Introducing The Bothy, a new cycling hub for Inverclyde
The Bothy, a unique partnership project run by Cycling UK and funded by Smarter Choices, Smarter Places, launched on Saturday 5 May in Gourock, Inverclyde. The Bothy is the first of its kind, bringing the expertise and knowledge of local walking and cycling community organisations together to create one cohesive project. The aim is simple: encourage more people to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys, thereby improving health and wellbeing, building confidence and assisting people in overcoming barriers.
To do this The Bothy will enable an ongoing programme of led bike rides, led walks, adult cycle confidence sessions for beginners, local history walks, bike maintenance sessions, journey planning sessions, skill-swapping evenings, inspirational talks and much, much more. Set in an accessible unit in Gourock train station, there will be opportunities for people to volunteer and get trained up in a number of different skills too, passing on the benefits of getting more active.
The launch event gave a flavour of what’s to come, with buckets of enthusiasm from everyone attending. Visitors enjoyed an opening speech from local Councillor Lynne Quinn, followed by short led rides for adults with free access to bikes. Information on local walking and cycling routes was given out, as well as free maps, cakes, and freshly-blended fruit drinks from a muscle-powered smoothie bike. Free bike maintenance checks were available, women’s rides were planned, and young children were allowed their first go on two wheels thanks to Play on Pedals. In short, there was something for everyone – a key part of The Bothy’s inclusive culture.
Shona Morris (above, centre), a Project Manager for Cycling UK said: “Thank you to all who supported The Bothy launch on Saturday; we had a great turnout with lots of interest from folk keen to get walking and cycling. A comprehensive programme of activities is being planned for the year ahead, and we’re really excited to get started."