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Etape Caledonia 2013
  • That is the entries open for next year for those are interested, seems to sell out faster every year

    It is a bit steep at £63! But it is a cracking day out (or rather weekend) all the same so although I'll moan about the price just now by the time May comes round it will seem worth it.
  • It's also a bit steep up by Schiehallion. :)
  • It's been open since Monday if you pre-registered your interest - always a good way to get in before the rush :)
  • I entered, but you're right, the price is now way out of control.

    It was sh1te this year thanks to the wind and rain, Schiehallion is steep, but over quickly, assuming you don't fall off trying to avoid some snails pace weaving nugget!
  • Just signed up. I don't plan to do this more than once at that price!
  • I think the prices for these events will just continue to rise - as long as they sell out, the organisers will always have the chance to up the price.

    Just like pretty much everything else I suppose, but a bit galling when you realise that you're paying to ride on public roads.
  • Normally i'd agree but the closed roads aspect of this one makes it worth it (for me anyway) compared to other sportives in the £25-50 range.

    If all the proceeds are going to charity like the Drumlanrig Tearfund Challenge (which is an excellent event that i'd recommend) then that is a different matter but for the 'average' sportive i'd rather save the money and do my own thing.
  • I forgot the Etape was closed road.
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2012/jun/20/charity-bike-ride
    http://www.perthshireadvertiser.co.uk/pe....73103-31305933/

    dont know if this changes it for anyone thinking of doing it, but from what i understand very little money reaches any charity
  • It's not a charity event, McMillan are actually a sponsor!

    Anyone riding it knows it for profit, it doesn't try and hide the fact.
  • 3x too much money for me, unless it includes travel to and from yam and a slap up lunch.
  • It includes having to get up too fekkin early to get to Pitlochry ....
  • FlyinScot said:

    It's not a charity event, McMillan are actually a sponsor!

    Anyone riding it knows it for profit, it doesn't try and hide the fact.



    I wonder how much exposure it'll get them for their money, compared to the cost of advertising.
  • Would rather take a car full up into highlands or do train/ferry few laps of arran etc personally.
  • if we all pay you the £60 instead, maybe your car can be repaired so it can leave Glasgow?
  • Brickman said:

    Would rather take a car full up into highlands or do train/ferry few laps of arran etc personally.




    It isn't an either / or situation as I enjoy that sort of stuff too, but the closed roads and thousands of other cyclists make this different to any other event i've done in the UK (i think alot of the big continental sportives are like this but i've never riden one). Being able to descend and use the full road or forming echelons in the wind and not having to worry about a tourist bus or something coming up the other way is alot of fun! Plus there are the yellow mavic bikes and cars there to provide support, only time i'll ever feel like a pro :D
  • Normally i'd agree but the closed roads aspect of this one makes it worth it (for me anyway).



    Have you ever been up there? It's the back arse of nowhere. If you rode the route on a weekday, other than in Pitlochry you'd probably be lucky to see more than a dozen motors.

    As for the charity thing, I always thought it was a charity event. I've not done it but have considered it a couple times because I thought a charity would be benefitting from my (IMO) extortionate entry fee. Knowing its not a charity thing would definitely make me resent the cost a bit more.
  • Dan, it might happen soon!
  • Have you ever been up there? It's the back arse of nowhere. If you rode the route on a weekday, other than in Pitlochry you'd probably be lucky to see more than a dozen motors.



    I suppose part of it will be having the confidence that there definitely won't be any cars around the corner, so you can take up the whole road width.
  • Is this the same ride that has been sabotaged by irate locals in recent years, due to the closed roads, by putting tacks across sections of the route?
    Best take plenty of spare tubes too!
  • 3 years running!
  • I don't think it's that nice a route, personally. The Schiehallion climb is nice but I don't get how it's made up to be something really hard although the descent on the other side is good. Apart from that I found it all a bit, meh. I just rode it on a club run - the thought of shelling out 60+ quid for the pleasure to ride it alonside twats in full pro replica team kit with beer bellies doesn't float my boat ;-)

    Ken Laidlaw sportive in Hawick, on the other hand, that's the one you want to have a go at. 106 miles, probably five or six climbs in that the equivalent of Schiehallion and lucky if you see a dozen cars the whole way round. 22 quid as well and that gets you hot food at the finish and a shower at Hawick rugby club, finishing memento and supports local charity and is run by the Hawick CC :-)
  • We should all go out on a big ride, take the back road by Loch Fyne to Dunoon via Otter Ferry. Some beautiful roads, lots of climbing. Lots of spinning on the way back down, I'd imagine.

    You can all stop in at our caravan on the way for a pie, haha.
  • Normally i'd agree but the closed roads aspect of this one makes it worth it (for me anyway).



    Have you ever been up there? It's the back arse of nowhere. If you rode the route on a weekday, other than in Pitlochry you'd probably be lucky to see more than a dozen motors.

