The Red Route - 68 miles / 110 Km
The Red route is 68 miles long and has a total ascent of 2840 feet
It has been designed to provide an interesting route around Kinross-shire along lots of quiet country roads with picturesque scenery and passes through several small villages. This route provides ideal preparation for the Etape Caledonia, being only slighter shorter in length with less climbing. There are plenty of opportunities for friends and family of those taking part to park the car, have some refreshments, and watch the riders passing by.
This route is also designed to attract experienced club cyclists who are less keen on hilly sportives, and would welcome the chance to test their early season fitness on a new course with lots of other club cyclists. We are particularly keen to have team entries of 3 riders, as there are numerous quiet flat sections where you could chaingang with fellow riders and build up a good average speed. Although generally flat there are still two significant climbs to split the pack and let you break away form the bunch!
The Red route is therefore suitable for experienced club cyclists, and those wishing to build upon their basic level of fitness with a view to completing more challenging events later in the year. The ride begins at Loch Leven Community Campus and immediately turns east to leave Kinross. You will follow the eastern side of Loch Leven, passing through the small villages of Balgeddie, Kinesswood and Scotlandwell. Once beyond Scotlandwell, the roads become open and quiet with a fast descent to Auchmuir Bridge, before continuing eastwards into Leslie.
After approximately 12 miles, this is your first real challenge of the day; a climb of around 600ft over a distance of 2.5 miles. However, once you reach the top, there is a short plateau giving spectacular views over Kinross-shire and Fife. There is also a large public car park giving access to West and East Lomond hills, which may be convenient for any supporting friends or family.
Take extra care on the steep and winding descent and you will soon be in the conservation village of Falkland, another great place for friends and family to visit, especially if you have come for the weekend. Watch out for our signs and marshals to guide you through Falkland and Freuchie, before you head north on some quiet flat roads to Newburgh, on the banks of the river Tay. You are now almost 30 miles into your ride, so look out for our first feed station if you want to stock up on some juice and cakes.
The route now travels westwards on wide flat roads through Abernethy, Aberargie and Bridge of Earn, heading north towards Perth. Just north of Bridge of Earn you turn west and start to climb giving stunning views of the Earn river valley over your left shoulder.
You will soon be descending again towards the river and your average speed should start to improve. Roads become quieter as you continue westwards into Dunning and our second feed station at around 48 miles.
The second climb of the day is started straight from the Dunning feed station and is shared with the Black route riders. The Dunning Common climb is one of the best in Scotland with a rise of 275m over 5.5km. This is the longest continuous hill of all our routes with the highest average gradient, and is a great climb once you find the right gear. It also has a real alpine feel as you clear the trees and see the route disappearing into the distance. The descent down into Glendevon is possibly the best part of the course, on a picturesque fast winding road which has reasonable visibility.
As you will see from the route profile, the last 18 miles is a fast downhill finish all the way into Kinross. The last 10 miles being particularly flat, and following one of Fife Cycling Association's time trial routes. Almost worth wearing an aero helmet for!