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Autumn: Time for a fab Scottish cycling event

Written by Fiona August 26 2010

Cycle Scotland in autumn for even more gorgeous views

You might be bemoaning the darkening evenings and the approach of autumn. But this season still offers some fantastic days of clear skies, dry roads and stunning scenery. So, you still have time to get on your bike to take part in one of a range of cycling events that celebrate the best of Scotland’s landscape.

The Fife Coastal Challenge

September 5, 2010

If you have not secured your place in the Bealach Mor Cycle Sportive (and to be honest I wouldn’t blame you for baulking at the thought of 90 miles through stunningly hilly terrain) The Fife Coastal Challenge could be for you. The event starts and finishes in Cupar and there are two rides, one of 22 miles and another of 34 miles. There will be some off-road sections so a mountain bike or hybrid is recommended. It costs £15 to enter and the challenge aims to raise cash for Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Tour de Ben Nevis

September 11, 2010

This looks set to be a tough challenge and indeed the event is billed as a “61km mountain bike endurance test”. You’ll be guaranteed fabulous scenery, though, and a range of exciting terrain including river crossings and lovely long descents (after the big uphills!). The event costs £50 to enter as a solo and £90 for pairs.

freshnlo Pedal for Scotland

September 12

Scotland’s biggest mass participation cycle event heads from Glasgow to Edinburgh via 51 miles of quiet roads and traffic-free cycle paths. For stronger cyclists there is also a 100-mile Sportive Ride this year, while for families there’s a short and sweet three-miler. There is an “entry donation” format of £20 for adults and a processing fee of £1.50. Maybe you’ll catch sight of Mark Beaumont, the record-breaking Scottish cyclist who cycled around the world.

Cycle Cairngorms Sportive

September 18/19

Five stunning mountain passes. One or two days. 120 miles on day one, 50 miles on day two. Cycle one day or both.  This is unique challenge to cycle round Britain’s largest and highest Mountain Massif. Free Campsite. The event raises funds to help people with a disability enjoy a respite care holiday in the National Park. Other events: There’s a wealth of event info on the Cycle Cairngorms website

Ullapool Sportive

September 25

A monster of a ride from Cycle Sportive experts Hands On Events, which is designed to be the final big cycling sportive test of the season. The route takes in some of the wildest scenery Scotland has to offer from rugged cliffs and tiny islands to lonely moorland and remote sandy beaches with superb panoramic mountain views. The longer cycle is 130 miles. A shorter Ullapool Beag extends to 65 miles. Take your pick!

The Chase

September 25

An event that combines cycling and orienteering – and a flavour of history. The theme is Sir Walter Scott’s poem Lady of the Lake. The distance is 12 miles from  Callander to the gorgeous Loch Katrine, and back. En route riders compete in a range of orienteering challenges.  There’s even a medieval-themed party after the event that promises free food, drink and entertainment. Entry is £40 for adults. There’s a Wee Race for youngsters and families.

Relentless 24

October 9

A 24-hour mountain bike event to challenge the hardiest of cyclists takes place on the world-renowned Witch’s Trail and World Championships courses in the Forestry Commission Scotland’s Leanachan Forest, near Nevis Range, Fort William. All you need to do is keep on riding!

Katrine Colours Cycle

October 16

Make the most of the fabulous autumnal colours with a cycle event. Board the Sir Walter Scott boat to Stronachlachar, where the cycle starts. The 12-mile return trip finishes back at Trossachs pier. Cycle hire and the boat trip are included in the price, which is £24 for adults and £16 for children.

Strathpuffer

January, 2011

The dates are still to be confirmed for this world-acclaimed toughie event. Cyclists must ride non-stop around a mountain bike loop on difficult terrain (that gets muddier and muddier as the event goes on) near Strathpeffer in the Highlands. Cyclists try to keep on riding for 24 hours. Many compete in teams, as you’d expect! Keep an eye on the website for dates and for entry information. This event fills up fast.

If anyone has any other events they would like me to add please email. [email protected]

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