Long distance road cyclists have been catered for at this year's Cream o’ the Croft Mountain Bike Festival (Friday 15 to Sunday 16 June 2018), supported by EventScotland – part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. They can look forward to the new ‘Breadalbane 160’, a 160km Audax. Riders of the Breadalbane 160 will head out from the event village at Comrie Croft, Braincroft, Perthshire, at 09.00 on Saturday 16 June 2018 to take on this 100-mile non-competitive, time-limited long distance ride out.
An audax is non-competitive cycle ride, with distances as long as 1400km. Cyclists have a maximum speed and a minimum speed they must adhere to while riding the route.The idea is to complete the miles whilst enjoying the cycling and sense of achievement at the end. Cyclists are self-sufficient, carrying their own repair kit and food. There are no feed stations along the route, as with more competitive cycling events, although organisers must ensure that routes pass places where riders are able to buy food and drink. If this is not possible then refreshments must be provided.
Emily Greaves, organiser of the Breadalbane 160, said: "Cream o’ the Croft will host its first ever Audax next Saturday, the ‘Breadalbane 160’. For the uninitiated an Audax is a long distance cycling event which uses timed checkpoints along the route. Although short by Audax standards, the ‘Breadalbane 160’ will not be a walk in the park. It will take riders through some of the most stunning scenery Perthshire has to offer. Starting at Comrie Croft the Audax will head West along Loch Earn before turning towards Killin and Glen Lyon described by Sir Walter Scott as the “Longest, loneliest and loveliest glen in Scotland”. With two Audax Altitude Award points it also has a plenty of climbing including cycling over the picturesque Glen Quaich road which is 522m above sea level at its highest point. Riders will finish to the sounds of the festival in full swing and be able to relax knowing they earnt their post ride beer!"
There are loads of landmarks and viewpoints on the Breadalbane 160 route that include Loch Earn and Loch Tay and a superb climb past the Ben Lawers Range over into Glen Lyon. From Amulree cyclists ride through the Sma’ Glen (small glen) which has a great downhill section. In Glen Lyon riders must also stop at the post office/tea room, a real destination café, to have their cards stamped. They will also stop in Aberfeldy, the last stop to refuel before Glen Quaich. A full route guide is attached.
Aaron Gray from Muckmedden Events, organisers of the Cream o' the Croft Festival, said: "With an Audax UK AAA (Audax Altitude Awards) certification, this is sure to be a challenging but rewarding day on Highland Perthshire’s most iconic roads for all our riders, with some stunning locations and spectacular views to cherish en route."
Cream o’ the Croft – ‘Scotland’s Mountain Bike Festival’ - is not only a festival of mountain bike racing for all ages, it is also a music festival with camping and fun activities and a gourmet food and drink festival, all crammed into one unbelievable family-friendly entertainment weekend; and its all within an hour’s drive of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth. It is a perfect weekend for lovers of the outdoors, both on and off the bike at Comrie Croft, the award-winning green tourism destination, mountain bike trail centre (and onsite bike shop).
Audax is a non-profit association where individual event organisers do so out of the love for the sport and as a volunteer.
Tickets for the Breadalbane 160 Audax are either £15 (and include a Saturday festival pass) or £35 (and include a weekend festival pass). A camping pass is extra.
Audax UK members can enter here: http://www.aukweb.net/events/detail/18-144/
Non-Audax members can enter here: http://www.muckmedden.co.uk/event/cotc2018
The Breadalbane 160 route map can be viewed here - https://gb.mapometer.com/cycling/route_4689496.html