A Self-supported Bikepacking Challenge
Through the Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms Loop Route and Challenge
The Cairngorms Loop is a 185 mile (300km) independent time trial (ITT) route through the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. Based on the classic Tour of the Cairngorms mountain bike route, the course uses different trails to loop twice around the central Cairngorm Mountains. The route begins and ends in the small town of Blair Atholl at the southern edge of the Park. Set off from the Old Bridge of Tilt car park, and complete the ride at the Blair Atholl railway station.
The intent is to ride the route as fast as you are able while adhering to a set of rules for self-supported mountain biking. You are expected to navigate the unmarked course entirely on your own. There are no waymarkers or checkpoints on the course, only a downloadable gpx file. Map navigation is not part of the challenge, so for efficiency and safety a GPS unit is recommended.
It is an unofficial challenge that is not sanctioned in any way, with no organisation, and no support. All this website provides is the route, the rules, a suggested start time, and a list of riders who have completed the challenge. A maximum time limit is set at 56 hours for your ride to be included in the register of successful completions.
The Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms National Park is Britain's largest National Park, and includes Britain's largest mountain range, containing five of Scotland's six highest mountains. There is also a unique range of landscapes, from huge granite outcrops to ice age sculpted glacial valleys, and the land above 600 metres is the largest area of arctic mountain landscape in the British Isles. These mountains as stunningly beautiful, but can also be a challenging climate.