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The Urban Fox is kicking off!

Last updated: 10.36am, Friday 25th November 2011 by

ONE of the most innovative programmes in the area has been introduced in the East End by the Urban Fox project and it has fairly kicked off as far as uptake is concerned.

Many of you out there may have spotted the large van and trailer kitted out in the Urban Fox livery or some of the cyclists going around the streets in the East End but here’s a little more information on the actual set up and programme which may spark your interest and get you thinking about taking up cycling.

Led by Michael McCourt , the initial team of John McGowan, Alan Kennedy and Alexander (Aldo) Conner have been instrumental in getting the programme up and running, having taken various courses in the art of cycling including SVQ’s the lads are certainly well qualified to deliver the programme to allow more and more interested parties becoming ardent cyclists.

Their journey began years ago and they have developed personal skills to compliment the cycling programme.

Now with the help of financial backing from funders and a fully committed Urban Fox staff the cycling programme has really taken off delivering structured programmes to young people to allow them to progress to the level of the Urban Fox team.

John McGowan (Development Officer).

John’s role has been to support the young people on their journey. John along with Michael McCourt is a very keen cyclist and has progressed with the support of partner organisations to a high standard of cycling.

John’s enthusiasm has been supported by both Alan and Aldo and they look forward to undertaking new challenges and strive to the next level in their development.

John attends all training and structures support sessions with both Alan Michael and Aldo and the rest of the Urban Fox team.

Some of the Events and programmes that have been ongoing recently include “OUTWARD BOUNDS” where 8 young people from an area have a chance to experience Mountain Bikes.

“BAD LADS RESIDENTIAL” A Day of cycling in the snow with Army ration packs and stoves over a 20K route. 16 young people attended from different areas.

“SVQ in MOUNTAIN BIKING” This included 6 young people and they went on various cycle tracks including Carron Valley, Glen Tress, Mugdock Park, Queen Elizabeth Forest and the Loch Ard Forest.

The “MARK BEAUMONT” cycle challenge. This involved 5 Urban Fox staff members cycling over 1000 miles working with De A Nis in Gaelic schools.

“JOHN O GROATS” 4 Urban Fox staff members along with Neil Bilsland and 4 presenters.

In atrocious weather where the squad had to camp out in the torrential rain the staff members supported the 4 presenters in covering a charity ride of 316 miles which raised £3000.

“OUTDOOR FIRST AID” This is a Two Day course tailored to meet the needs of the mountain bike courses in the future.

“TRAIL CYCLE LEADER” This allows participants to lead young people on a trail up to 30 minutes from an accessible road.

John, Alan and Aldo went through this process and they had to put in a lot of time and effort before they were ready to take this assessment before they were ready to proceed in the exercise which took place in the Pentland Hills area of Edinburgh. As well as the aforementioned there are also ongoing courses and events taking place including the Well- Tech course which is a 2 day course on Cycle Maintenance (The three lads from Urban Fox have recently passed the Silver level and are hopeful in gaining their Gold level soon).

There is a Go-Mountain Biking course taking place at Pollok Park on October 14th and 3 members of Urban Fox will be attending. Urban Fox have been currently taking young people to give them the opportunity that some of the staff had when they were younger.

While this has been happening the Urban Fox staff have been totally involved in understanding the challenges relating to cycling including the 26 mile Bikeathon and Pedal for Scotland.

A recent acquisition that has arrived at the Urban Fox project in Lilybank is the fantastic Trailer which is crammed full of all the kit required to run an organised, safe and efficient cycle club and service.

Urban Fox is well on their way to developing cycling in the East End with the support of partners and they are looking to enhance young people’s opportunities to maximise the use of evolving facilities being developed for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

They have a had a vision at Urban Fox for over 3 years and they look forward to it coming to fruition once the Athletes have packed up and gone

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