Mike Lewis, owner of Cycling Edinburgh has completed Edinburgh to St Andrews Cycle Ride 6 times so far. He shares the best parts about the ride and how best to train for the event.

Villages, woodlands and countryside 

The best part of Edinburgh to St Andrews comes about two hours into the track, when you experience the spectacular views from the Forth Road Bridge. After that, you cycle through delightful woodlands, charming villages and beautiful open countryside. And from the Cleish summit, there is a lovely long freewheel almost all the way down to the shores of Loch Leven and the lunch stop at Kinross.

The scenery is just one of the many things that I love about this ride. Another is the camaraderie of the riders that you meet and the warmth of the welcome from the volunteers who serve up refreshments along the way. Of course, there is the great feeling of satisfaction that always comes from achieving a challenging goal.

Challenging hills 

The ride certainly is challenging. After all, it's 109 km with at least three killer hills. There are always a few super-fit cyclists at the front of the pack who probably find the whole thing a doddle. But if you are an average pedal-pusher like me, you will need to put in a good few training runs in the weeks leading up to the event. I try to get in several 50 km rides once the spring weather arrives, then gradually build up from there.

Stop for afternoon tea 

When cyclists reach the village of Freuchie, the local people organise a magnificent tea break for the weary riders. With its bottomless tea and coffee pots and its lashings of home baking, this is just the boost you need to face Cults Hill, the last of the day's serious climbs. 

Easy ride into St Andrews 

After that, it's almost entirely downhill all the way to St Andrews. On a well-surfaced road with little traffic and with a marvellous view of the sea in front of you, this is cycling at its best. As you enter the town, you can't help having a smug feeling of superiority over the other visitors, the ones who arrived the boring way in their cars and buses. And when you reach the finish point, the helpers from Lepra never fail to give you a congratulatory smile and a metaphorical pat on the back – even though you’re the nine hundredth cyclist they've welcomed so far today.
If you haven't yet undertaken the St Andrews ride, do give it a try.

You'll enjoy friendly company, see some wonderful scenery and get a great feeling of accomplishment – and all for a very worthwhile cause.

But please, don't neglect those training runs.

Are you up for the challenge? 

You can register for Edinburgh to St Andrews now. 

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