Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ride the 2011 RadTour: The Seven Castles of West Lothian

The club's season opener, our spring reliability trial or Rad Tour, will be on Sunday 13th March.
As with last year’s very successful even, starting from Linlithgow, the RadTour will join the dots, passing seven Castles of West Lothian.

The route this year has been slightly amended to avoid causing disruption to the users of Almondell Park and is 104km long. A full route sheet will be posted on the website once a full recce of the route has been completed and copies will be available on the day to registered riders.

• Registration is open from 8:45 to 9:15 in the Vennel car park, which is just behind Linlithgow Cross, which itself is fairly obvious on the town’s high street
• Entry is £3 and is open to non-members
• Entrants must be over 15. Entrants aged over 15 and under 18 must be accompanied by a supervising adult and must wear a cycling helmet. All other riders are strongly advised by WLC to wear a cycling helmet.
• A public toilet is open nearby from 9:15 - ask for directions. There is also a 24/7 ‘Superloo’ at the the Water Yett.
• If you can bring home-bakes for the feed-stop to the start of the ride, that would be great. The logistics of the event would make it very hard to return tupperware boxes etc so paper bags or similar might be better.

• Riders will be grouped according to their expected average pace. There are 3 pace categories so you need to decide which one you want to join:
• 12mph: expected time 6hrs 10 mins (includes 45 mins for breaks). Start time: 9:30am. Target finish time: 3:40pm
• 15mph: expected time 5hrs 05 mins (includes 45 mins for breaks). Start time: 9:35am. Target finish time: 2:40pm
• 18mph: expected time 4hrs 25 mins (includes 45 mins for breaks). Start time: 9:40am. Target finish time: 2:05pm
• Groups/categories will be set off together, though they may be broken into subgroups if necessary for the management of the event.
• This is not a race. The aim of the event is to complete the route at a steady pace and as close to the chosen target time as possible; times will not be published. However, you should not take risks to ‘make a time’.
• It is not expected that the all groups that set off will stay together and there are certainly no ‘group leaders’. We would, however, encourage groups to stay together for support and we would encourage all riders, especially the stronger ones within each time class, to work to encourage the cohesion of their groups where possible. Please be patient when getting through the slightly stop/start section at Hopetoun - your 45 mins of breaks include some consideration for this section so please wait for your group to get back together. Many thanks!

• The route is fairly long (over 100km) and tackles some high and exposed roads. You take responsibility for assessing your own fitness to take part and that of your bike, and you should aim to be self-reliant.
• You must obey road traffic law and the Highway Code throughout the event.
• You must read the risk assessment prepared for the event
• The route sheet highlights only a small number of exceptional hazards.
You obviously need to pay attention to all general hazards, instructions on road signage and markings. Pay particular attention to road surfaces; another hard winter has had a damaging effect on a lot of these.
• Show consideration for others on the route especially on the off-road sections where pedestrians are likely to be encountered eg: at Hopetoun Estate.
• There is one short off-road section within Hopetoun Estate. It is rideable for a road bike, with a little care.
• If the conditions on the day are judged unacceptably hazardous (notably heavy ice or snow) the event may be cancelled. Full refunds would be given.

• The feed stop is a little past half-way, coming down Leyden Road off the Lang Whang and is being hosted by club members Neil and Julie Greer - many thanks to them. Last year’s participants will remember this as a true highlight of the day!
• The location is highlighted by the route sheet but will probably be marked at the roadside on the day as well
• Neil’s house is in a quiet residential area set back from the main road. Please take care to arrive and leave quietly and avoid disturbing Neil’s neighbours.
• Small donations to club funds can be made for the catering provided, on a purely voluntary basis.

• You should aim to be self-sufficient. You should certainly be carrying enough food, some money and have the tools to repair punctures and minor breakages.
• The route passes close to several train stations that would allow (via Haymarket) a return to the starting point. There are also lots of shops and cafes on or near to the route.
• If all else fails call Rob Hemesley (number to be given out on the day). Rob will have a car available and can arrange recovery, though this should be seen as a last resort. Rob has recently trained as a First Aider and will be carrying some basic tools for running bike repairs and also a basic first aid kit.
• If you ‘bail’ but do not need recovery please let Graham Foster (number to be given out on the day) know, as he will be handling registration on the day.

• Congratulations! Register with Graham back at the Vennel car park and that’s you done.
• The ‘finish line’ will open at 1:50 pm and close at 4:15pm.

What is a Reliability Trial?
A Reliability trail is a non competitive event, effectively a formal club run, open to all comers and can provide an excellent introduction to cycling. No Reliability Ride shall be promoted which requires the participants to maintain an average riding speed of more than 18 m.p..h. ‘Average riding speed’ means the average speed when actually riding.

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