    Not true tbh. My folks have a place up there and the roads can be surprisingly busy, with lorries and tractors as well, and you also find there is traffic coming at you on blind corners, on single track roads. A few Subarus and others out enjoying the windy roads as well.

    I'm not saying it's a motorway by any means, but it's hardly a vehicle free zone.

    As for the schiehallion climb, if you climbed it coming from Aberfeldy past the turn off for Fortingall it would be a beast, but I understand that is the descent instead?
  • Yeah, that's the descent. It would be a great climb
  • We should all go out on a big ride, take the back road by Loch Fyne to Dunoon via Otter Ferry. Some beautiful roads, lots of climbing. Lots of spinning on the way back down, I'd imagine.



    That is a cracker, probably in the top 5 Scottish climbs.

    Some of favourite roads in Scotland, get a nice day for it and the scenary is fantastic
  • The Schiehallion climb is a bit like Cuilt Brae out of Blanefield IMHO except where Cuilt Brae levels off at the top, the Schiehallion road goes on a bit longer at a shallower gradient than the initial climb.
  • So nice enough but hardly in the 'classic' climb category
  • We should all go out on a big ride, take the back road by Loch Fyne to Dunoon via Otter Ferry. Some beautiful roads, lots of climbing. Lots of spinning on the way back down, I'd imagine.



    That is a cracker, probably in the top 5 Scottish climbs.

    Some of favourite roads in Scotland, get a nice day for it and the scenary is fantastic


    Planning a cycle there over the Christmas break with a pal. Not sure if it's going to be amazing or the death of me.
  • grantus said:

    Yeah, that's the descent. It would be a great climb



    They should really flip the route round, sort the men from the boys etc.

    :)
  • 2013 will be the first year i won't do it, just cant justify that sort of money. Especially when you have to register somewhere & stay over the night before... easily turns into a £150-£200 weekend including petrol/food etc.

    i think the SBS sportive looks tougher anyway :)
  • yeh it could get expensive. I'm staying with my cycling buddy in Pitclochry. Presumably you can camp if you want. Anyone have a list of other sportives etc coming up next year in Scotland? Most of the cycling event listings I can find online cater for England only
  • Quick search on British Cycling only reveals 4 Dan. I did an Evans one last year for £5, there were loads of free gels etc at the feed stations for free and I certainly got more than my £5 worth.
  • Book early and the race pack is a tenner's worth of gels etc.
  • Yeah the Evans ones are good value

    The Drumlanrig Tearfund is a good one too - http://drumlanrigchallenge.btck.co.uk/ no entry fee you just make a donation of what you can afford. All the proceeds go to the charity as it is run by volunteers from the local churches. After 60 miles you get a lunch stop with sandwiches, homemade baking etc. They stop the clocks for this part so you can eat your weight in cakes without a time penalty. Although you've got the Mennock Pass afterwards so a bit of restraint is required.

  • Drumlanrig looks good.
  • Am telling yeez - Hawick CC Ken Laidlaw in August - you won't regret it ;-)
  • Evans sportives in the north of England are generally poorly attended so there is often a van load of gels and clif bars etc to take away. Though the events themselves are just run by general bike shop guys, so expect that if you get into proper trouble you'll have to deal with it yourself as you would normally**


    **On two events I've been on both had to deal with things happening, the more serious was a young guy who had come off on a descent pretty good, collar bone/arm/wrist all busted, couldn' ring the organisers for support as they were in a phone dead spot (well planned!) but air ambulance turned up in quick time and he got a nice ride to a hospital.
    What pissed me off is the organisers turned up in a van about an hour later (after someone rode the last 12miles at epic pace to actually fetch them) and weren't arsed about his bike, they thought the other rides might know him and be able to work out where the bike should go, erm, no, he was on his own and none of us knew his full details. A few of us basically just put the guys bike in their van and rode off as they really weren't interested in sorting it out!
  • Bloody well sold out, f*** sake!
  • Brickman said:



    **On two events I've been on both had to deal with things happening, the more serious was a young guy who had come off on a descent pretty good, collar bone/arm/wrist all busted, couldn' ring the organisers for support as they were in a phone dead spot (well planned!) but air ambulance turned up in quick time and he got a nice ride to a hospital.
    What pissed me off is the organisers turned up in a van about an hour later (after someone rode the last 12miles at epic pace to actually fetch them) and weren't arsed about his bike, they thought the other rides might know him and be able to work out where the bike should go, erm, no, he was on his own and none of us knew his full details. A few of us basically just put the guys bike in their van and rode off as they really weren't interested in sorting it out!



    Was that the Lake District one on the descent of Wrynose Pass?

    If so i was the guy that went to get help (not sure my pace would be described as epic!). Although i think there were a couple of crashes that year so may have been the other one.

    Dont think there was any accidents this year at it but the weather was so bad only a third of those that signed up actually turned up...and most of those that were in for the long route chucked it and did the short route rather than tackle Hardknott / Wrynose. That section was like riding up and then down a waterfall...hard as hell but pretty f*cking awesome at the same time!