspiring new generations to be involved, supporting community and charitable activities and keeping abreast with the latest thinking.

In the early years he was an outstanding time trialist and was winner of the club season-long BAR for 19 consecutive years. Unrivalled at longer distances he was a hard man to beat especially at 100 miles and 12 hours. Nationally he was second in the Senior BAR and a consistent challenger at 100 miles. Weather was never a factor and in the days before tri bars and aero helmets he powered round the well-known courses in a huge gear.

But Sandy was never just a racing man. He enjoys the bike in so many ways. He has been a mountain biker for many years and enjoyed rough-stuffing over wild passes long before the days of mountain bikes. He held the Aberdeen-Dundee-Aberdeen place to place record and the Scottish 100 mile straight out record. He pioneered routes like Aberdeen-Ardnamurchan-Aberdeen and all this while being in charge of the club.

Sandy led summer hostelling tours in the 1970s and 80s. They are legendary. Some of the youngsters who took part are now approaching retirement. They have commented that the inspiration they received from Sandy and the club have made a real and positive difference to their whole lives.

Sandy was an innovative fund raiser for club and community funds. He initiated the Stonehaven Bike Ride hugely supported by his first wife, the late Mary Lindsay whose dedication and organising ability were legendary and celebrated by all who knew her. Then, in 1987 he established the Great Inverurie Bike Ride which was aimed at family groups. This was long before such events were a national feature. Now with major support from his wife Elaine the GIBR ran for 21 years before transferring the event to the local council. Sandy then inaugurated the King of the Mountains 100 mile sportif around well-known and challenging climbs in the north east when such events were still in their infancy.

He encouraged newcomers to the club and assisted many youngsters in their racing interests. While it may be invidious to pick out one rider, the club’s most successful rider of all time, Sarah Rowe nee Phillips was a multi-championship winner at Scottish and UK level in the 80s and 90s and rode for Team GB in the Olympics. She, like Sandy, now puts a lot back in to the club by way of coaching youngsters.

Sandy continues to raise money for charities. He has made several trips to The Himalaya and ridden to Base Camp Everest. He has helped to raise funds for charities in Africa founded by friend and clubmate Alasdair Brodie.  Just a few weeks ago Sandy rode over 600 miles in 7 days around Scotland’s remotest places in a tour organised by his son, Robert, who is also putting his energies and talents in to organising cycling and community events clearly inspired by his parents.

Sandy Lindsay does all that at the same time as running the administration of the club. Our monthly newsletter, Cranks of which he is editor and major contributor is 46 years old and Sandy has never missed one edition. It’s unusual not to have 3 or 4 emails from him every week.  Amazing but that’s what we’ve come to expect as ‘normal!’

Sandy was made an MBE in the Honours List in 2000 for services to education

 He deserves a knighthood for services to cycling!    

AGC October 2020

Deeside Thistle and Moray Firth Zwift Race

I am sure you all want to know about the Deeside & Moray Firth Winter League because this is the league where you get to win a Deeside or Moray Firth cycling apparel.

So here is the deal:

1. We start on the 4th of November and run to the end of March.

2. Your best 6 races count.

3. The races will be points race with primes. Primes are always first over the line, except for a few special races. The same number of points will be available for each race (max of 45 points).

4. We are going to alternate flat courses with a hilly course.

5. There will be 3 separate race groups, A, B and C+D. A start at 19:25, B at 19:26 and C+D at 19:27.

The first race will be 4th of November, with a prologue on Bologna, but it will be a mass start drafting race.Special stages will be:

1. Alpe Du Zwift. KOM timed segment. No prizes for placing, just fastest up the hill

2. Mount Ventoux. KOM timed segment. No prizes for placing, just fastest up the hill.

3. The Jungle Loop Banana Splits Cup (replacing the Um Bongo Cup). It does not count for the league. But there is a special cup (for A, B, C and D).

The Banana Splits Travel Mug to be precise. Oh yes, you know you want it!

