BMX fan in bid to bring enthusiast gathering to Edinburgh

Scott Grant at Cleethorpes RAD BMX gathering. Picture: contributed
Scott Grant at Cleethorpes RAD BMX gathering. Picture: contributed
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THIRTY years ago he was pitting himself against a young Chris Hoy in the early stages of his cycling career.

And now, a BMX fanatic is bidding to bring the retro cycles back into the mainstream by organising a gathering of enthusiasts in the Capital.

Chris Hoy is filmed on a BMX for an advert for HSBC. Picture: onEdition

Chris Hoy is filmed on a BMX for an advert for HSBC. Picture: onEdition

Steelworker Scott Grant hopes to establish the first BMX fan meeting in Scotland, similar to the RAD BMX event in Cleethorpes, England.

The meeting attracts cyclists from all over the country, with more than 400 travelling to Lincolnshire over the weekend of July 15-16 to participate in a mass ride-out.

Mr Grant, 45, previously raced in BMX competitions as a teenager, including events featuring future Olympic gold medalist Hoy.

He revealed his fascination with the bikes started at an early age, but was reignited when he began restoring the retro cycles a few years ago.

Scott Grant
 on his bike at Cleethorpes RAD BMX gathering. Picture: contributed

Scott Grant on his bike at Cleethorpes RAD BMX gathering. Picture: contributed

He said: “I remember having one of the old Raleigh Burners when I was a kid, but I started becoming interested again when I found the frame of an old Haro model at the tip.”

“I took it home and did a bit of research and decided I would restore it. I ended up having to get a load of parts from eBay or from forums, different people online.

“I think now it’s been fully restored, it’s probably worth around £1600. After that I just kind of caught the bug and kept doing it.”

Mr Grant said forming a Scottish version of the RAD group would “appeal to a wide audience”, adding: “There’s a great community down in Cleethorpes, people come from all over just to appreciate the work everyone else has done. There’s around 3,000 bikes on show at that event and I think it’s something that turns people’s heads.”

“I think there’s definitely a market for that up here. It appeals to a lot of people, whether they’re cycling enthusiasts or collectors.”

Mr Grant also remembers competing against future Olympic champion Hoy in a number of races across Scotland while he was affiliated with the North Merchiston BMX Club.

He said: “I think people might remember Scotia BMX, that was the big store in Edinburgh on Iona Street, that was the team Chris Hoy raced for.

“Even back then you could tell he was streets ahead, we would go to places all over the country and he won everywhere.

“But even he started out on the BMX and went on to be an Olympic champion, it just shows there’s a real history behind it.”

The bikes became popular in the 1980s, with manufacturers including Raleigh, Haro and Diamondback making them a must-have item for kids.

The growing popularity led to a number of BMX tracks being constructed around the city, however many fell into disrepair and were eventually removed.

The construction of the Skelf bike track near Holyrood Park has opened new opportunities for BMX enthusiasts to try out their cycles.