200km Highwayman Audax – Scotland’s L’Eroica

After the disappointment of late re-routing last year, we are please to confirm this year’s Highwayman Challenge 200km audax will feature two sections of the fabled ‘Strada Grigio’ made famous by the 2011 Davie Bell Memorial Race.

Not only do our participants have to contend with 130miles and over 9000ft of climbing, they will also need to navigate 16 miles of unsealed forest road.

raiders road

After a ‘gentle’ climb up the Byne and ride along the gorgeous ‘Knowe’ road to Newton Stewart, our riders will tackle the 10mile long Raider’s Road, managed by our friends at the Galloway Forest Park.  Although a loose surface, the road is in good condition and was pleasantly passable on 25mm tyres even in February of this year.

Mostly downhill, the Raiders Road follows the wonderfully named ‘Black Waters of Dee’.  At Stroan Loch riders turn North and return to macadam for the assault to the ‘wild hills’ of Moniaive.  Famous, according to hungry members of Ayr Roads, for the Haggis Toasties.  You heard it here first!

70 miles in and we head west to Casphairn and up towards the Loch Doon road end.  A narrow twisting road with the odd pothole or three, this is a cyclist’s paradise.  Almost no traffic, magnificent views, and largely flat!

loch doon

A century ridden, it is time for the six mile long Carrick Forest Drive.  Another fantastic stretch of ‘strada grigio’, again well maintained and passable by road bike.  A beautiful road linking three lochs together and spitting the riders out just above Stinchar Bridge on the Tairlaw Road.  Time to relax and enjoy the descent to Straiton

The Carrick Forest Drive - not this year sorry, fingers crossed for 2013!

From Straiton back to Girvan its a straightfoward trek at the end of a long day in the saddle.  Having stamped their Brevet Card at the 200km control, riders should be mighty proud of their randonneur status!

The 200km Highwayman Challenge takes place on 17th August 2013, starting and finishing in Girvan.  For more information and to enter the 200km Highwayman Challenge visit our Audax page.

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