Highwayman Audax

UPDATE 01/05/14: There are no plans for a Highwayman Audax in 2014.

2nd Highwayman Challenge – 17th August 2013

Back for its second year, the Highwayman Challenge will feature a choice of two distances over 100km and 200km.

The Highwayman Challenge is run under the regulations of Audax UK, and is open to anyone who wants to tackle the roads of the classic David Bell Memorial and Girvan 3 Day races.

An Audax is NOT a race, but it is still a real test similar to a marathon.  All participants will be issued with a ‘Brevet’ card which they will stamp at controls along the way.  However, these controls are only open for a certain length of time – adding to the challenge!  Riders must average between 15km/h and 30km/h in order to qualify as having ‘completed’ the event.

We will have a sweeper going round the course to ensure that no one is left out on route at the end!  Most controls will be conveniently located for refreshment breaks, being close to local conveniences and smashing cafes (but don’t spend too long gabbing, remember the clock is running!)

Organised and promoted by Ayr Roads Cycling Club, this is a great day out in true cycling countryside.  Even better, entry is just £12!

The Routes



We’ve reversed the route of our 100km ride this year, taking us south east from Girvan, straight up the challenging ‘Byne’ climb and along the beautiful remote ‘Knowe’ road, a favourite with Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire cyclists.  After the first control at 35km riders will turn north to Bargrennan (no stop this year so don’t fear the midgies!).  From Bargrennan the road begins its long, slow and wearing 10mile drag up towards the Bell Memorial and the climb of Tairlaw Shalloch.  Riders will be rewarded with the exhilarating descent down towards our 2nd control at Straiton, with the opportunity to take on refreshments.  From here we turn west and charge back along the Girvan Valley towards home.

A neat 100km – this is a great way to test the legs and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the ‘Ayrshire Alps’.

100km route with controls

Entry to the 100km edition is now open on the www.aukweb.net site



For 2013 we bring you the 200km edition.  While our 100km is a challenge, our 200km is a cyclist’s challenge.  Not only do our riders get to take on the testing grades of the Ayrshire Alps, we’re pleased to confirm we are going OFF-ROAD!  This year we have been granted access to both the Raiders Road and the Carrick Forest Drive, beautiful forest roads popularly referred to as the ‘Strada Grigio’ in true L’Eroica fashion.

Riders will enjoy the tranquility of the ‘Knowe Road’ heading towards Newton Stewart before climbing out the Queens Way and cutting south along the unsealed Raiders Road.  Returning to tarmacadam, our Randonneurs will go cross country to Moniaive before starting the long return leg via Loch Doon and the Carrick Forest Drive.  A rest on the descent of Tairlaw preceeds the final push along the Girvan Valley home.

Please note – the passages of the Raiders Road (9miles) and the Carrick Forest Drive (6miles) involves 24km of unsealed forest road – the racers have previously covered this on 700x23mm tyres, so mountain bikes not required.  However we would recommend you carry a couple spare tubes just in case!

200km route with controls.pngEntry to the 200km edition is open now at the www.aukweb.net site.


Retro Bicycle Prize

Why not get into the spirit of the Eroica and come along on a retro or vintage machine?  A spot prize for the best turned out retro bike will be on offer!

What is a retro bike?  Well thats a topic for debate… but we’ll be going by anything that’s at least 15 years old and has a pleasant aesthetic.


Profit from the Highwayman Challenge will be used to support a great local cause –   South Carrick Community Leisure.

Please get involved and ask your friends and colleagues to sponsor your participation in the event.  You can use our page at Justgiving.com once set up. Get your friends, families and colleagues on board and make sure they mention your name – the rider responsible for the most donations will win a VIP invite to the 48th David Bell Memorial, including a seat in the judge’s car!     If you need a sponsorship pack let us know at ayrroads@gmail.com

Raiders Road & Carrick Forest Drive

These are forest road with a fine gravel surface. The Forestry Commission open them seasonally, and regrade them in the spring. We would caution against riding the Carrick Forest Drive until it has had its annual treatment, as right now it looks a wee bit worse-for-wear! Be fine come the day though – see a preview on youtube of the terrain shot just before the 46th edition of the South Carrick David Bell

PS: In 2012 we took the unfortunate decision of re-routing our 100km back on-road due to works in the forest making the going dangerous for inexperienced cyclists.  With assurances that the roads will be in good condition, and the expectation that all participants are experienced cyclists, the organisers do not anticipate any route changes in 2013.


6 thoughts on “Highwayman Audax

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