We hope you are looking forward to our annual trip to fantastic Callander! As it’s so far for the team to travel to we all make it a mini holiday and spend time riding the roads and trails whilst we’re here. There’s mountains galore and I have tried to count the amount of Lochs and lakes you pass but I always lose count. Then there’s the private road around Loch Katrine which is stunning and quiet.
All we need now is some decent weather……
Please read below to get the most out of your day.
NOTE. These details are provisional until Friday 6pm so pop back to check if anything has changed.
Please bring your helmet to registration – you are not able to register without it and will have to go back to your car
The event centre is the McLaren Sports Centre in Callander. It’s just out of town to the west and gets you directly out on the country roads. Whilst there you are able to use the loos, showers and changing facilities but please identify yourselves to any staff at reception if asked.
There is parking on site but not enough for all of you. Once this is full we have overflow parking in MacLaren High School ( don’t go there first as the gate will be locked) We will put up signs and marshals to direct you there but basically back towards Callander 100mtrs and on the right. Once/if this is full then please find somewhere to park in Callander itself, there are lots of car parks that charge a small fee for the whole day. ( From the event centre turn right at the roundabout, left at the traffic lights and then there are car parks on the left and right) Do not park in the residential area opposite.
Registration is in the main hall and is accessed directly from outside not through reception, please follow signs to registration.
Registration is open from 8am until 9.45am ( 9.30am for the Long riders)
Short/Medium 8.30am until 10am
Long 8.30am until 9.45am
When you are ready to ride just go to the start tent where you’ll be given a briefing, shown the signs to look out for and sent on your way.
There is a café inside who are opening up early so that there is hot drink and food available all day. It’s pretty cheap and a local resource so please help support them buy buying a cuppa and a jacket potato.
Please follow signs to loos from the main hall. There are loos at all drink stations.
This is a fantastic ride with great scenery and the challenge of Dukes pass for all routes ( except the Fun ) From the start we head West along the shores of Loch Venachar before heading over Dukes Pass from the easy side and into Aberfoyle. Here you reach the first drink station in the carpark and the Short route splits off. The Medium and Long now head off West on a long shallow climb towards Loch Katrine. Once at the Loch it’s a private closed road all the way back to the bottom of Dukes Pass which you do for a second time and back to the drink station. One of the great features of this ride is how many Lochs and Lakes you pass as you ride through the Scottish Countryside.
Private Road Section
The private road section around Loch Katrine is owned by Scottish Water who have kindly allowed us to use it for the event. Whilst it is “closed” it is still an access for Scottish Water and any residents, it’s also used by walkers so you should keep your speed reasonable and be courteous to any other users you meet along the way. Remember, they have every right to be there, more so than you in most cases, and your behaviour will effect us being able to use this road in future. Please do not drop any litter ( or any where on the ride!!).
There is a barrier at the end of the private road which will not open for you. There is a small walkway to the left so please dismount and walk through this bit as it is used by walkers to access the private road. There will also be a marshal there just to keep an eye on you……..
Finally, as it’s so remote please make sure you are able to mend at least two punctures. The road from the drink station is traditionally rough and if you have mechanical at the top of the closed road we can take up to 45minutes to get to you.
Road conditions on this loop
I won’t ride the private road until Friday but Scottish Water have advised that there have been some works since we were last there and the tarmac is uneven in places. If there is anything out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t expect it will be marked up with a Slow or Caution sign, so if you see these then it’s time to slow down and be cautious.
There are some cattle/deer grids on this loop, please use the pedestrian gates as stated on the warning signs before the grids.
If the conditions of the road or weather are not suitable to use the private road we will change to a back up route.
We’ve not been out yet to put up the course and being Scotland the weather could do anything by the weekend! With this in mind the below is a generic section on winter/spring road conditions
There is a bit of leaf cover and debris on the roads, especially near farms where tractors have been dragging mud out onto the tarmac.If there are standing puddles, go carefully as the roads are prone to pot holes. Please keep your eye out for them and if you are travelling in a group, please shout out warnings to those behind. Make sure you have the ability to change a couple of punctures, especially if you are running lightweight skinny tyres.( please try and not use skinny, lightweight tyres or Tubs.) A van can be sent out to your aid, but in might be over an hour to get to you depending upon where you and it are. We use small lanes, so keep your speed down and be aware that there might be cars around that bend. On larger roads please keep to single file unless it’s safe to do so.
