When I was looking for sportives and rides to do this year, my friend John had mentioned the Lepra Edinburgh to St. Andrews annual bike ride, a 68 mile route, stating it was better than Pedal for Scotland with a more interesting and scenic route.
This was the 33rd LEPRA ride and my first, although John had done it twice before. You set off from Inverleith Park and head out of Edinburgh to the Forth Bridge. Once across into Fife it is mainly quiet roads and great views. After skirting around Dunfermline, you head to Kinross before passing around Loch Leven and heading northeast to St. Andrews.
I was very much enjoyed the ride and was also very pleased with my fitness. We finished in 4 and a half hours, not including feed stops for the excellent cake (we nearly didn’t bother to stop at Freuchie but sense prevailed). Relative to those I was cycling around I was strong on the hill climbs, so much so that on the “hardest” climb of the day (Cleish Hill) I didn’t realise that I’d reached the top and continued for a while before deciding that it wasn’t go to start going back up. I’d agreed to wait for John after each climb as this wasn’t a race and it was better to have company on the ride than to solo for 4 hours and arrive a bit quicker at the finish. Anyway, John was just as fast (if not faster) than me on the flats and we had great fun on the long, shallow descent into St. Andrews at the end.
With an average speed of around 25km/h I arrived at the end relatively fresh and have certainly felt no ill effects afterwards. I certainly could have carried on a lot further which is a very positive sign for the 110 mile sportive in September. Whether this would have been the case if I had upped the speed I don’t know. What I do know is that when I did the Pedal for Scotland last year, I was slower and completely exhausted by the end and that was a 20 mile shorter route.
Here is the route on Strava
Moving Time 04:32:59
Max Speed 59.0km/h
Avg Speed 24.4km/h
(stats includes ride from St.Andrews to Leuchar to catch the train home)