May 20

MacMillan Cancer Supports the Etape Caledonia 2010

Cycling in Highland Perthshire doesn’t get much better than this

What a day the 16th May 2010 was! Judging by the amount of Twitter messages flying around for days after-wards we weren’t the only ones to feel this way.

The build up to the event in the week before saw Skinny Tyres providing skills coaching at Aberfeldy and Glen Lyon Schools. We also attended the ACRE press conference and managed to get ourselves in many newspapers and on the BBC Scotland and STV news programmes in support of the Etape Caledonia. You can visit our Facebook link to add your support to this event.

The day prior to the event was very busy with a journalists ride in the afternoon and lots of publicity work in Pitlochry and at the Big Day cycling festival in Aberfeldy. Pitlochry was buzzing with excitement as thousands of cyclists from around the world gathered for the event. We finished the day having dinner with journalists from the Guardian, Cycling Weekly, News of the World etc.

Up at 5.30am the next day, we headed out for the Etape Caledonia start. Already it was promising to be a cracker of a day weatherwise, although overcast it was warm. The thousands of cyclists lined the main street in Pitlochry with the first group setting off at 7am and it took until 7.45am before all 4500 cyclists had started.

Out on the route the support from locals was fantastic with people cheering from their gardens, pipers playing to spur the riders onwards and groups of children waving flags and rattles. The atmosphere was fantastic and was definitely the best I have ever experienced at a sportive. Strangely, at the previous acre press conference, they highlighted that there were never any spectators at this event. Acre, go and stand in the corner of the classroom and put on the tall pointed hat with the capital “D” on it. The event was a roaring success and showed Highland Perthshire at its finest. What better way to stimulate a local economy.

By mid afternoon, the majority of riders had now finished and the sun was blazing in Highland Perthshire. Hundreds upon hundreds of cyclists filled the cafes and bars and lay on any piece of grass they could find to recount their tales of the day.

Roll on the 2011 Etape Caledonia. We can’t wait.

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