We are half-way between Ride the Norths …6 months to go until RTN 2015 starts in Inverness. Between then and now, you will receive monthly updates, but if you have any queries in the meantime don’t hesitate to get in touch.
GOT: Supporting RTN for a Fifth Year
We are really delighted to report that GOT http://www.got.co.uk/ will once again be our main sponsors for Ride the North. This will be the 5th year of sponsorship, a relationship which started when this was all just a vague idea and we didn’t know it would be anything other than a one-off. Working with sponsors makes an event like RTN viable and we are very grateful to have had the generous support of GOT from the outset. Managing Director Warren Anderson is set to be one of just six participants to have competed all five events! Thanks again to Warren & everyone at GOT for their support over 5 years which have seen £750,000 of fundraising.
The 2015 Jersey
The 2015 jersey will look something like this! We are the midst of having proofs printed, so there may yet be subtle changes. Our thanks again to GOT for sponsoring the jersey and all sponsors for their support. This year we will proudly feature identity of The Sandpiper Trust, our partners of RTN 2015. Each year we plan to use the jersey to celebrate one aspect of the route and one of the ingredients which make riding a bike in this part of Scotland such a great experience. Last year’s illustration of the ‘Boat of Garten’ Osprey (much mistaken for an Eagle) is replaced by a whisky theme to promote Speyside’s famous Malt Whisky Trail and our stop at Glen Moray distillery in Elgin.
This year we will offer an opportunity to order additional Small and XS jerseys – just for those, like me, who have children who are desperate to cycle and always ask “Can I have one” …I’ve got the next generation to start marketing to! I will send out a note about that in a week or so.
The RTN Jersey Order
Apologies for broken record on this topic! As noted last month, the jersey order is made in mid-March and for this I need your jersey size – I will order according to what size you are going to be by 28 August, but I need you to declare that by 16 March. I am not easily in a position to help when people find that they are not as medium as they thought they were, so its important that you check the sizes and order according! Our supplier uses European sizes and that these sizes are smaller than what some of us are used to. PLEASE order according to chest measurement and not the S,M,L labels. PLEASE don’t be put off ordering a size which you are reluctant to accept yourself as …I would normally by Small Mens clothes and need a Large cycling jersey. Your size will have been entered at registration and the chart shown here was shown on the registration page. This information can be edited here http://www.ride-the-north.co.uk/login/ up until 16 March.
I expect jerseys to be with you during late May or early June.
Charlie House is an Aberdeen-based children’s charity engaged in supporting children from across the Grampian area with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions. For 2015 Charlie House are one of our associated charities – and are set to have a team of 10 riders, which will be led by Craig Johnstone, co-founder of the charity and survivor of RTN 2014 http://www.ride-the-north.co.uk/rider-stories/craig-johnstone/. The target for Charlie House is the creation of a purpose built, specialist care centre in Aberdeen which will serve hundreds of North East children and their families and we are delighted to be supporting them. You can find out more about Charlie House here http://www.charliehouse.org.uk/
Most of the places on RTN don’t carry fundraising obligations, but we do know we work with partners who are doing great things. If you feel you can raise some money by taking part in RTN, our partners at The Sandpiper Trust, Highland Hospice or Charlie House would be so delighted to assist you.
Warning: RTN 2015 May Contain Hills!
This isn’t an attempt to scare anyone off …but I have to tell you it straight! The thing about the Grampian Highlands is that it’s not entirely flat! Every year the RTN route has changed and 2015 might well be just a fraction tougher than last year. Day One features Glen Kyllachy (the road from Farr to Tomatin via Garbole) and it might well be a ‘surprise’ to those who don’t know Strathnairn too well. This is the third highest road in the Highlands and when the wind is blowing it is particularly tough – I expect it will probably be the toughest section of any RTN. There is a trade-off in the afternoon which should be much easier. Day two is another testing day of cycling and (whisper it) has a higher total ascent than any other RTN day over the past 5 years – nothing quite as challenging as Garbole, but a succession of medium grade hills are going to test the legs. The event is for all cyclists – that is something we have always been clear about ..it’s not a race, take your time, enjoy some of Scotland’s most scenic cycling. It is intended to be a challenge and it might well be challenging!
King of The Mountains/Sportive Season
Worried by the last post? Maybe this would help? The King of the Mountains Sportive in Alford, Aberdeenshire takes place again in May – this year with new event management and a new website http://www.komsportive.co.uk/. This has always been a popular milestone for those training for RTN and certainly (as the name suggests) offers a good try-out in the hills. There are many cycling events these days and lots of the regular riders will be booked for the popular Sportive events. If you have regisistered for RTN as a challenge, do take a look of the events schedules for early summer if you think you would benefit from a target to keep your training on track. While Sportives are timed, they are not necessarily competitive and generally attract mixed abilities.