If you know of extraordinary Edinburgh-based cyclist Markus Stitz, then you will not be surprised by his cycling event creation. For Markus loves long-distance cycling and especially off-road. His new event, The Capital Trail, is a bikepacking group ride of 237km with 6100m of climbing and takes place on June 13/14.
The event, being billed as a mass social ride, is part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, and involves a self-supported mountain bike time-trial ride that starts and finishes on Portobello Beach, “where the Capital meets the sea”.
Markus says: “The route is quintessentially Scottish and takes place on trails that are tough, rugged and scenic, all at the same time. It features the beautiful Firth of Forth coastline, Fa’side Castle, the Winton Estate and the Pencaitland Railway Path, Saltoun Big Woods, the country lanes of East Lothian, Lammer Law, the Southern Upland Way, Thirlestane Castle, Melrose Abbey, the River Tweed, the Borders and Abbey Way, the Three Brethren hills, the 7stanes trails at Innerleithen and Peebles, Dun Rig, Kirkhope Law, the Cross Borders Drove Road, the Meldons and Pentland Hills.
“And to finish a great route, the Capital Trail will take you to all the tourist must-do sights in Scotland’s Capital on two wheels. Edinburgh has recently been named the fourth most beautiful city in the world by the Rough Guide, so you are in for a treat.”
More details about The Capital Trail
The inaugural ride will start on June 13 at 8am and finish before dark on Sunday. Markus says: “This gives riders 40 hours to complete the route, which should hopefully be enough time.”
It is important to note that the ride heads through some remotes places and features beach and singletrack so it is important that riders are experienced and can cope with being out on the trail for many hours alone.
Markus adds: “The route offers many good opportunities to sleep under the stars including two bothies, bunkhouses, B&Bs and hotels. There is also the odd pub. It is a fabulous route and mostly very rideable.” See the route here.
The Capital Trail is not a race and there is no prize money. It is a self-timed Individual Time Trial (ITT). There will be a published list of completion times.
As this is a new event, entries are limited to 100 riders. For the mass start there is a fee of £15, which will pay for coffee, roll and cake at the start, a piper on the beach to send everyone off and photography on the way. The rest goes to the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling as a donation to cover costs.