ARDS looking for riders

Charity Live Borders annual cycling programme the Advanced Rider Development Squad, known as ‘ARDS,’ is on the lookout for new members.

Lead Coach at Live Borders, Chris Bryant is seeking to recruit young bike riders who are currently in primary 7 to help them keep cycling whilst transitioning into high school.

Young riders meet weekly in Tweedbank for training and group rides aimed at developing skills on and off the bike that are fundamental to develop as a cyclist or racer.

As they transition into high school it is often a time the intensity of racing intensifies, and it is important for young people to have a group of peers that share an interest.

The Live Borders team is looking for expressions of interest from new riders for the 2019/20 group.

As well as helping several current national champions, ARDS is about enjoying time on a bike and learning for any enthusiastic bike rider.

“The programme isn’t set on creating athletes, but on giving good advice and support to riders who want to develop,” says Chris Bryant, Live Borders’ Lead Coach and Scottish Cycling’s regional MTB coach.

“It might be that some riders just love riding bikes and others need some structure or knowledge about off-bike training. By mixing riders from a variety of areas of the Borders, we have had great success with young athletes returning as volunteers to support our programme, others taking on challenging races at a national level and others still taking their skill and love for cycling to keep healthy or volunteer at local charities.”

National Downhill and Enduro Champion (for his age category), William Brodie says, “For me ARDS was a great way to learn ways of training as well as exploring new trails.” William now rides for ‘Team Leslie Bike Shop/Bikers Boutique Downhill Team.’

With Scotland hosting the 2023 Cycling World Championships for all cycling disciplines, young Borderers may be setting their sights on replicating the achievement of Borders athlete Ruaridh Cunningham who, as a Junior in 2017, won a Rainbow Jersey at a home World Championships in Fort William.

“With former ARDS riders now current national champions in Downhill and Enduro, it will be interesting to see if any riders pursue the opportunity to participate in our next home World Championships,” says Chris.

New riders will start Friday 3 May. Sessions are 15:00 to 16:30 or 16:30 to 18:00 at Tweedbank.

For more information, contact cbryant@liveborders.org.uk.

Live Borders is a charity. Every penny you spend with us is reinvested into supporting active, creative and healthy communities in the Scottish Borders.