For more info checkout:

Isla Short

Isla Short – Webinar
Scottish champion in both Mountain Bike and Cyclo-Cross in 2016 and 2017, Isla was also crowned Elite British Mountain Bike Series champion in 2016. She took 4th place at the UCI U23 Mountain Bike World Cup in Val di Sole and finished the series 10th overall.

If you’d like to be part of our next in-depth interview register your interest using the link here: 

More information on the Deeside Thistle Facebook pages or Deeside Notes Email.

It all happens on Thursday 29 October at 7.00pm. Spaces are limited so be sure to get your name in early.

October Racing Summary

It’s been a funny old year. The last Sunday in September used to be the official end of the Championship season with only Hill Climbs and an occasional cyclo-cross event to come. Now there’s a whole gamut of mountain bike events, Enduro and Downhill and the emergence in great numbers of Cyclo-cross events.

2020 looked as if it had been written off and in many respects this is the case with no local or National Championships being awarded. Now that we’re into the “close” season and some of the Covid-19 restrictions being relaxed to allow properly organised events under current guidance to take place there’s been a flurry of competition.

The first weekend of October saw a number of our Youth members – and others – racing and getting on the podium. On Saturday 03 October in the National CX Trophy Series, Westmorland, Cumbria. Arabella Blackburn took convincing win in the U14 girls while Millie Thomson rode to 10th in the U16 Girls. Sunday 04 October saw a 3 stage Hill climb around Stow in the Borders. Ben Butler, one of our newer members, rode convincingly in all three stages, 4th fastest in 1st and 3rd and 2nd fastest in number 2. He took 4th place overall. Finally, the Youth B category – although extremely tough to call with so many great rides over the course of the day the organiser says that the ride of the day goes to the Youth B winner and 10th overall, Elliot Rowe (Deeside Thistle). Elliott was fastest in his category in each of the three stages and finished only 2 mins behind the overall

Also on Sunday Doon the Brae Events put on the Pitfichie Enduro. New club member Neil Pritchett won the Junior Boys with Joe Davidson (18th) and Kian Rokstad Dal (19th). In the Women’s event Eliza Barrie won the overall title as well as the Junior Girls. The Under 12s event saw 1st place go to Fraser Paterson with Finn Watts a close 2nd, 5th Aaron Considine, 7th Harrison Speak, 9th Torquil McIntosh and 11th Jay Anderson.

Interview With Pippa York

Pippa York

Pippa York

Cycling Journalist and former Professional Cyclist

Pippa, who was formerly Robert Millar, is the most successful Scottish Road Racing Pro cyclist of all time and was the first Briton to take a podium place at the Tour de France when he took the King of the Mountains award in the 1984 Tour. Fourth in the Tour de France, second in Giro d’Italia and twice second in the Vuelta this was no ordinary career.

Born and brought up in Glasgow, Robert was Scottish Junior Road Race Champion in 1976 and single-mindedly secured a pro contract before the days of lottery funding by building up some very impressive results over a short time. It is quite a story!

Pippa who announced the gender change in 2017 is now a journalist and commentator on the current professional scene and having competed against the likes of Bernard Hinault, Greg Lemond and Stephen Roche is in a unique position to give us a perceptive insight with characteristic humour.

Alan Campbell, Club President and chair from 1979 to 2010, has interviewed a number of high profile riders who have visited the club over the years, secured an interview with Pippa on Wednesday 19 August 2020.

Bradley Wiggins in his book, ‘Icons’, said “Philippa York is one of the UK’s most important riders of all time – the first Brit to win a major Tour classification and someone who massively raised the bar for British cycling.” And in the book ‘Break Away – the heroes and hell raisers that made road cycling’, the former professional is described as “one of the most gifted climbers the sport has ever known. In relation to her more recent presence in cycling columns the following attribute is ascribed to her ‘putting everything in perspective when it gets out of focus, bringing the brutal yet brilliant honesty of someone who has not given one thought to others’ opinions since first setting off in a pro race in 1980.”

Here, are two articles penned by Pippa:

Alan discussed with Pippa, her career as a top flight professional cyclist and as a cycling journalist.