Tour de fun, friends and fitness

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Hawick’s newest cycling club is sparking a chain reaction among Teries, writes John Slorance.

Teviotdale Cycling, the brainchild of Michael Graham and Malcolm Heatley, was formed just under a year ago and has grown considerably since its inception with a membership of more than 60.

Talking to the Hawick News this week, Graham, who along with Heatley is a former member of the long-established Hawick Cycling Club, said: “We wanted to give cycling a new identity in Hawick – and fun, friends and fitness was our theme. We want people to be active and keep fit without going to extremes and I think we have really managed to achieve this.

“Things more or less started for us through Facebook. It was a quiet start to begin with but then wallop, it all began to happen. Cycling is becoming very popular. It’s the new golf. There are a lot of people wanting to be cyclists nowadays.”

Heatley added: “I’m really delighted with the progress that we’ve made. We have 62 members and I think that is quite incredible considering we haven’t even been going for a year yet. A lot of our members are new to cycling. We have a few ex-rugby players and half-a-dozen ladies as well. Getting fit was perhaps their main reason for joining the club and those who have come along have certainly improved their fitness. Besides this they have been enjoying what they have been doing.

“Depending on the time of year, our programme changes – and it’s £20 to be a member which is a life membership. Apart from being a member you also get a free club jersey.

“We’ve not got our own clubrooms but we have an excellent facility at Hawick Border Club, which you could say is our headquarters. It’s an ideal set-up for us, and when joining Teviotdale you can become a social member of the Border Club.”

One of Teviotdale’s recruits who hit the bike scene without any cycling experience is former rugby player Tony Elliot, who said: “I was a newcomer to cycling and it’s something I’ve found I really enjoy doing. I used to go out running on the roads after I stopped playing rugby to keep fit. Cycling on the roads is far better, though, and I’ve seen roads I didn’t know existed in the Borders since taking up cycling.

“Everyone in the club has different skills and abilities and this is what the club is all about.”

Teviotdale Cycling is sponosored by Bannerman Burke, Creative Floor Fitting, Border Cycles, Denholm Meet and Wilson Signs.