British cycling have produced a guide to Sportive Etiquette HERE
On the course there are a number of feed stops (how many depends on your route distance) and all food and drink at the feed stops is included in your entry. The feed stops are sponsored by High 5 Sports Nutrition and will have High 5 Energy Drink and High 5 Energy Gels or High 5 Energy Bars as well as selection of regular food such as cake, flapjack, jelly beans, bananas, peanuts, crisps, etc.
For advice on nutrition for before, during and after your ride click on the guide below from High 5 –
High5 litter exchange
Nobody likes litter and one of the most frequent comments we get from locals is about the gel and bar wrappers left after events. We do sweep our courses and, to be honest, we don’t find too much, but to be extra sure we are now running a littler exchange. Quite simply, bring back your old bar/gel/rubbish, put it in the litter exchange bin after the ride and receive a free gel. The countryside stays clean, the locals are happy and you get a gel – everyone’s a winner!
PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A RACE
There are no rankings or prizes on offer, all times will be displayed in a non-sortable format in rider number order. Please help us to continue running popular and friendly events by not riding in such a way as to obstruct the road or upset other users.
The ride is on the public and private roads so please obey the Highway Code, stop at junctions where appropriate and obey any traffic lights. Do not ride at uncontrolled speeds around blind bends or on steep descents. Although we have event insurance it does not insure you for your actions so if you do hit a car or pedestrian you may be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by your riding.
PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR HORSE RIDERS
As the ride takes place on public and private roads that we don’t have exclusive use of these for the event. Please be look out for other users particularly horse riders who may be using the lanes in this area. Make them aware of your presence and pass wide and slow should you encounter any. The leaflet below from the BHS gives lots of useful advice for both cyclists and horse riders and we would recommend all riders have a read through before the ride. Click on the image to download a pdf version of the leaflet.
No one likes to think about things going wrong but accidents can happen and we think it’s important that riders understand their own responsibilities. All our events have public liability insurance in place that covers Evans Cycles and the actions of it’s staff, it doesn’t cover you for your own actions or for actions of other third parties. In simple terms that means if you cause an accident that is found to be your fault you are personally responsible for any injury to yourself or others and for any damage to yours of other peoples property. Sorry if that all sounds a bit heavy, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable ride so please ride sensibly, control your speed and don’t take unnecessary risks.
We recommend all riders have their own insurance arrangements in place to cover such accidents. If you ride regularly and are concerned about your own insurance cover you’ll find British Cycling or CTC membership can offer you some protection
Distance 24miles 39Km
Elevation 2600ft / 787Mtrs
Drink Station 14miles/ 22Km with access to public loos.
Distance 55 miles /88Km
Elevation 4000ft /1265mtrs
Drink Stations 14 and 45miles. ( 35 and 64km ) Both with loos.
Distance 87miles /13914Km
Elevation 6000ft /1816mtrs
Drink Stations 14, 45 and 65 miles. ( 22/70/104Km ) Loos at all drink stations
Loop Cut Offs
The private road loop will be closed at 11.30am. There will be no support after this time so please do not ride it anyway! If you are on the Medium and want to do the distance then at the next split take the Long loop.
Long Loop split is at 50miles and will be closed at 1.30pm which gives you 3 hours to ride the final 37miles. At this time all riders will be diverted on to the short.
Event centre closes at 5pm –The building will be locked.
You’ll receive a hard copy of the map at registration.
Provisional GPS files are available HERE. Unless showing as UPDATED these will be the files for the event after 6pm Friday
Everyone who has pre-entered will receive a pre-event mail on Thursday that has links to the GPX files If you have not received this by 6pm Thursday please check you junk folder, old accounts, your partners email if they booked and make sure you check the address you booked with! These are all common causes for not getting the mail. If you still don’t have them then email me on firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll check your entry and send you a copy.
See you all there!