It is almost here… as nervous as we are? Relax, it will all be fine.
What to expect?
Our let of Girvan Academy starts at 0730. We’ll move in quickly, set up the tables, and start handing out the Brevet Cards from 07:45.
Riders will be set off at 08:00 as a group from the lower car park at the Academy.
The Raiders Road is the first off-road section. 10miles long, mostly downhill, it should be good fun. We recommend tyres at least 25mm wide, and inflated to at least 100psi. If you do get into difficulties, keep going until you hit the control at Loch Stroan. Our controller will have a track pump and tool kit with him including puncture repair kits if needed.
After the Raiders Road you go cross country to Moniaive. There are several roads you could use to do this, so pay attention to your route card to follow the official event route. Part of the Audax challenge is to navigate between controls so there will not be signs out.
The next excitment comes on the Carrick Forest Drive. At ‘just’ 6 miles this is shorter than the Raiders Road, and mostly uphill so with lower speed it is easier to pick a line. BEWARE though, at Loch Braden the CFD has a junction and you will turn left. For 200m the path is littered with some quite large chuckies. You might prefer to walk this section but can ride with care. At just 200m long it is not good enough reason to omit this fantastic passage from the 2013 Highwayman.
Back down to Straiton and flat roads back to Girvan. If you are expecting to be travelling close to the minimum 15km/h speed you should expect to be riding in darkness from 2030. You must carry lights with you if this is the case.
Riders will be able to collect Brevet Cards from 08:30 and will be set off as a group at 09:00. No off-roading on our 100km, but the section after the Knowe control to Bargrennan will give you a flavour of what you are missing!
The Academy has changing facilities and showers. We have use of the school until 10pm so even if you are running to a slow schedule the changing rooms will be open when you return.
The final control will be under the Railway Bridge on Coalpots Road – this is to prevent audax riders finishing in the afternoon coming into contact with the Youth Criteriums we have at the same time. A marshal will help you cross safely and please give the kids a big cheer!
NOTE: the roads around the school will be closed between 1400 and 18:00 for the SCCL Youth Criteriums. If you need away before then please do not park on the Victory Park circuit. We recommend parking at the car park marked B in the map below:
When you are moving please respect the highway code and remember this is NOT a race. If you go faster than the 30km/h speed you will just need to wait at the control until it opens to get your Brevet card stamped.
Our RetroBike spotters will be out with cameras when you start. If your bike looks ‘suitably-retro-to-a-fifteen-year-old’ you will be automatically entered into the competion! Last year Drew Agnew picked up a stunning trophy commissioned specially for the event, and a fine bottle of spirits from sponsors Wm Grants and Sons. Could this be you on Saturday?
We are helping Grant Young raise funds for the Ayrshire Hospice by supporting his ride across Europe along the Rhien and Danube rivers to Romania. A fantastic journey, but an even more fantastic cause. There will be no obligation to contribute, but donation buckets will be at the strip and every spare penny will be helping Grant reach his £2,000 fundraising target.
Have a great Highwayman, enjoy the ride and don’t let the forecast get you down!
Oh, and come back for more cycling on Sunday and cheer on the racers in the 48th David Bell Memorial.