Touring East Lothian

Posted by chdot on February 11, 2007

mrcc map
map and info © Musselburgh Roads Cycling Club Publications

If you’re out in East Lothian next Sunday you might come across a few cyclists on a ‘Tour’. The event is organised (for the 19th time) by the Musselburgh Roads Cycling Club. If you fancy taking part, it’s too late this year as entries have closed, but there’s sure to be a 20th ride. In the meantime you could try the route yourself (perhaps when the weather gets warmer) with the help of the detailed map (PDF 113kb) and route notes. The Tour takes in, mostly, quiet roads from the coast to the 1400 foot heights of the Lammermuirs.

MRCC’s Tour is organised under Audax UK (AUK) regulations and “is not a race but a cycle touring ride. The event objective is to complete the course within specified time limits. You can ride the event on your own, with a group of your friends or ride with other entrants matching your pace. The distance is approximately 65 miles (105 kilometres) and you can take from 3½ hours to 8 hours to complete the ride.”

“You are given a control card, which you get stamped at control points during the ride; this is to confirm that you have completed the full route. 2 of the control point on this route are at cafes, giving you the chance to stop for refreshments. The card is sent to AUK after the event to validate that you completed the ride according to the rules. It is then returned to you as a memento of the ride.”

Audax rides are organised throughout the UK (calendar) and many other parts of the world especially the ‘Continent’ – which is why distances are measured in Kilometres. The most famous is the Paris Brest Paris (PBP), annually entered by hundreds of riders for the whole 1200 Km.

The next local audax starts in Rosewell (Midlothian) on March the 4th – merely 201Km.

Later this year, Scotland hosts a similar event (not simply a race and open to all over 18). The Etape Caledonia will be held on Sunday 24th June 2007 with two versions – 134 and 45 Km. This event is being organised by the people behind the London Triathlon and will bring closed road racing to the UK for almost the first time. Big professional races such as the Tour of Britain (starts Glasgow September 7th) are protected by “rolling road closures”, usually created by Police motorcyclists. The Etape Caledonia will close Perthshire roads for up to 5 hours, protecting all but the slowest stragglers.

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